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Varying Degrees of Vegetarianism

Updated on November 29, 2011

A vegetarian is as a person who never eats meat, fish, poultry, or anything made from animal byproducts.

If you are seriously thinking about cutting meat out of your diet, you might be interested to know that there are different types of vegetarians.

There are also other categories for people who can be considered semi-vegetarian.

For example, some people have significantly cut down on their intake of meat, but they still enjoy a steak every once in a while.

Then, there are other people who never eat meat, but they still eat seafood.

Neither of the two scenarios listed above would qualify a person as having a true vegetarian diet; however, they each have their own distinct category.

Types of Vegetarians

There are three basic types of vegetarians, and the differences have to do with the extent to which they avoid animal products.

  • Lacto Ovo Vegetarian is the category to which most vegetarians fall. This diet excludes meat and seafood, but it includes eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt and ice cream.
  • Lacto Vegetarian is a diet that excludes meat, seafood, eggs and products made with eggs. However, all other dairy products are consumed.
  • Vegan is a term that is more of a lifestyle than just a diet. Vegans do not eat meat, seafood, eggs, and all other dairy products. Vegans totally avoid animal byproducts such as honey, gelatin, etc.

Beyond diet, vegans avoid using materials made with animal products, such as silk, leather, fur, beeswax, lanolin, etc.

Other Categories

  • Semi-Vegetarian is the proper term for the diet of a person who only occasionally eats meat.
  • Pescatarian is a diet that excludes meat, but includes seafood.
  • Pesco Pollo Vegetarian is a diet that excludes red meat, but includes chicken and fish.
  • Pollo Vegetarian is a diet that excludes red meat and fish, but includes chicken only.
  • Raw Foods diet consists of uncooked vegetables, fruits, beans and grains.

Delicious Grilled Vegetables
Delicious Grilled Vegetables

In Conclusion

If you are just learning how to become a vegetarian, you might start out with one of the less drastic categories and work your way up to becoming a full-fledged non-meat eater.

Or, you might just find that either of these categories will be well suited for a lifelong plan.

In any event, when you cut out or cut down on your intake of meat, your body will thank you for your decision to lead a more healthy life.

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    • vwriter profile image

      vwriter 5 years ago from US

      Great hub. My doctor wants me to go on a vegetarian diet, still thinking about it, and working toward meat withdraw.

    • Xenonlit profile image

      Xenonlit 5 years ago

      This is a great hub! Very few of us really understand the various forms of vegetarianism.

      I have G6PD, so I actually have to be anti-vegetarian to a great extent, especially with beans and legumes. Those used to be my favorite foods.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Vegetarian diets do vary and I am glad there is not one strict form. You can get health benefit from all of them.

    • Dewette profile image

      Dewette 5 years ago from NV

      I used to be a form of a pescatarian. I was a high raw foodist but I ate sashimi on occasion. It`s funny how the classifications have changed over the years.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I'm not a vegetarian, but it's interesting to note how many people are and how they qualify it. Interesting hub, voted up.