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November 22, 2009

Vegetarian vs. Vegan

vegetarian vs. Vegan

There is a lot of confusion on what constitutes a vegetarian and more importantly what the difference is between a vegetarian and a vegan. While we could go into a long explanation, it might be better to classify them as what they eat and what they won’t eat.


There are many types of vegetarians and the different definitions can be confusing. Below is a list of the major types of vegetarians.

  • Lacto vegetarian: While they will not eat meat or eggs, lacto vegetarians will consume other dairy products
  • Lacto-ova vegetarian: These vegetarians do not eat meat but do consume dairy and eggs.
  • Ovo vegetarians: Ovo vegetarians do not consume meat or dairy but will use eggs.
  • Fruitarian: Fruitarians believe in only eating plant foods that will not harm the plant. So apples, cherries, nuts etc. are fine. But potatoes, peanuts etc are off limits.
  • Raw food diet: This includes any food that can be consumed without heating it above 46.7° F.
  • Macrobiotic diet: People on these diets eat mainly grains and beans.
  • Natural Hygiene: this diet is a form of classic and mainly includes eating of raw vegan foods.
  • Pesco/pollo vegetarian: This type of vegetarian tries to avoid certain types of meats whether for ethical or health reasons.
  • Lacto-ovo-pesco vegetarian: These people consume milk, eggs and fish but do not consume other types of animal products.
  • Flextarian: One of the most popular types of vegetarians, these people are vegans but will consume meat on rare occasions such as Christmas, Thanksgiving etc.
  • Freeganism: people on this diet do so for reasons concerning exploitation of animals and human beings as well as pollution.


A vegan is a person who does not consume anything that moves on its own. Reasons for this diet vary but the major reasons include animal rights, environmental concern, health concerns and religious beliefs.

So the next time someone asks you what are you, you will have a better way to answer them.

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