Before we mix up ‘Veganism’ and ‘Plant-Based’ Diet and think that both terms are synonymous with each other, hold your horses―it’s just about time that we get it all straight and clear!
Let’s start with some vocabulary:
Veganism, defined by The Vegan Society, is “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” This means that many vegans also don’t purchase leather goods. But it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re eating lots of whole foods plant-based meals. Vegans could get through life eating processed foods and snubbing their veggies just like anyone else. Think potato chips, (vegan-friendly) gummy candy, and even cookies.”
On the other hand, a whole foods plant-based diet is “a diet that focuses on whole or minimally processed plants such as nuts, legumes, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and seeds while avoiding animal-derived foods. The main tenet behind a whole food, plant-based diet is that processing robs foods of their vital nutrients and their main purpose which is to nourish.”
Now, why does CHIP promote specifically a plant-based diet, and not (necessarily) a vegan diet?
Let’s get to the heart of both terms:
Veganism revolves around an entire philosophy that is fully against all forms of animal abuse and exploitation. Simply put, vegans fight for animal welfare and rights, saying that they shouldn’t be treated as commodities in any way. Vegans refuse wearing animal skin and fur, they rid their households of animal-based products and reject any products of any kind which have been tested on animals.
In a whole food plant-based diet, there are no strict guidelines or definitions other than just focusing on eating lots of products grown organically and fresh and minimally processed foods.
Some people on a plant-based diet made a choice not to eat any animal products, while others made a choice to eat only a restricted amount of meat for a specific span of time.
CHIP (as a plant-based diet advocate) is flexible and alternative in that way, but at the same time, it is also firm in its focus on eating real whole foods.
CHIP’s main thrust is more towards improving a person’s health through preventing, arresting and reversing chronic diseases, rather than fighting for animal rights (which is also a wonderful advocacy that CHIP respects).
While CHIP believes that veganism is a great advocacy, CHIP just leaves the choice to its participants whether in any circumstances, they decide to go vegan or not. But then again, CHIP only focuses on encouraging people to an alternative diet that is healthier and that promotes longer and stronger life–which is the Whole Foods plant based diet.
Simply put, the Vegan diet prioritizes the welfare of animals, while the Whole Food Plant-based Diet prioritizes the welfare of people’s health in terms of longevity and vitality.
Remember, this article is not written to prove which diet is better than which. CHIP finds both diet equally wonderful and helpful to people and to the world! But again, this article is written to clarify that fine line that divides the two different diets and to shed more light to what CHIP specifically stands for―your health!
Rephrased and Written by Hazel Paras
Photo from http://nutritionstudies.org/