Vegan or vegetarian? Virat Kohli’s recent trolling is proof of confusion between the two diets

Food choices and food habits are extremely personal. But broadly, there is a global understanding of what constitutes healthy eating. Around the world, more and more people have been embracing plant-based living, having given up on meat products.

Recently, Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli had conducted a question-answer session on Instagram, during which he had answered fan questions about his diet. The 32-year-old cricketer stated he eats “lots of vegetables, some eggs, 2 cups of coffee, quinoa, lots of spinach”. He also revealed he loves “dosas”, and that he eats them all in “controlled quantities”.

But why is he being trolled for his eating habits right now?

Fans of the cricketer have been alleging that though he has claimed to be a “vegan” in the past, his recent revelation about eating eggs has not quite justified his veganism.

Kohli, who recently welcomed a daughter with wife Anushka Sharma, has had to clarify his stance. The cricketer, in a recent tweet, responded to trolls, writing that he has “never claimed to be vegan”.

In fact, a 2019 tweet of his has also resurfaced, in which he clearly mentions that he is “a vegetarian athlete”.

There may be a certain confusion as to who is a vegan, and who is a vegetarian, and just how exactly do their diets differ. To clear this, reached out to Ruchi Sharma, a nutritionist, and the founder of EAT.FIT.REPEAT, who explained that while both vegans and vegetarians choose not to eat meat, “a vegetarian diet is one wherein people do not consume any meat, such as poultry, red meat, fish, etc. — any by-product of meat slaughter”.

“On the other hand, veganism (vegan diet) is a kind of lifestyle that attempts to exclude all forms of meat and products that are derived from animals, since the vegan society thinks all animals have the right to be free of human use, be it for food, clothes, or any other useful purposes,” she explained.

According to Sharma, some vegetarians consume animal by-products that do not involve slaughtering, “such as milk, eggs or honey”. Veganism, however, does not allow the consumption of any animal-derived product, be it “milk, honey, meat, eggs, whey, casein, or even products like leather, silk, beeswax, latex, soaps, etc., that involve the use of animals”.

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