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Flexitarian? Vegetarian? Vegan?

Friday, October 12, 2007 | 3:00 p.m. CDT; updated 11:41 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

You sit down at lunch and a friend announces he’s become a vegetarian. You know this means he’s going to stop eating meat. But if someone he were to call himself a flexitarian or a raw vegan, would you have any idea what he’s talking about? Here are some widely used definitions from the International Vegetarian Union and passionatevegetarian.com to clear things up.

Flexitarian or semi-vegetarian: Not a true vegetarian, but someone who frequently chooses to avoid certain kinds of meat.

Pescetarian: Someone who does not eat meat or poultry, but does eat fish and other types of seafood.

Pollo-vegetarian: A person who eats poultry, but no meat or fish.

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian (most common): Anyone who refrains from consuming all types of animal flesh, but chooses to continue eating eggs and dairy products. Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products, but not eggs. Ovo-vegetarians eat eggs, but no dairy products.

Vegan: Vegans do not eat meat, poultry, fish, eggs or dairy products. Many also avoid honey, gelatin, wool, leather, products tested on animals and more.

Raw vegan: Someone whose diet consists of unprocessed vegan foods that have not been heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. They believe if the food is cooked at a higher temperature, it loses nutrients and is harmful to the human body.

Fruitarian: A person who eats only fruit and fruit-like vegetables (such as tomatoes). They consider this to be the most earth friendly way to eat because fruit can be harvested without killing the plant or the tree.

Macrobiotic: A person who eats unprocessed vegan foods, some fish and seafood and sea vegetables (seaweed). There is also an emphasis on Asian vegetables and avoiding sugar and refined oils.


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