Before discussing types of vegetarian, we should consider what or who is a vegetarian. Simply put a vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat. Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as someone “who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, fungi, algae, yeast and/or some other non-animal-based foods (e.g. salt) with, or without, dairy products, honey and/or eggs. A vegetarian does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal. This includes meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, insects, by-products of slaughter or any food made with processing aids created from these.”
Vegetarianism is not a religion, but a way of life. However, like Hinduism, Christianity, Islam or other religions of the world, Vegetarianism too has many shades. They come in as many flavors as there are cuisines.
We will first try to understand the various types of vegetarians that walk the earth.
We will also try to understand their likes, dislikes and if possible their motivations.
Who is a Vegetarian
Before we understand the various vegetarian sects, we need to understand who is a Vegetarian in the broadest sense of the term – a Christian is a follower of Christ, a Muslim follows Prophet Mohammad, and likewise a Vegetarian is one who does not eat the following:
- Meat (any kind of land animal / eggs thereof),
- Fish (any kind of water animal or their eggs), and
- Poultry (any kind of bird or their eggs).
Following are the Vegetarian Facts
A vegetarian, therefore, is not someone who sometimes eats vegetables, maybe as a side dish; he always eats vegetables. Some kinds of vegetarians might, however, sometimes eat the above food items as side dish! But can they be called vegetarians? Or do they fit into one of the various classes of vegetarians?
Additional 4 Types of Vegetarian
Some people also classify the following as vegetarians, though their inclusion in the tribe is highly debatable because their diet contains some kind of meat or eggs.
- Ovo-Vegetarians – These are people who do not eat meat in any form but do consume eggs.
- Pesco-Vegetarians or Pescatarians – They abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish. This is called pescetarian diet.
- Pollo-Vegetarians – They eat vegetarian diet and also poultry such as chicken, turkey, and duck but no other type of animal flesh and meat.
- Flexitarian or Semi-vegetarian – It is a term used for people who mostly eat vegetarian diet, but eat meat once a while.