Does Plant-Based Mean You Eat No Animal Products?

When I first went vegan, it was a bad word. It probably still is to many people. Many people hear the word ‘vegan’ and think of a hippie who eats lettuce and smokes weed. Or they think of some anal person who dictates how everyone else should eat. Either way, a lot of people don’t like to hear the word vegan. That’s why I and many other vegans tend to use the word plant-based more than vegan.

Plant-based is just a nicer word that helps you to get people to accept you and what you do. For instance, if I told my friend a certain food or restaurant was vegan, she wasn’t interested in it. If I told her it was plant-based, she was more willing to try it.

People do not like the word vegan.

Does Plant-Based Mean You Eat Mostly Plants?

Recently I saw a woman in the WildFit group use the hashtag plant-based in her Instagram bio. I figured she was vegan, but after looking through her pictures it’s obvious that she eats some sort of fish in almost every meal.

That’s not plant-based, is it?

I asked her about it and here’s what she said:

There is 80% plants in those pictures.
Plantbased= vast majority veggies.
Vegan = only plants.
Where I live plantpower is used to indicated plantbased eating.

So, for her, plant-based means mostly vegetables. But, all products labeled plant-based that I’ve come across don’t mean they are mostly plants… they mean that they are made of plants only.

Maybe you’ve come across something different? Let me know in the comments.

In the dictionary, it says plant-based means:

(of food or a diet) consisting largely or solely of vegetables, grains, pulses, or other foods derived from plants, rather than animal products.

And according to Health Harvard, plant-based means:

Plant-based or plant-forward eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy.

So obviously some people do have a different version of what plant-based means.

I know that in one of my local stores, a lot of things don’t pop up in the online search for vegan, but they do for plant-based. I’m assuming it’s because they know what I do – a lot of people don’t like the word vegan.

All of the President’s Choice vegan food I’ve been trying and reviewing is labeled as plant-based with a much smaller vegan stamp (as not to scare someone who isn’t vegan I assume!)

Most Vegans Use The Hashtag Plant-Based

Most people and places I’ve seen do call their vegan dishes plant-based. They must also think it’s more of a user-friendly way to say vegan.

For instance, a restaurant my parents love called Earls has a section labeled as plant-based and then makes it clear the food is vegan in the list. Side note: The tofu zen bowl is amazing.

On Instagram, #plantbased is full of vegan food.


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I Believe Plant-Based Means You Eat Plants

I still view a plant-based person as someone who eats a vegan diet.

I would call someone who eats mostly plants and some fish… someone who eats mostly plants and some fish.

I view a vegan as someone who eats a vegan diet and doesn’t use any kind of animal products whatsoever.

I’m totally vegan, but I call myself plant-based when around nonvegans so that they don’t recoil in fear.

What do you think about the term plant-based? Please share in the comments below.

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