The difference between vegetarian and vegan food may not seem too big, but to a vegan, especially, it certainly can be.
Vegans will not eat any dairy product such as milk and cheese, or eggs, and some vegans will not eat honey. Though vegan friendly cheese is available, and soya milk can be an alternative to cow and goat’s milk.
Vegetarians will often adopt a partly vegan lifestyle by not eating eggs or cheese, as an example. Some vegetarians will call themselves vegetarians when they may eat fish and/or poultry, and this can cause friction between these vegetarians, who, some critics would say, are partial vegetarians, and some vegetarians and some vegans, who will not consider them vegetarians at all, as they are eating flesh.
A vegan will normally be someone who cares about all living things, and is someone who is very pro-animal welfare issues. Vegetarians are mostly supportive of animal welfare, but some will become vegetarians for health reasons, as they may believe that eating the flesh of a dead creature is unhealthy, or they may be vegetarians because they don’t like the taste of meat, poultry, or fish. Vegans are very strict about their way of life, but because they do watch what they eat so carefully, they can often be healthier than vegetarians and carnivores.
There are varying opinions about whether vegetarianism has increased in the past decade, but it certainly seems to be true that veganism has. Helped in no small part by the fact that so much food is vegan friendly now, which wasn’t always the case. Vegetarian friendly food has been around for may years, but it’s only been fairly recently that vegans have been thought of by major companies, and now you can get things like vegan friendly jam. Companies are not necessarily thinking of vegans lifestyles (it makes sense, for business, to cater for as many people as possible), but it would seem to indicate that there is a more of a market now for vegan friendly food.
Both vegetarianism and veganism are healthy ways of living, and most vegetarians and vegans have a lifestyle based on both animal welfare concerns and personal health. It is a lot easier to be a vegetarian or vegan in the 21st Century than it was for most of the 20th Century, and despite the best efforts of some celebrity chefs, not everyone is happy at eating anything, and vegetarianism and veganism is here to stay, and will probably become a lifestyle adopted by a greater percentage of the world’s population, through choice not necessity, as we go deeper into the 21st Century.