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 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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