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Part 2: ‘Vegetarian’ – What Does That Even Mean?

Whether you are interested in cutting down on the amount of meat in your diet, removing all meat from your diet, or even removing all animal-based products from your life, adopting a whole foods, plant-based vegetarian diet can offer a variety of health and lifestyle benefits.

But what does it even mean to be a vegetarian?

Generally, a vegetarian diet excludes meat products. It is a meal plan that is made up of plant-based foods including vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds, and can include a variety of animal products including dairy.

If you are interested in removing specific types of meat from your diet, cutting back on your carnivorous ways, or are simply looking to make the transition to a meat-free diet slowly, taking on a ‘semi’ or ‘partial vegetarian’ diet initially may be the way to go.

In addition to plant-based foods, a semi-vegetarian diet often include eggs, fish, as well as specific types of meat selected by the individual. For instance, as a partial vegetarian, you may cut out all forms of meat including beef, pork, and lamb, yet wish to keep chicken in your diet.

A pescetarian diet is a regime of plant-based food that excludes any form of meat with the exception of fish. If you can do without meat, but love yourself some seafood, adopting a pescatarian diet may be the diet for you.

If you are willing to cut out all forms of meat and fish, a ovo-lacto vegetarian diet may be the most suitable for you. This form of vegetarianism is a meal plan that is made up of plant foods, dairy products, and eggs. In other words, if you can’t quite part with your daily two egg omelet or hot out of the oven chocolate chip cookies, that’s okay!

If you are ready to say goodbye to eggs, a lacto-vegetarian diet has your name written all over it! As you may have guessed, this diet includes plant-based foods as well as dairy products. Can’t live without your two favorite men, Ben & Jerry? No worries!

While vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry, vegans take that one step further by removing all animal-processed foods and other items from their diet. Eggs, dairy, honey, leather, leather, fur, and other cosmetics and soaps made up of animal products are excluded from the vegan lifestyle. Vegans recognize that humans can live happy and healthier without necessitating animal suffering.

Whether you are willing to remove all, some, or most meat and animal products, there is no “right” way to adopt a vegetarian diet – it’s all about comfort and customization.

Any reduction in meat consumption is great for your health, the environment, and the animals suffering.

Learn more about the reasons to switch at

ChooseVeg is an amazing resource for those considering the switch, funded by Mercy For Animals, a non-profit.

Written by Caitlin Cowan