Nowadays, and it has happened to all of us, you find yourself eating out with your friends in a nice place, everything is going well, it’s time to order and someone asks for something off-menu or that seems particularly exotic. Naturally, you ask, “Oh, are you a vegetarian?” Bewilderment, displeasure or condescension at your ignorance are not far off and your friend may hesitate to explain the different categories, or rather, just state that yes, indeed, they are vegetarian. To keep the peace until dessert and maintain a good relationship thereafter, have a look at the following guide.
Among vegetarians, there exists any combination of the following diets:
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: A person who eats milk and eggs as well as products derived from them (butter, yogurt, bread, etc.) They don’t eat any kind of meat.
- Lacto-vegetarian: A person who eats dairy products and foods based on dairy products, but excludes all meat and eggs.
- Ovo-vegetarian: A person who does not eat meat or dairy but does consume eggs.
- Pescatarian: A person who does not eat meat but does consume fish and other seafood.
- Pollotarian: A person who eats poultry, but not red meat or pork.
- Flexitarian: Generally does not eat meat, but will make exceptions.
- Fruitarian: A person who only eats fruits. (Not considered safe or healthy.)
- Raw Vegan: A plant-based diet that involves no cooking. Only raw, fresh, or fermented foods.
- Granivore: A person who eats a principally grain-based diet.
- Apivegetarian: A person who doesn’t eat meat but does consume honey.
And finally, veganism: This is the strictest of the diets as it prohibits the consumption of all animal products; no fish, no milk, no eggs, and no foods derived from them, including honey, gelatin, or insects, in addition to non-food products that come from or have exploited an animal in any way.
Any one of these options can be good on moral or health grounds as long as you keep your diet balanced and don’t get too neurotic by making your life impossible trying to achieve it.