Being a vegan or vegetarian generally means not eating meat or dairy products.
Unfortunately, this leaves the two groups with only a few foods to explore.
(In this regard) Can Vegans Or Vegetarians Be Foodies?
Yes and No. It all depends on how one defines the term foodie. In camps where a foodie is a food enthusiast who likes trying different foods and has a profound passion for food, then there are reservations to call devout vegetarians and vegans bonafide foodies.
On the other hand, if your definition of a foodie is based on having better/ finer tastes or just a passion for food, then anyone can be a foodie as long as they understand foods in a particular category. In this case, vegans and vegetarians have a better understanding of all foods they can consume.
Despite the possibility of vegans and vegetarians being foodies, there seems to be a consensus that vegetarians can be foodies if they wish to, vegan can’t.
The two groups share one thing in common, but that does not mean they are the same.
While they commonly do not consume meat and other animal products, vegans are limited by spiritual or ethical beliefs, while vegetarians practice their nutritional choice probably for health benefits.
Vegetarians tend to have more freedom to eat what they wish to (only that they prefer veggies over animal products), while vegans are restricted by their beliefs.
In this post, you will learn more about vegans and vegetarians, including whether or not they can be foodies.
What Is The Difference Between Vegan And Vegetarian Diets?
There is no denying that eating food with less meat and animal products is healthier for the gut, brain, and whole body.
That’s why vegans and their cousin vegetarians tend to be healthier.
As for their differences, veganism can be categorized as a lifestyle where vegetarianism is a diet, and this is where most of their differences stem.
Vegans are limited externally, while the limits of vegetarians come from within (they or their doctors help them set aside what they can eat or not).
To better understand the difference between the two groups, let’s discuss them individually.
Veganism is a lifestyle chained on the ethnicity of animal rights or spirituality, making it strict and bound.
This way, vegans are limited on food options to interact with respect for what they stand for.
A vegan diet entails food excluding all animal products and by-products, seafood, and meat.
By animal products, it means that they should avoid honey, dairy products, supplements extracted from animal products, skincare products, and the likes.
A vegetarian diet is also known as a whole food plant-based diet. Its purpose is to ensure as much organic food as possible.
Whole food plant-based diet entails avoiding animal-based products, too, though not to the extent of vegans.
It also includes restrictions on any processed food, even though they are not animal-based. Besides avoiding animal products, vegetarians also exclude white flour, refined oil and instead opt for whole grain.
The key is to eat whole organic food that is mainly plant-based.
Some examples of real food plant-based diet include:
- Whole grains
When it comes to vegetarians, they don’t get so strict on animal products as much as vegans do.
Vegetarians will use honey and supplements, perhaps made from animal products in small quantities.
I think the idea of creating an exception for vegetarians on which animal products to avoid is entirely dependent on their chosen diet.
What Makes A Vegetarian A Foodie?
Being a foodie is not a bad thing, even for a person who is on a strict diet.
All a foodie does is have this sincere solid or refined interest in food.
Foodies have a strong interest in trying new food experiences and eat not just for satisfaction but as a way of expressing appreciation and connection to food.
All a person needs to be a foodie is that passionate connection with food and the freedom to explore.
Remember that vegetarianism, unlike veganism, is a diet, not a lifestyle.
This means that as long as he can stay away from animal products and within a whole food plant-based diet, a vegetarian can be a foodie.
First off, people make it feel like there is a minimal food range to explore outside animal products which is not valid.
There is almost no correlation between not eating animal products and being a foodie in the vegetarian context.
For instance, there is a vast range of flavorsome Asian cuisines with plant-based choices than there are in non-vegetarian.
Even though we live in a society of stigmatized vegetarians, it would be interesting if people took some time to appreciate plant-based foodies.
That way, vegetarians and other persons who don’t eat animal products will still feel their passion for food is being recognized.
What gives a vegetarian the room to be a foodie is that they have the freedom to explore all foods without any limitations. Also, vegetarianism being on a diet and not a lifestyle means that proponents can shop around, eat out, and try as many restaurants as long as they can stay within their diet.
All in all, it is worth noting that many vegetarian, organic food diets are taking hold, expanding the horizon even further in the recent past.
Why A Vegan Can’t Be A Foodie
Vegan is a lifestyle, which means eating out or exploring the world of foods risks violating the ethics of this lifestyle even by accidentally eating local food.
Vegans are so keen on their lifestyle that they can refuse to eat around people (friends) eating meat and other animal-based foods. In essence, being a vegan means dramatically limiting the foods you can explore or enjoy.
However, being a vegan does not mean that you can’t have a passion for food. It is just a lifestyle that does not allow you the room to explore as much food as you would without the restrictions. Most
Asians, for example, Indians and Buddhists, are vegans.
But still have this excellent taste for spices and organic ingredients, which gives their food a unique flavor. However, the lifestyle limits them not only to specific foods but also the freedom to eat out.
There is also a significant stigma around the vegan lifestyle, mainly because it’s not a personal choice.
Unlike vegans, vegetarians are responsible for their diet no matter what people think or say about you and can still make fun of animal products without feeling guilty.
On the other side, vegans tend to be utterly against consuming animal products.
At extremes, others even tend to develop a negative attitude towards foodies – they have a snobbish attitude that people shouldn’t eat animal products and by-products.
Being a food gourmand is not for all, and definitely, a vegan diet is not for all.
Nonetheless, there is a ton of delicious food with or without meat or animal products that we can explore.
The only limitation of being a foodie or not is rooted within our fears and us.
For example, a dedicated vegan chef can expand the horizon of vegans and allow them to be foodies only if he can be a foodie himself.
On the contrary, a person can eat all sorts of food without a passionate connection with food.