Types of Vegetarians

I am always surprised by people calling themselves vegetarians when they eat regularly many animal products… and most recently I wrote a post on a local restaurant guide,  and people commented on restaurants being Vegan-friendly… and to tell you the truth, I am not too sure if they know what a Vegan is.

So let me shed some light on the different types of vegetarians categories there are:

By definition, vegetarians do not eat or consume any type of animal meat or derivate – be it red meat, poultry, fish, seafood, reptile and such.  If they’re more strict, a true vegetarian will not consume gelatin, collagen, or any ingredient derived from an animal, such as carmine coloring, derived from an insect. 

Lacto-Ovo vegetarians – These are vegetarians who consume eggs and dairy products.

Lacto-vegetarians – These vegetarians eat dairy products, but refuse eggs.  This is the type of vegetarian I am.

Ovo-vegetarians – accept eggs but do not consume dairy products.  These are not very common.

Vegans – Vegans shun all type of animal products.  They do not consume any dairy, eggs or even honey.  They will not wear silk, any type of leather product or wool. 

There are other types, who restrict their diets to just raw foods, or just fruits. 

And, there are people out there who call themselves vegetarian, who refuse to eat red meat, but they still eat  poultry and/or fish/seafood.  In my opinion these people, by definition, are NOT vegetarians.  They are really a sub-group of the omnivorous diet.

Hope this helps you understand more the different types of vegetarians out there. 

7 Responses to “Types of Vegetarians”

  1. lateefah butts September 3, 2008 at 8:25 pm #

    How do vegans and vegetarians get their protein and their calcium?

    KFC – In many, many ways!!!! Vegetarians get protein from soy products, dairy products, beans, nuts and whole grain cereals. Most foods are a protein source, even fruits and vegetables, when all of it is compounded, we are getting the necessary protein intake. Protein is sometimes over abused leading to many illnesses such as arthritis and gout.

    Vegetarians get their calcium from dairy products, spinach, broccoli, tofu, soy milk, almond milk, sesame seed milk (horchata), etc.

    Vegans get their protein and calcium the same way, they just do not consume any of the dairy products.

    being vegetarian actually opens the mind and stomach to get your daily nutritional intake from a variety of sources instead of limiting your sources to what’s just most familiar to you. Try it… you will not regret it!!!

  2. Kim September 22, 2008 at 4:47 pm #

    This is a question I get hammered with all the time. So you can imagine how happy I was when I read that humans only eat animals that eat only veggies. The animals get their protien for plants, fruits, nuts stuff like that, but the animals that people eat don’t eat other animals. Animals get plenty of protien and what their bodies don’t use gets store, and when humans eat animals they are really getting second hand veggie proteins, so why not skip the slaughter and just go straight for the true sorce?

    • Sharon August 29, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

      1. ‘the animals that people eat don’t eat other animals’ – some people eat fish, and some fish eat other animals (zooplankton, insects, crustaceans, or smaller fish).
      2. Ruminants (cows, sheep, deer, goats) can break down the cellulose in grass and plant material into fatty acids from which they can build proteins. The bacteria and microflora in their gut that breaks down the cellulose also supply the cow with B12.
      3. Humans don’t have rumens (and the only way to get B12 is by eating animal products or supplements unfortunately), and there is not actually that much protein in fruit or veges e.g. chick peas only have around 8.5g of protein per 100g, and women need ~46g of protein per day while men need ~56g.
      4. Luckily in this day and age there are a lot of protein rich processed foods (like tempeh) and it is pretty easy to get all of the protein you require, and so there is really no need to eat meat. I am a vegetarian and I advocate a vegetarian diet, but I would hate to think of people not making sure they are getting adequate amounts of protein/vitamins/minerals because they assume we are like other animals. We’re not. We’re physiologically different and did evolve as omnivores.

  3. 1nquisitive December 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm #

    Hello! I was actually looking for vegetarian recipes and i stumbled upon your website (: . I think that this website would be useful to me because I plan on becoming a vegetarian once I move out. It’s kind of hard being a vegetarian right now since I live with my huge family and most of the time they incorporate meat into every meal, and unfortunately I don’t really know how to cook, haha. So I recently started becoming a pescatarian to lower the intake of meat.

    I would just like to say that your website’s great! Even though I’ve never tried any of your recipes …but I would definitely try it out during christmas break (:

  4. Kim, Rambling Family Manager May 27, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Hi: I’m enjoying your site and have added it to my blog roll. I’m a new vegetarian myself (no meat since 2009) thanks to a kick start from Meatless Mondays and “Food, Inc.”. I’d like to add a new category I’ve been hearing about lately- the flexitarian. I guess this would be a sub group of omnivore too, but they at least reduce meat consumption by a lot. My daughters are flex; they eat vegetarian most of the time but occasionally order meat or seafood when we go out to eat, maybe once a week or even once every few weeks. Strict vegetarianism is hard for a lot of people to wrap their heads around so I’m happy to see so many people advocating for reduced meat consumption instead of “all or nothing”.

    In the book “The Blue Zones” the author profiles the longest-lived populations, one of which is in Sardinia, Italy, where they eat meat only on special occasions. That was kind of where I was at when I first went veg; I planned to eat meat only on special occasions and consider myself a flexitarian. Now I’m finding I don’t miss meat at all, so it’s vegetarianism all the way! If my intent when I started was to jump straight into a strict vegetarian diet for the rest of my life I would have been too intimidated, but since I went in gradually, at least in my thought process, it’s worked so far!

    • karmafreecooking May 27, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

      Kim… I applaud your effort in trying to lead a healthier lifestyle by reducing the amount of meat/animal products you eat. That’s the way it started for me… I never planned or even imagined I would become vegetarian, but making changes little by little… one day I noticed I was a vegetarian, wihtout even putting much thought into it.

      That’s part of what’s at the heart of the LIFESTYLE CHANGES series I started back in February… check it out. It might even help you adopt a few extra changes that will certainly yield better health for you and your family…

  5. Brenda I. May 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    Hi Madelyn: Unbeknownst to you maybe, I’ve been enjoying – and rallying behind – KarmaFree Cooking for a while. Keep it up!

    P.S. Eggs are a source of B-12, so maybe that’s the reasoning behind ovo-vegetarians 🙂

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