What is a Vegetarian?

What is a Vegetarian

You’ve met ‘vegetarians’ who eat fish and some that eat chicken. Then there are others that don’t eat any animal products at all. Now you’re wondering what is a vegetarian and what do they eat. This article outlines what a vegetarian is, what they can eat, and how it differs from the people who eat fish or chicken and claim to be a vegetarian. It continues by providing definitions of other specific dietary requirements including vegans, pescetarians, and pollotarians, so that next time someone eating chicken claims to be a vegetarian, you can pretentiously correct them.

What is a vegetarian?

The definition of a vegetarian is a person who abstains from consuming the flesh of any animal. This includes, but is not limited to, all species that fall under the categorisation of mammals, fish, birds, and insects. When referring to vegetarianism, one normally refers to ovo-lacto vegetarianism which allows consumption of products produced by animals, such as eggs, dairy (milk derived products such as cheese, butter, and ice cream), and honey. Specific types of vegetarianism that fall under the vegetarian label include:

  • Ovo-lacto vegetarian: allows consumption of all animal products but not flesh
  • Ovo vegetarian: allows consumption of eggs but not dairy or flesh
  • Lacto vegetarian: allows consumption of dairy but not eggs or flesh

What is a vegan?

The definition of a vegan is a person who abstains from consumption of all products derived from animals, including flesh. By this definition, a true vegan cannot consume eggs, dairy, or honey.

What is the name a ‘vegetarian’ who eats fish?

A pescetarian. By definition, a pescetarian abstains from consuming the flesh of all animals except for fish.

Is a pescetarian a vegetarian?

No.

What is the name of a ‘vegetarian’ who eats chicken?

A pollotarian. By definition, a pollotarian abstains from consuming the flesh of all animals except for chicken.

Is a pollotarian a vegetarian?

No.

What is the name of a ‘vegetarian’ who does not eat red meat / eats only chicken and fish (white meat)?

A pollo-pescatarian. By definition, a pollo-pescatarian abstains from consuming the flesh of all animals except for chicken and fish.

Is a pollo-pescatarian a vegetarian?

No.

What is a fruitarian?

A fruitarian is a person, who in addition to adhering to a vegan diet, only consumes what can be obtained without killing the plant that it comes from. For this reason, fruitarian diets exclude vegetables. Thus a fruitarian diet consists primarily of culinary fruits, nuts, and seeds. There are some variations to fruitarian diets including:

  • consumption of honey as it does not kill bees
  • exclusion of nuts seeds as they will one day become plants
  • consumption only of fruits that have naturally fallen from trees

Is there anything more extreme than a fruitarian who only eats fruit that has already fallen?

Yes. Among the huge collections of unusual diets, the most extreme is arguably that of Breatharians. Followers of breatharianism claim that the human body need neither food nor water to survive. In fact, it is entirely possible to sustain yourself on sunlight and prana (a kind of life energy) alone. There have been mixed responses to sudden deaths of people adhering to beatharianism; while scientists claim that the deaths are attributed to starvation and dehydration, followers indicated that the deaths were in fact caused because individuals were “not coming from a place of integrity and did not have the right motivation.”

Why would one adhere to breatharianism?

I have no idea. However, I can help you with why people are vegetarian.

You may also want to check out vegetarian travel advice.

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