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What is vegan/vegetarian?

Juliet Gellatley, BSc, Dip CNM, Nutritional Therapist and founder & director of Viva! and VVF

What is a vegetarian?

A vegetarian doesn’t eat red meat (such as lamb, beef, pork, bacon etc), white meat (poultry such as chicken, duck and turkey), fish (eg anchovies, salmon, cod etc) or other water life (eg prawns, lobsters, crabs, oysters, shellfish etc) or slaughterhouse by-products (eg gelatine, animal fat, lard or animal rennet). There are estimated to be some 5 million vegetarians in the UK.
Most vegetarians fit this category. It means vegetarians who don’t eat meat or fish but do eat dairy products and eggs.
A vegetarian who eats dairy products but no eggs. 
A vegetarian who eats eggs but no dairy products.

What is a vegan?

A vegan eats legumes (eg beans of all sorts, lentils, peas), grains (eg cereals, bread, pasta, rice etc), fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables. Vegans do not eat any animal products at all – so no meat, fish or slaughterhouse by-products like a vegetarian – but additionally exclude dairy products, eggs and honey.

Most vegans also choose not to wear animal products such as fur, wool, silk or leather due to the exploitation (and usually death) of the animals concerned in order to derive them.

The easy way to remember vegetarians eat nothing from slaughtered animals; vegans eat nothing from living or dead animals.