Are you confused about the difference between vegetarian and vegan? What do they eat? What don’t they eat? Also what’s a flexitarian? What’s a pescatarian? I’m breaking it all down for you here, based on my 22 years as vegetarian and plenty of experience with “almost vegetarians.”
What does a vegetarian eat?
A vegetarian doesn’t eat chicken. When I stopped eating meat in 1997, I had several people say to me “I’m a vegetarian … but I eat chicken sometimes.” Sorry, then you’re not a vegetarian!
Vegetarians do not eat any kind of meat or fish. Most people think it’s just about eating meat or not eating meat, but everyone is in an individual, vegetarian or not. For example, I’m a vegetarian, and I don’t usually eat mushrooms or olives, simply because I don’t like them.
DO VEGETARIANS EAT DAIRY?
In general, vegetarians are ovo, lacto or lacto-ovo. Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat both dairy and eggs. Ovo vegetarians eat eggs, but not dairy. Lacto vegetarians eat dairy, but not eggs.
However, as a vegetarian, you can kind of do what you want in regard to eggs or dairy. Personally, I use eggs for baking but not eating, because I don’t like the taste of eggs or the thought of them. I eat cheese but generally do nondairy milk because it lasts longer
Many cheeses are not considered vegetarian. Rennet, a product used to make cheese, sometimes comes from animal sources and sometimes uses vegetarian sources.
Vegetarianism Goes Beyond Food
There are a lot of gray areas for vegetarians. Some things are not technically vegetarian, but based on a person’s beliefs or reasons for not eating meat, they may or may not be okay with these items. Many of them are not food
Thinks that some vegetarians will not eat or use (or may eat or use) include;
- Animal based clothing – many coats, shoes, belts, and purses are made from animal skin, leather or fur
- Makeup – many beauty products are made from animal byproducts, including things like perfume and eye shadow. Some vegetarians also will use makeup with animal byproducts, but not items that are tested on animals.
- Cleaning products – many cleaning products include animal-based ingredients that will shock you
- Gelatin – most gelatin is not vegetarian and is made of horse hooves
- Broth – many soups are not vegetarian because they are made with beef or chicken broth
- Vitamins and supplements – some vitamins and supplements contain animal products, so it’s important to check the label
What DO Vegans Eat?
Many people confuse the types on non meat eaters, but the difference between vegetarian and vegan is actually pretty big. Vegans do not eat anything that is an animal byproduct or that involves animal cruelty. This goes beyond meat, and can extend to things including makeup, dish soap and much more. Many of the items listed above that fall in the “maybe” category will fall into the “no” category for vegans. Some people are surprised to find that vegans don’t eat honey; they avoid honey because there are ethical concerns about the ways the bees are treated.
In addition to meat and fish, vegans don’t eat any eggs, dairy and anything that includes them. For example, a lot of baked goods have eggs in them. In addition, there are types of sugar that are not vegan because they are filtered using animal bones. Wine and beer can also not be vegan because the process to make them involves animal products.
What do Pescatarians Eat?
Pescatarians do not eat any beef, pork, chicken, or other kinds of meat. They do eat fish and seafood. Similar to a vegetarian, it comes down to the individual’s own preferences when it comes to whether the pescatarian eats eggs or dairy.
What do Flexitarians Eat?
Remember those folks I said who say “I’m a vegetarian … but sometimes I eat chicken”? There’s a name for this now. Flexitarians avoid meat most of the time, but eat it occasionally. Some people that also identify with this group call themselves semi-vegetarians.
Meatless and Low-Meat Diets Compared
FAQs: The Difference Between VegeTarian ANd Vegan
Vegetarians avoiding eating all meat, and may choose to avoid other animal-derived products. Vegans avoid all animal based products, including dairy and eggs.
Vegetarians and vegans choose their diets for a variety for a number of reasons. Some claim that eating vegan is morally more responsible, but vegetarians don’t necessarily agree, as no animals are killed in the making of dairy products or eggs. Also, some people choose these lifestyles for health reasons. Both diets can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on what foods you choose to eat.
In general, vegetarians are ovo, lacto or lacto-ovo. Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat both dairy and eggs. Ovo vegetarians eat eggs, but not dairy. Lacto vegetarians eat dairy, but not eggs
Pescatarians do not eat any beef, pork, chicken, or other kinds of meat. They do eat fish and seafood.
Flexitarians avoid meat most of the time, but eat it occasionally. Some people that also identify with this group call themselves semi-vegetarians.
Many vegetarians wear leather and many do not, it is a personal choice.
Vegetarians choose to not eat meat for a variety of reasons, including: health, weight loss, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, disagreement with the treatment of animals, inability to separate the idea of a live animal from eating an animal, and many more.