You’ve probably heard the words flexitarian, pescatarian and vegan tossed around here and there. But what do they even mean? What are the different types of vegetarians?
Let’s find out by exploring the different 7 types of vegetarians.
First off, what is a vegetarian? A vegetarian eats plants and typically cuts out any animal products from their diets including chicken, beef, pork and all other four-legged mammals.
There are 7 types of vegetarians as a result of the discrepancies when talking about animal by-products, in addition to eggs and dairy. Overall, a vegetarian always consumes fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and grains, but let’s look more closely at the other foods they can consume as part of each specific category below (from most restrictive to least restrictive diet).
Type 1: Vegan Diet
The first type of vegetarian is vegan. A vegan is someone who does not eat animals or animal derived products. The vegan diet is made up of plants: vegetables, grains, nuts, and fruits. These types of vegetarians avoid meats of any kind, in addition to dairy and eggs. For many vegans it’s not just about food but also a lifestyle which goes beyond just what they eat. Typical products some vegans avoid are honey, gelatine, leather, wool and silk.
To read more about a vegan diet and the different types of vegans, click here.
Type 2: Lactovegetarian
The word for milk originates from the Latin ‘lac’ meaning ‘milk’. A lacto-vegetarian diet avoids all animal products including eggs while, but still eats dairy. So typically, a lacto vegetarian will avoid eating red or white meat, fish, poultry, and eggs. These types of vegetarians do, however, eat dairy foods including cheese, milk, and yoghurt.
Although there are numerous reasons for choosing a lacto vegetarian diet, health is probably the most popular one.
Type 3: Ovo-vegetarian
Ovo-vegetarians do not eat any type of red or white meat, fish, poultry, or dairy. However, unlike lacto vegetarians, who avoid eggs, ovo- vegetarians can eat egg products. This has earned them the name: eggetarians.
Type 4: Lacto- Ovo
The word “lacto” means milk, and “ovo” means eggs. Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not eat any type of red or white meat, fish, poultry but can eat both eggs and dairy. Typically, this is the most popular vegetarian.
Unlike vegans, many vegetarians choose to consume eggs, milk, and honey because farmers do not slaughter animals to obtain these goods. Vegans, however, may argue that the production of honey exploits bees, and that the dairy and egg industries stems from animal cruelty.
Type 5: Pescatarian
The pescatarian diet is a vegetarian one which avoids all meat products except for fish, is one of the least restrictive vegetarian types. Since pescatarians permit themselves to consume seafood, this has sparked heated debate of whether they are considered true vegetarians. Pescatarians can eat eggs and dairy products.
Type 6: Pollotarian
Pollo is a Spanish prefix which means chickens. A pollotarian diet is a form of semi-vegetarianism in which red meat and pig is not allowed but all types of chicken, turkey, and duck are permitted. Pollotarians also do not eat fish, and seafood. These types of vegetarians may also include eggs and dairy in their diet.
Type 7: Flexitarian
A flexitarian is a vegetarian who follows a diet that occasionally includes meat dishes. These types of vegetarians mostly consume plant foods, however, will occasionally order meat. It’s a great first step for people who are hoping to transition to a plant- based diet for their health and the environment, without rushing. Although this is not strictly speaking a “vegetarian” diet, it’s a great effort and we applaud the attempt!
In Summary the Different 7 Types of Vegetarians are:
Vegan, lacto vegetarian, ovo vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, pescatarian, pollotarian, and flexitarian.
A lot of people are transitioning to a vegetarian diet for a variety of reasons, including health, religious beliefs, animal welfare or even the desire to help the environment. Make sure to start slow and not force yourself into a diet that doesn’t suit you.
Remember, not every diet that works for others will work for you, so forget what everyone else is doing. In order for it to be sustainable in the long- term just go easy and make sure it works for you!
Which type of vegetarian are you and if you are, what was the light bulb moment that caused the switch? Share in the comments below. Let’s chat.
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Latifah is a vegan foodie who loves travelling and cooking plant-based recipes. She loves sharing her favorite travel spots and adding a sprinkle of confetti to your day.