What is a vegetarian?

The answer seems obvious, ask anyone on the street and they are likely to tell you it’s “a person who doesn’t eat meat.” The Oxford English Dictionary even defines “vegetarian” as “a person who does not eat meat or fish,” but this is only partly true...

The Vegetarian Society says that:

‘A vegetarian is someone who does not eat any meat, poultry (that’s chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese to you and me), game (such as rabbit, deer and pheasant), fish, shellfish, or crustacea (including lobsters, shrimps and crabs), or any other product that comes from dead animals (such as gelatine, rennet or cochineal).'

Quick vegetarian fact sheet 1                                  

Quick vegetarian fact sheet 2

So what do vegetarians eat?

Vegetarian diets are usually full of healthy, fresh, nutritious, and delicious food. Meals suitable for vegetarians (and everybody else!) are found in every country you can think of; you can have veggie pizza, spaghetti Bolognese, chilli, stir-fry, curry, bean burgers, veggie sausages (eg Quorn™), ratatouille, lasagne, stew, wraps, quiche, chips and lots more. And let’s not forget sweets, ice cream, cake and chocolate too…

Think of any meat or fish-based dish and, chances are, it can be made suitable for vegetarians and anyone else who wants to cut down on the amount of meat they eat.

For some easy vegetarian recipes

The different types of vegetarians:
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians are the most common type of vegetarian. They eat vegetables, fruit, pulses (peas, lentils and beans) and grains (such as wheat, oats and rice) as well as eggs and dairy products (milk, cream, cheese and yoghurts).
  • Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products but no eggs.
  • Ovo-vegetarians eat eggs but no dairy products.
  • Vegan diets are totally plant-based and do not include eggs, dairy produce or any kind of animal product, including honey. For more details visit The Vegan Society.

For more information on what vegetarians don't eat


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