What Does It Mean To Be Vegetarian?
Find out more about the different types of vegetarian diets.
Everyone has heard the word “vegetarian,” but what exactly does it mean? Simply, vegetarians do not eat meat, but there are a lot of sub categories of vegetarianism that are broken down by the way people define meat. People decide to follow the vegetarian diet for many different reasons. Some do it because of religious or ethical beliefs, others do it for health reasons, and some simply do it because of food preference. No matter what the reason is, when everyone is defining their vegetarianism differently it can be hard to understand.
Here is a list of each level of vegetarianism, starting with the strictest.
- Vegan: Vegans do not eat anything that comes from animals. This means that besides not eating meat, they will also not consume foods such as dairy, eggs or even honey. Many vegans take this method beyond their diet as well and avoid wearing animal products such a leather and wool.
- Lacto Vegetarian: A lacto vegetarian does eat dairy, but does not eat eggs or any other type of meat.
- Ovo Vegetarian: An ovo vegetarian does not eat meat or dairy, but does consume eggs.
- Lacto-ovo Vegetarian: This is the most common form of vegetarianism. A lacto-ovo vegetarian avoids all meat, but will consume dairy products and eggs.
- Pollotarian: A vegetarian that consumes chicken.
- Pescatarian: A vegetarian that consumes fish.
- Flexitarian: The flexitarian follows a mostly vegetarian diet, but will occasionally eat meat. Many people who prefer the taste of fruits and veggies over meat are flexitarians without realizing it.