What? I thought they were the same thing?
Some people use these terms interchangeable thinking they are the same thing. Yes, they share some similarities, however in reality are quite different.
Both terms incorporate foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, and eliminates all animal products including meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and other animal byproducts. Plant-based in particular focuses on natural, whole, unprocessed foods that are in its original form that it was grown or formed. Whereas a vegan may consume fake cheese and meat, and other processed foods (such as junk foods like Oreos, yes Oreos are vegan).
Vegan and veganism also includes ethical beliefs such as not only abstaining from animal products through consumption but also in other aspects of their life such as refraining from wearing leather, fur, wool or silk, as well as refraining from using products that have been tested on animals.
To make things even more confusing, you can live a plant-based lifestyle but not be vegan, as they may continue to wear and use products derived from animals. You can also be a vegan but do not live a plant-based lifestyle as many unhealthy processed foods are technically vegan since they are not derived from animal products.
I personally am not a huge fan on all these labels, because labels tend to come with restrictions. However, a plant-based vegan is what I continue to strive for. Although I have not purchased any products that have been derived from or have been tested on animals since becoming vegan, there are still things that I possess that are unfortunately on the contrary. Additionally, sometimes I do consume things that may be processed, such as chips on the rare occasion, as I believe in a good balance, no restrictions, and the occasional indulgence.