Vegetarian Diet Series (Part I): What Kind Of Vegetarian Are You?

2 min read

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day, but since vegetarianism is such a vast topic it deserves a better treatment. Which is why, here at DawaiBox Health Reads we will be celebrating it as World Vegetarian Week, making it a series of 6 articles. Stay Tuned!

Kicking the series off with the very first article,

“What Kind Of Vegetarian Are You?”

History time: The earliest recorded practice of vegetarianism can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization. And of course, vegetarianism flourished in India under Mahavir’s doctrine of non-violence (Ahimsa). But did you know that in the west, vegetarians were called “Pythagoreans”?

Apparently, Pythagoras was believed to be a strict vegetarian. Who knew!

It is weird reading about “Vegetarianism” or “My Vegan Journey” on the internet! Raise your hand if you have ever come across an online testimonial about “How I became a Vegetarian and it changed my life!” or “I was Vegetarian for a decade and now I regret it!”…  In any other parts of the world “Vegetarian” is a diet, but if you live in the Indian subcontinent, it’s simply a way of life. And mind you I am aware that many a people in the subcontinent are not pure Vegetarians, which is exactly what the point of this article is.

Contrary to the rigid definitions set by pseudoscientific societies, vegetarianism is a diverse and all-encompassing lifestyle. I even know of some people who enjoy eating meat occasionally but 99% of the times, they are mindfully vegetarians. But for the sake of understanding, here are types of vegetarian diets that people are known to follow across the world-

1. Vegan

The most strict form of vegetarianism that for some stems from religious beliefs and for others it stems from love and non-violence towards animals! This kind of vegetarianism forbids using or consuming anything that comes from an animal. So no milk, no eggs, no honey, no leather boots and of course no chicken, meat and fish!

You might then think what else is left to eat then? Well, a LOT actually! Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Beans, and Pulses. A Vegan diet can be diverse and sustainable. Know more about the Vegan Diet,

Being Vegan: Everything you need to know about Veganism!

2. Lacto- Vegetarians

Same as vegans except they do also include milk and milk products in their diet. Most strict vegetarian Hindu sects are Lacto-Vegetarians.

3. Ovo-Vegetarians

Strict vegetarians that are otherwise vegans but tend to consume eggs and egg products.

4. Ovo-Lacto-Vegetarians

Vegetarians that tend to include both milk and eggs in their diet.

5. Pesco-Vegetarian

Well here comes an eyebrow raiser! Vegetarians that include or traditionally have been including fish and fish products in their diet. A lot of people argue over this and Vegetarian Society does not even acknowledge this form of vegetarianism. But people of Indian coastal regions and Japan have been pescetarians for generations. They don’t necessarily see fish as a meat as it is available in abundance to them, unlike most meats!


Now those were 5 commonly recognized types of Vegetarians, but there also exists a vast majority of Ovo-Lacto-Occasionally-meat-n-fish-O-Vegetarians (like myself) that consider ourselves as mostly vegetarians 😛

So, what type of Vegetarian are you??

Next up will be “Science-Backed Health Benefits Of Vegetarian Diets”. Watch this space!


Soniya Nikam, MS, RD.

Soniya Nikam, MS, RD.

She is a Registered Dietitian who does not believe in dieting; She has a Master's Degree in Nutrition but she is not your "I know it all Nutrition Guru!"; She loves food but loves talking about food even more. Her articles are a direct reflection of her personal quest where nutrition science meets real life! Oh, and she is owned by a 3 m.o. naughty kitten :)

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