Monday, 26 May 2014

Vegetarian Ignorance

I feel the need to get this off my chest.  I have been a vegetarian for the past 15 years and frustratingly, I still come across people do not know what a vegetarian does and does not eat!  Often when I tell someone I am vegetarian I get asked the same old questions like 'But do you eat fish?' or 'You must eat chicken/bacon sometimes?' or 'Do you eat eggs?'.

So to answer the above questions in turn...

There is no such thing as 'a vegetarian that eats fish', if you eat fish but not meat then I think you will find you are a pescetarian.

A flexitarian (aka semi vegetarian) is the label for someone who follows a mostly vegetarian diet but occasionally includes meat in their diet.

Lastly, a vegan is someone who refrains from consuming animal products, eggs, dairy products and other animal derived substances.

Even restaurants can be guilty of not understanding the term vegetarian.  I remember an office Christmas meal a couple of years back where the vegetarian option was Lobster!

To clarify, a vegetarian does NOT eat any meat or fish.  They do eat dairy products.  A strict vegetarian does also not eat products with any animal or animal fats in, for example a LOT of yogurts contain pork or beef gelatine. 
Vegetarian burger, chips and salad
A favourite on many a pub menu!

If you ever find yourself cooking for a vegetarian and using cheese, always check that the cheese is suitable for vegetarians as some types (like parmesan) can contain pork rennet.  Also, some beer contains isinglass (from the swim bladders of fish) and some cider and wine contain gelatine.

Was any of this news to you?  Do you personally follow one of the above mentioned diets?


  1. wow love this post! I've been a pescetarian for the last year and get extremely irritated by the questions! Thanks for following my blog I will follow yours now too! Lets connect via twitter too! @imanifandt