Differences among vegan-related terms

Vegetarian or vegan? What the heck is a freegan or a flexitarian?! Find out here.

Vegetarian

The easiest to understand: Practicing vegetarianism means abstaining from the consumption of all kinds of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal).

The reasons behind it might be related to animal slaughter or just to lead a healthier way of life.

Variations of the diet include ovo-lacto vegetarian (which allows both eggs and dairy products), ovo-vegetarian (only eggs), and lacto-vegetarian (only dairy products but not eggs).

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Vegan

Also known in French as végétalien (a pretty cool name), vegans not only stay away from meat but from all products with animal source.

Strongly attached to animal slaughter rejection, veganism usually means love for all animals. That’s why some of them also avoid other products such as beeswax, and leather or silk clothing.

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Freegan

A freegan’s goal is to reduce food waste, which means they don’t stay away from all animal products.

Sometimes they might eat them, for example to honor cultural traditions (like Thanksgiving).

Freeganism consists on feeding on anything that you come across or find available without letting it go to waste.

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Pescetarian (or pescatarian)

According to Merriam-Webster, the term is a portmanteau of the Italian word for fish (pesce) and the English word “vegetarian”.

Pescetarians are people who normally eat seafood, dairy, and eggs, but no other meat.

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Raw vegan

The reason behind “raw veganism” is usually to achieve a healthier lifestyle -although there are some cases where cooked food has proved to have more nutrients.

Fans of the “raw” way of life (really hard to keep up!) can be vegans or omnivores: food just has to be raw.

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Beegan

The beegan diet is a slight twist to the vegan diet that includes honey. Probably invented because it sounds cool.

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Paleo-vegan (or pegan)

If there’s a beegan diet, there had to be a pegan one.

The paleo wave is famous worlwide; the pegan diet combines a vegan diet with a Paleolithic diet.

Mainly based on the consumption of plants, seeds, and lots of proteins. The vegan part? Less or no meat at all.

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Locavore

Locavores focus on eating local food.

Also known as the “local food movement”, it aims to eat foods which are grown or farmed close to the places of sale and preparation.

They also help to connect producers and consumers in the same geographic region, to improve local economies.

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Flexitarian

For those who just can’t abandon meat entirely.

If you’re not ready to commit to a full-on vegetarian lifestyle but do want to reduce your meat consumption, this diet is for you. This is similar to freeganism but flexitarianism isn’t related to food waste.

The term emerged in the late 90s to describe people who are largely vegetarian but still occasionally consume meat and other animal products.

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