Vegan Vs Vegetarian Naming

Posted On
July 27, 2018
An Article By
Mark

A recent split between the New Zealand Vegetarian Society (NZVS) and its Christchurch branch has highlighted the controversy around vegetarian versus vegan naming conventions. 

The newly established Christchurch Vegan Society (CVS) wishes to rebrand with a more ‘vegan’ centred approach while the NZ Vegetarian Society feels the term ‘vegetarian’ encompasses both veganism and vegetarianism equally.

Here at Vegetarians NZ we believe veg*n’s are a diverse bunch of people all with differing opinions, beliefs and reasons behind their choices – it is essential that we respect each other’s right to make individual choices. What’s important is that we share the same goal –inspiring people to think more about the consumption and treatment of animals, environment effects and general health and well-being. 

Types Of Vegetarianism

Understanding the differences between the levels of vegetarianism can help us gain a greater appreciation for this debate and why some feel the distinction is necessary.

Vegan

Whether for environmental, ethical or health related reasons (or a mixture of all three) vegans do not consume any animal products. This includes any items containing animal by-products like gelatin, lanolin or beeswax. This means no red meat, no pork, no chicken, no fish and no dairy or eggs.

Some vegans also choose not to purchase clothing, household items or other everyday things that are made from animals, for example, leather or wool products.

Vegetarian

While the term vegetarian is commonly used to describe those who choose not to eat the meat of animals and their by-products, the actual real-life application of vegetarianism often takes a broader approach. In Order to be more specific, vegetarian classifications can include Ovo Vegetarian, Lacto Vegetarian and Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian.

The majority of vegetarians tend to focus more on the diet side of the equation, with more flexibility when it comes to everyday products and household items that are made from animal products, things like leather and wool etc.

  • Ovo Vegetarian. These types of vegetarians eat eggs but no meat or dairy products.
  • Lacto Vegetarian. These types of vegetarians eat dairy products such as milk and cheese, but no meat or eggs.
  • Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian. These types of vegetarians eat dairy products and eggs, but no meat.

Pescatarian (sometime spelt Pescetarian)

Although not technically a type of vegetarian, Pescatarian’s tend to restrict meat consumption to seafood only, so no red meat, pork or chicken. Also sometimes called “semi-vegetarian”.

Pollotarian

The Pollotarian also follows the semi-vegetarian concept, restricting meat consumption to chicken or other poultry. No red meat, pork or seafood.

Flexitarian

While technically not vegetarian, the term flexitarian is used to loosely describe those who choose to eat the majority of meals meat-free.

Veg*n

The term veg*n refers to all types of people on the vegan to vegetarian continuum.

Plant-Based

A phrase that is becoming more popular when referring to veg*nism, the term ‘plant-based’ also embraces both the vegetarian and vegan communities.

For more information on becoming a vegetarian check out our article on ‘Going Vegetarian’ or if you are interested in finding out more about farm animal cruelty in New Zealand take a look at this one on the Voiceless Animal Cruelty Index. Already a vegetarian and thinking about going vegan? See this  helpful guide to purchasing vegan products in New Zealand.

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