Whether you’ve been on a plant-based diet for a while, or if you are new to understanding what plant-based eating is, you may have noticed that there are about a million different plant-based diets. From vegan to vegetarian to ovo-lacto vegetarian and lacto vegetarian to flexitarian to pescatarian, how do you know what makes the most sense for you, and where do you start? Well, lucky for you, you have us! 

We took two diets at very opposite ends of the plant-based spectrum, vegan and pescatarian, and compared them. Read on to find out what these two diets mean, how they are similar, and how they’re different. 

 

What Is a Pescatarian?

With a name like pescatarian, you may think this type of diet is an all-fish diet, but that’s not the case. A pescatarian chooses to eat plant-based most of the time, while occasionally eating fish or seafood. A person on this type of diet would eat fish a few times a week or even less frequently, with the rest of the meals being plant-based. 

Pescatarians need to be mindful of the amount of mercury they are consuming, as mercury can be high in many fish. Knowing where the fish you are consuming comes from, understanding which types of fish are higher in mercury, and limiting your fish consumption to two or three servings a week can reduce your mercury consumption.

 

What Is a Vegan Diet?

Of all of the plant-based diets, veganism is the most all-in. There is a lifestyle component of veganism. Besides not eating animal proteins, you would not eat honey, wear any animal products, like leather or fur, and you would support businesses that stand for the ethical treatment of animals.

Vegans need to be mindful that they are getting enough omega-3 and vitamin B12. Luckily, if you eat a well-balanced diet, including beans, seeds, or walnuts for omega-3s, you’ll be all set. As for B12, this one is hard for vegans to consume naturally. Some products like cereals and tofu are fortified with B12. There are also great supplements that provide the B12 you need. 

 

What Are the Similarities?

Pescatarian and vegan diets may seem completely different, but they’re both plant-based diets that stem from the same logic. 

 

Plant-Based

Both vegans and pescatarians stick to diets that are mostly plant-based. Plant-based diets include veggies, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Both diets would eliminate land animal proteins, such as red meat, chicken, poultry, and pork. 

 

Health

Many people choose to be vegan or pescatarian for health reasons. Research shows that a plant-based diet can positively impact heart health and help maintain lower blood pressure, metabolic function, weight maintenance, and overall health. Our elders were right, after all: eating your fruits and veggies is important to staying healthy. And now that you’re an adult, you can choose veggies and plant-based foods that you actually want—you no longer need to sneak the broccoli on your plate to the family dog. 

When you think of a healthy lifestyle, you may think you have to eliminate all treats. We are here to yell from the rooftops that you can have healthier, plant-based treats that are still irresistibly creamy and delicious. 

Are you losing sleep at night thinking about missing out on your favorite candy when you consider becoming plant-based? Don’t fret! Our Wow-In-Your-Mouth Peanut Butter Cups will leave you saying only one word: wow.

 

Environment

Every person on this beautiful planet is different from the next person. Our dreams, goals, wants, and needs will be unique to ourselves. The one thing we do share is living on Planet Earth. What a magical world it is! 

We all have a responsibility to keep our world clean. This responsibility can mean different things to each person. For one, it may mean cleaning up litter on the streets. For another, it may mean driving an electric car. For vegans, it means adjusting their diets and living habits in order to cause the least possible harm. 

One way to improve our earth is to start living a plant-based lifestyle. The practice of farming animals represents 14.5% of the total greenhouse gases. In the UK, vegans reduce emissions by 60%, and pescatarians reduce emissions by 45%. Plant-based diets can also save up to 50% of the water we consume. It is incredible how a simple change to what we eat can make such a large impact on the earth.

 

Ethical Treatment of Animals

Many people chose to go plant-based because of their love for animals. It is no secret that commercially farmed animals are not living their best lives. The biggest way to eliminate the unethical treatment of animals is to eat a plant-based diet. When more people eat plant-based, the need for commercially farmed animals shrinks.

 

What Are the Differences Between Pescatarian and Vegan?

Pescatarians and vegans both follow largely plant-based diets, but there are some significant differences. While they have some conceptual similarities, what they actually eat is quite different. 

 

Fish

The biggest difference between vegans and pescatarians is that pescatarians eat fish. Because pescatarians tend to be very health-conscious and ethical relating to the environment and animals, it is very common for them to consume sustainably caught fish. Some pescatarians decide to eat fish because of the high levels of omega-3. Omega-3s can be difficult to consume naturally in an all plant-based or vegan diet. 

Vegans would not consume fish. Even the practice of catch and release fishing would be out of the question for a vegan.

 

Eggs and Dairy

Vegans are 100% plant-based. This means no products that come from animals, ever. This means avoiding not only the obvious animal proteins but also reading labels to make sure there are no animal byproducts in anything that you consume. Some surprising places to find eggs, dairy, or gelatin are bread, cakes, jello, and chocolate bars—there are some surprisingly sneaky non-vegan ingredients out there. 

Lucky for vegans, some brands also focus on providing health-forward, magical vegan treats to enjoy—hey, that’s us! Being vegan doesn’t mean you give up on all of your favorite things; you just have to find ethical, health-conscious brands that support your lifestyle, and MiiRO is here to lead the way.

Some pescatarians may not be as strict about eating animal proteins and may still eat eggs and dairy, since they’re closer to vegetarians than vegans. This is a personal choice for each pescatarian. Some may simply want to limit their animal proteins and draw the line at fish, eggs, and dairy.

 

Lifestyle

Healthy lifestyle aside, as they both practice this, being a vegan is a way of life. When people choose to live a vegan lifestyle, they are mindful of all of the products they choose to consume and use. Vegans would never wear leather, silk, or fur. Vegans will also ensure that their health and beauty products don’t include animal-derived ingredients like carmine and lanolin. 

On the other hand, most pescatarians are not living a specific lifestyle—it’s mainly a diet. As individuals, they may practice ethical lifestyle practices that are similar to veganism, but it is not a requirement in the definition of being a pescatarian.

 

Pescatarians and Vegans

When you get right down to it, both vegans and pescatarians want to live a healthy lifestyle. Being 100% or mostly plant-based for health benefits is necessary for each diet. The major difference stems from a few ingredients that they are or aren’t willing to eat. 

At MiiRO, we love to bring you delicious, plant-based desserts that you can’t get enough of, and they’re perfect for both vegans and pescatarians. Wherever you are on your plant-based journey, we are here to support you with wondrous sweet treats like vegan peanut butter chocolate bars along the way.

 

Sources:

What You Should Know About Plant-Based Diets | Cleveland Clinic

News Article: Key facts and findings | FAO

Table 3 | Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK | SpringerLink