Vegetarianism may be adopted for various reasons. Many people object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Such ethical motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs, as well as animal rights advocacy.
Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, environmental, cultural, economic, or personal preference.
There are several levels of vegetarianism, or, types of vegetarian diet that depend on which foods you choose not to eat. Starting from the most strict and working our way down, the types of vegetarian are as follows:
This is the most strict vegetarian diet that excludes all animal products or by-products including eggs and dairy. So, vegans don’t consume any kind of meat, fish, fowl, eggs and dairy products. Also, vegan people don’t use honey, gelatin, and any other animal by-product ingredients or products. Lastly, vegans typically don’t use animal-product-fabrics such as silk, leather, and wool, as well.
Avoidance of all kinds of animal products may require dietary supplements to prevent deficiencies such as vitamin B12 deficiency, which leads to pernicious anemia.
Lacto-vegetarians don’t eat any kind of meat, fish, fowl or eggs. However, lacto-vegetarians do consume dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt except eggs.
Ovo-vegetarians do not eat any kind of meat, fish, fowl or dairy products. However, an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products.
An lacto-ovo vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products. This is the most common type of vegetarian diet type. Lacto-ovo vegetarians don’t consume any kind of meat, fish or fowl. However, lacto-ovo vegetarians do consume dairy products and egg products such as milk, cheese, yogurt.
These individuals do restrict their meat consumption to fish and seafood only. Pescatarians do not consume any kind of meat or fowl. This is considered a “semi-vegetarian” diet. Also, pescatarians do consume dairy products and egg products such as milk, cheese, yogurt.
Much like the pescatarian, this “semi-vegetarian” diet restricts red meat pork, fish or seafood consumption to fowl only and is not officially considered a vegetarian. They may or may not also exclude fish, seafood or products like eggs and dairy from their diet.
A plant-based diet with the occasional meat item on the menu. These folks do their best to limit meat intake as much as possible and they have an almost entirely plant-based diet. This is not technically considered a “vegetarian” diet.
There are many different ways vegetarianism, and it’s up to you to make dietary choices that best fit your lifestyle. But when choosing, please consider your health and fitness goals and needs.