The Difference Between Vegan and Vegetarian
If you recently started reading about Vegetarian diets, you have probably read all sorts of strange vegetarian
terms and categories like "Vegan," "ovo-lacto Vegetarian," and "semi-Vegetarian."
You probably wondered what the big deal was. After all, what is so conceptually tough about not eating meat? And
you were right!
The distinctions between these sub-categories of vegetarians are actually small, but each is very important to
members who belong to the groups.
For them, these distinctions aren’t arbitrary lines; they are important dietary or ethical decisions. Let’s take
a look at some of these groups:
Vegetarian is a blanket term used to describe a person who does not consume meat, poultry, fish and
seafood. Some vegetarians may be open to eating dishes that make use of gelatine, while others may not,
or just use one of a few gelatine alternatives.
This grouping includes Vegan and the various sub-categories of Vegetarian; however, it generally implies someone
who has less dietary restrictions than a Vegan.
The term Semi-Vegetarian is usually used to describe someone who is a vegetarian who
consumes dairy products, eggs, chicken, and fish, but does not consume other animal flesh.
Ovo-lacto vegetarians are Vegetarians who do not consume meat, poultry, fish, and seafood, but do consume eggs and
milk. This is the largest group of Vegetarians.
Ovo-vegetarian is a term used to describe someone who would be a vegan if they did not
Lacto-Vegetarian is a term used to describe someone who would be a vegan if they did not consume milk.
Vegan is the strictest sub-category of Vegetarians. Vegans do not consume any animal products or by-products.
Some go as far as not even consuming honey and yeast. Others do not wear any clothing made from animal
Important: Take some time to figure out for yourself, what group you want
to belong to when you become a Vegetarian. You will want to consider both dietary and ethical reasons for
choosing this lifestyle.
Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-based Diet by Brenda Davis, Vesanto Melina
The New Becoming Vegetarian: The Essential Guide To A Healthy Vegetarian Diet