WHAT EXACTLY IS A PLANT-BASED DIET?
There are quite a few different versions of a Plant-Based Diet.
It’ll be good to start with some definitions so we land on the same page.
According to the Vegetarian Society, a vegetarian is someone who “does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal.”[
So NO eating:
Instead, vegetarians DO eat:
- Vegetables (duh)
Plants, more or less.
“Vegetarian” can be a broader term for more specific examples of plant-based eating. Some examples would be:
Lacto-ovo-vegetarians is someone who doesn’t eat animal flesh but does eat dairy and eggs. This is the most common type of vegetarian.
Lacto vegetarians don’t eat eggs but do eat dairy.
Ovo vegetarians avoid all animals products, except eggs.
Vegans avoid all animal products, including dairy and eggs and even things like honey. If it came from an animal, it’s not a part of a vegan diet. Some even take it one step further and eat only a “raw vegan” diet, where the plants consumed are not cooked before consumption.
The above are the most common forms of Plant-Based Diets, but there are others.
A pescatarian is someone who consumes no animal products except fish and shellfish.
A flexitarian is someone who follows a vegetarian diet a majority of the time, but who will occasionally eat meat.
Now granted, neither pescatarians nor flexitarians are technically vegetarians because both contain animal products on the menu.
However, they are mostly plant-based, so worth mentioning.
There are many more considerations and labels, which can tackle a lot of the ethical stances around being vegan: not wearing animal products, the treatment of animals, etc.
To be blunt, this is outside the scope of this guide.
I’m interested in “If you are going to avoid eating meat, and eat only plants, how do you do it?” So we’ll politely ignore clothing, testing, and captivity for this article.
Which brings us to…