Vegetarian, vegan, crudivore, flexitarian… what’s for dinner?
Vegetarian, vegan, crudivore, flexitarian…you ‘d like to consume less meat but you’re quite confused about all the different types of veggie diets?
First of all, congratulations! The simple fact of questioning your consumption of animal products is the first step towards a nutrition that offers great benefits. Your health, the environment, your wallet, not to mention the animals themselves, are grateful!
Here is a brief description of the different types of vegetarianism that will help shed some light on the subject :
Also known as semi-vegetarians, are the more permissive of all vegetarians. Flexitarians will occasionally include meat in their diet. However, when possible, they will opt for organic meats or locally-grown meats in order to reduce the impact on the environment and animal suffering. Quite simply, they are responsible consumers who wish to lower their meat intake.
Being vegetarian can mean different things to different individuals. The only certainty is that the vegetarian does not consume meat (beef, porc, poultry, etc.). With regard to other animal products, they may or may not be permitted : for example, the pescatarian will eat fish and the lacto-ovo vegetarian will eat eggs and dairy products.
The vegan diet is the most restrictive of vegetarian diets. They will not consume any animal meat or animal by-product. They will consume no meat, fish and seafood, dairy, eggs, and may go as far as eliminating honey from their diet. If the animal’s welfare is not considered in its production, vegans will also avoid buying or wearing leather, suede, wool, fur and silk.
Crudivores are vegans that take it one step further : they will consume all these foods in their raw state (more specifically, foods cannot be heated above 48 degrees C). Crudivores are therefore restricted to a diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains, grain and legume sprouts, mushrooms and seaweed and vegetable oils.
As you may have noticed, a vegan food continuum exists. As a matter of fact, it is not necessary to attach a particular label to one’s nutrition, it is perfectly acceptable to move about in this vegan food continuum with ease. One type is no better than the other. As a matter of fact, regardless of the type of vegetarianism you choose, know that your choice needs not be a permanent one. Every person reacts differently to foods and it’s completely normal to try different types of diets before finding the one that’s right for you!
In closing, if a vegetarian way of life is something that interests you, but you have no idea where to start, don’t hesitate to consult a nutritionist or dietician. They can guide you, make sure you’re getting all the proper nutrients, provide a made-to-measure eating plan that works for you and even supply some recipe ideas.
Julie Brousseau, Dt.P.
i ROBBINS, John. (2011) The Food revolution. San Francisco: Conari Press. 451 pages.
*This article was updated on 2021/01/13 (initially published 20174/06/07)