What's the Difference: Vegetarian, Vegan, Pescatarian, Flexitarian, Fruitarian, and Beegan?
Many people are health conscious and claim to be anything other than the average consumer of foods.
Many people talk so much about what they eat and don't eat that there is a name for what they claim to be. Let's set the record straight, and learn exactly what each one of those eating styles is all about.
People have personal reasons for choosing any one of the above ways to eat. It could be for personal health reasons, weight loss, longevity, environmental reasons, or because of animal cruelty concerns.
Let's start with the vegetarian since it seems to be the most common eating style and the easiest one to explain. Even so, there are different types of vegetarians. They are named by what they eat and do not eat. Therefore, saying someone is a vegetarian is not really pinpointing exactly what they eat and do not eat.
Don't claim to be a vegetarian just because you love vegetables and eat a lot of them. Vegetarians are people who do not eat any kind of meat or fish. Under the broad heading of being a vegetarian, there are different types.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarians are people who do not eat meat such as beef, pork, poultry, fish, shellfish, insects, or animal flesh of any kind. However, they do eat eggs and dairy products. This type of vegetarian is the most common type in the United States.
- Lacto-vegetarian is a type of vegetarian who does not eat meat and eggs, but eats dairy products. Think of "lacto" which is the Latin word for milk.
- Ovo-vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat or dairy products, but eats eggs. Think of "ovo" which is the Latin word for eggs.
A vegan is a person who does not eat meat of any kind, eggs, dairy products, or any processed foods such as refined white sugar and some wines.
A pescatarian (also spelled pescetarian) is a person who does not eat any meat or animal flesh. However, fish is the main part of their diet. He can eat as much or as little fish as they want. Don't think the person is limited in what they eat if they choose to eat only fish and no meat at all. There are many different types of fish and kinds of seafood to eat, such as shrimp, clams, oysters, crabs, and lobster. Besides, there are many different ways to prepare them that eating fish every day might not be a boring experience.
Keep in mind that a pescatarian is not a vegetarian. He could also eat a lot of vegetables to go along with the fish he eats. He could maintain a vegetarian diet while being a pescatarian.
A person who consumes fish and no meat cannot be properly called a vegetarian. A pescatarian is not a vegetarian because he might be eating eggs and dairy products as well.
Don't think a person who professes to be a vegetarian is lying if he is caught eating meat occasionally. He could be a “semi-vegetarian,” or a “flexitarian.” That is a person who eats a mostly vegetarian diet, but he occasionally eats meat at times he has agreed upon. It could be once a day, once a week, or on special occasions.
“Flexitarian” is a term used to describe those who eat vegetables most of the time and occasionally will eat meat. A person who is a flexitarian or a semi-vegetarian might have given up red meat for health or for environmental reasons. Think of the person being flexible instead of being rigid and stuck with one type of meal.
A fruitarian is a person who eats mostly fruits. He could possibly eat nuts and seeds, but no animal products. Picking up and eating an apple, orange, or banana on a regular basis does not make a person a fruitarian. A person's diet must be at least 75 percent of fruits in order for him to be considered a fruitarian.
A beegan is not hard to understand when you see the keyword "bee" in the name. The term is not as common as the others that are listed in this article. Beegan is just another term in a long list for people who are changing their eating styles. A beegan is someone who consumes honey and other bee or insect-derived products.
See if you know the answers to the following terms based on the above information.
- What do you call a person who eats only fish and no meat?
- Who consumes honey and bee products?
- Who eats vegetables, but no meats?
- What do you call a person who is flexible enough to eat meat on occasions?
- Who does not eat meat of any kind, eggs, dairy products, or any processed foods?
- Whose diet consists of at least 75 percent of fruits?