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Vegetarian or Vegan? What's the Difference?

Updated on April 11, 2016

After my first hub on vegetarianism, many people asked what is the difference between a vegetarian and vegan. Well there is a difference between a vegetarian and vegan. There are also subcategories of vegetarians that came up recently. Everyone does not agree with the subcategories. If you are decided to become a vegetarian or vegan, this information would be good to know.

Let's start with defining each category.

A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, poultry, fish or seafood.

The following are subgroups within the vegetarian family.

A semi-vegetarian is used to describe someone who consumes dairy products, eggs, chicken and fish but does not consume other animal flesh.

An ovo-lacto-vegetarian are vegetarians who do not consume meat, fish, poultry and seafood, but do consume eggs and milk.

An ovo-vegetarian is someone who would consumes eggs but no milk, fish, poultry, seafood or meat.

A lacto-vegetarian is someone who consumes milk, but no eggs, fish, poultry, seafood or meat.


There are many vegetarians that do not agree with these subcategories, but it is here to give you an idea of what may work for you.

Vegans abstain from consuming or using any animal products or by-products. This includes meat, seafood, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, yeast or gelatin.

Vegans do not wish to profit or advance the cause of animal suffering. They do not use leather, wool or silk. They may also try to avail any products that contain identifiable animal ingredients such as some make-up or desserts.

Veganism is more than a diet but is a way of life for many.

Hopefully this has given you a generally idea of the differences between a vegetarian and a vegan. Knowledge is power so do research and find out what works best for you. Take some tome to figure it out for your self and see what group fits you best as you make the transition to become a vegetarian or vegan. Consider both the dietary and ethical reasons for choosing this lifestyle.

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    • manthy profile image

      Mark 5 years ago from Alabama,USA

      Voted up and useful, I never knew the difference.

    • spierce86 profile image
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      spierce86 5 years ago from DC and surrounding areas

      @manthy...thanks for the feedback, appreciate it.

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