Friday, 13 January 2012

What vegetarian is that?


When I became vegetarian, life was simple.  You were either a vegetarian or you weren't.  Sure I knew a few vegans but that was it.  Since then, I've read many books, found lots of ideas in the blogosphere and had many conversations about what to call vegetarians (and wannabe vegetarians).

Here is a guide to vegetarian names, labels and terms I have come across.  Please bear in mind that some are not strictly vegetarian and some are tongue in cheek.  It was quite a challenge matching pictures with terms, but lots of fun.  Hope you enjoy them:

Lacto ovo vegetarian
Eats no meat or products of the flesh but will eat dairy, eggs and honey.  Often referred to as just vegetarians.  This is me so it seems quite normal but I know others can still find it challenging.

Strict vegetarian OR Vegan
Eat no meat, products of the flesh, dairy or eggs.  Check out Vegan MoFo if you want to see how well Vegans eat.

Gleegan
Eats a GLuten-free, vEGAN diet. If you think it is restrictive, check out local gleegan blog, In the Mood for Noodles.

Beegan
Eats a vegan diet plus honey.

Fruitarian
Eats fruits, nuts and seeds, without animal products, vegetables and grains. The idea is to only eat produce that fall from trees and plants rather than vegetables that are part of a plant.  I met a few on my travels.  They like WWOOFing.

Breathatarian
Lives on fresh air and sunshine.  I've never met one though I have met a few kids who seem to be heading in that direction!

Beady eyed vegetarian
Eats creatures with beady eyes.  This usually means they don't eat red meat (cows, pigs and larger animals) but they eat pale flesh of chickens, other birds and fish.  Maybe it is easier to refuse an animal with big eyes.

Pescatarian or Aquatarian or Fish and chipocrite
Eats a vegetarian diet plus fish.  I love the fish and chipocrite term that I learnt from a friend who defined herself that way.  It just rolls off the tongue so nicely.

Semi vegetarian or Flexitarian or Freedom eater
Eats vegetarian quite a lot but not all the time (and in the case of Chele's friend the "freedom eater", labels himself vegetarian when it suits him).  These people are very supportive of Meatless Mondays.

Carbitarian
Lover of carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and rice.  Often young kids.

Freegans
AKA dumpster divers.  Reclaims and eats food that has been discarded by others.  Also see amazing The Gleaners and I documentary.

Raw foodist
Eats uncooked and unprocessed foods that have not been heated above 40 C (give or take according to who you listen to).  Predominantly but not necessarily vegan.  There are heaps of raw food blogs.  I like Choosing Raw.

Pesky-tarian
Everyone with any sort of dietary restriction, whether by choice or not.  I saw this hilarious term on Where's the Beef.

Update July 2012: just saw a new term - hegan 
Update Oct 2012 - another new term - nutrttarian
Update Feb 2013 - What kind of Vegetarian are you? in The Guardian, 28 Jan 2013 

And what do vegetarians eat?
Well the top photo shows a selection of  my groceries.  However I really think this is the ideal place to share my favourite alternative faux meat terminology: facon, tricken, shamburgers, beetloaf, chilli non carne.  Any more?

26 comments:

  1. How about Beegan? A vegan who eats honey?

    I am firmly in the flexatarian, animal product reducer camp.

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    1. Thanks Helen - that is great! I love word play.

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  2. If I know the creature has had a free ranging, cruelty free life, I don't mind eating it, so if it comes from Thunderheart Bison, I'm a hamburgertarian. Otherwise I'm a pescatarian who chooses selectively to avoid the overfished, endangered, and the toxically farmed in ag runoff. I do have selected cheats. When I'm really sick with a cold, I have to have caldo from the mexican food place, which contains chicken broth, so for that day only, I'm a chickentarian. Cage free eggs, or "yard eggs" are good. I just want to see the end of cruelty and abuse of animals who are kind enough to be our food.

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    1. Thanks Bliss - have you read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Mineral - she talks about why she is not vegetarian any more in a very articulate way - I love the term hamburgertarian

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    2. I loved Kingsolver's novel "Poisonwood Bible". I have not read her "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" but I do admire her willingness to experiment with eating only what you can grow yourself. I did hear an interview with her about her food book, and I found her reasoning against vegetarianism ridiculous. It is a mantra I'm hearing lately in the mass media, that vegetarianism is unsustainable because crop cultivation displaces wildlife and causes uncounted deaths from pesticides.

      Vegetarians, perhaps more than all other people, or at least as much as anybody else, look for the organic, local and seasonal, and if Kingsolver thinks bunnies are displaced by vegetable crops, she should consider what is fed to the cows for conventional beef production. They put them in horrendous confined feeding operations so they'll practically eat themselves to death on corn. In Brazil, the land being stolen from indigenous sustenance farmers is being planted with soy for animal feed. Oy. Everybody is allowed to pursue their own perfect world I guess.

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  3. great post! i have struggle to describe how i eat...so i call myself a plant-based eater who does not consume dairy or meat...it's been working for me...sometimes i have the energy to get into the discussions and sometimes i don't...i'm a busy 40 year old mom...

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    1. Thanks Eva - I think part of my reasoning behind going vegetarian was that if I said I was vegetarian there was some sort of shared understanding without having to go into a lot of detail - though as I don't like eggs I often say I am vegetarian but don't like eggs because people often assume I must eat eggs for nutrients

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  4. Firstly, the 'Fish and chipocrite' made me burst out in to laughter! This post was great! There does seem to be so many different classifications these days, so this helped clear things up. As for me, I'm a vegetarian/lactose intolerant/part-time vegan/serious carbitarian :D See, easy?!

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    1. fish and chippocrite is priceless isn't it! if only we could all find such great terms to describe our diet - your sounds complicated

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  5. Love this! Remember the Simpsons episode where Lisa falls in love with an animal rights activist? Calls himself "a level seven vegan - I don't eat anything with a shadow."

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    1. Thanks Almea - I just haven't watched enough simpsons to know all the great lines but this sounds like a classic

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  6. I enjoyed your post Johanna, I am definitely just a bog standard vegetarian, but I have friends who are Pescatarians and raw foodists.

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    1. Thanks Jac - I don't know any raw foodists - but know plenty of other permutations - we joke about our workplace because we have such a range of dietary requirements there

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  7. This was a really entertaining post. As someone who moves between categories (so I suppose is really a Flexitarian) it was also interesting to read some of the names applied to different approaches, even if tongue in cheek :)

    Also, I like your new reply to comments thingy! How did you do it?? I've gone through so many iterations on my blog I retain huge curiousity in comment replying matters.

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    1. Thanks Kari - the whole range of names shows how diverse people's diets are these days. As for the reply on the comments - it is a new thing by blogger and I was quite surprised to see it but am seeing how I go replying to individual comments rather than enmasse - feel a bit odd but I think I will get used to it

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  8. Many of my friends in Canberra are "vegequarians"... seems there are a lot of names for those who eat seafood and not other meat! "Beady eyed vegetarians" gives me the collywobbles for some reason.

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    1. Thanks Hannah - people often ask if I eat fish when I say I am vegetarian and I find this odd - maybe if one of these terms became more commonplace it would be more useful for identifying a diet - I guess once upon a time people only talked about vegetarians and "vegan" emerged to differentiate the stricter vegetarians so maybe there is hope :-)

      I heard beady eyed vegetarians on the radio and it made me laugh.

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  9. Love, love, love 'fish and chipocrite' and pesky-tarian. I think I fall into the latter category with food allergies.

    Fab post - love all the pics, thank you so much for sharing these thoughts!

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  10. Thanks for the link Johanna and grea post clarifying different terms!

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  11. This post reminded me of the fruitarian in the movie Notting Hill. Interesting information.

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  12. I do love that fish and chipocrite term, it always makes me laugh. Your post has made me ponder about soy-free vegans and gluten-free plus soy-free vegans. Should we call them soygans and gleesoygans?

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  13. I sometimes describe myself as a Penitentiarian - I would only eat meat if I was in gaol :-)

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  14. Ooh, I am in your list! I don't define myself as any kind of vegetarian (on account of the fact that I eat meat, so it seems like cheating), but we do tend to have three or four meat-free days per week, so I guess that makes us semi-vegetarian.

    I know a lot of pesky-tarians, my husband not being the least of them. But I can't complain, because my pesky-tarian friends have definitely made me a better and more creative cook...

    It's interesting the ways in which vegetarianism is and isn't mainstream. In our circle of friends, it's one of the standard / easy dietary requirements to work around, and most people I know would have at least one signature veggie dish, but when I went vegetarian for Lent, my mother got quite worried about what to feed us for lunch one day - when a standard weekend lunch is usually things like bread, cheese, salad, ham (which neither Andrew or I eat anyway), and maybe ratatouille or frittata anyway. It's hardly difficult to make a vegetarian meal out of that, but somehow calling it vegetarian made it all scary...

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  15. Kangatarian - vegetarian except eats kangaroo. Aus-centric, naturally!!

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  16. I'm mighty chuffed to see pesky-tarian make it to your excellent glossary! We always say it with affection, of course. :-)

    I enjoyed your picture-matching to terms, too.

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