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The Different Types of Vegetarianism

Written by: Famous Foods | 2019-04-15 | no comments

Being a vegetarian doesn’t simply mean you only eat vegetables. There are several different types of vegetarianism, and each of them have important distinctions.

There are many reasons why a person might decide to become a vegetarian. These considerations could include ethical concerns for how animals are treated, environmental awareness, compassion for animals, personal preferences, health problems or severe allergies.

Below is a list to help you distinguish the various types or “levels” of vegetarianism.


Perhaps the most inclusive vegetarian category, flexitarians eat a plant-based diet that occasionally includes meat.

Those who limit their animal products to fish, called “pescatarians,” and those who only eat poultry, or “pollotarians,” are generally included under the flexitarian umbrella.

There is some debate as to whether or not these diets count as vegetarianism, and they are often referred to as semi-vegetarian.

Lacto-ovo Vegetarian

This is the most common type of vegetarianism. Individuals in this group do not eat meat of any kind, but they do eat dairy and egg products.

In this same vein, there can be lacto-vegetarians and ovo-vegetarians. As the names suggest, those who follow these diets only consume either dairy or egg products, respectively. This can be due to personal preference or allergies.


Veganism is the most extreme form of vegetarianism. Many people confuse the vegan lifestyle with vegetarianism.

Unlike the categories of vegetarians mentioned above, vegans do not eat red or white meat, fish, seafood or any type of dairy or eggs. In addition, vegans do not use or consume any animal by-products such as beeswax, honey, gelatin, silk, leather or wool.

General Vegetarianism Guidelines

Regardless of which category of vegetarianism an individual subscribes to, there are a few things that are never included in a truly vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

All vegetarian diets exclude insects, gelatin, animal rennet and stock or fat derived from animals.

One of the most important aspects of vegetarianism on any level is to make sure that all dietary and nutritional needs are being met. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has stated that a vegetarian diet can safely meet all of the currently known nutritional needs. In order to do this, it’s important for vegetarians to understand which foods can provide the right levels of vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins for a healthy lifestyle. Ultimately, you can choose the type of vegetarianism that best fits your lifestyle and your health aspirations.

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