It seems to me that a lot of people think there is one standard definition for a vegetarian and that any variation is not acceptable. These people are sadly misled because there are actually several different types of vegetarianism.
Some vegetarians are stricter than others and therefore they follow a more rigid diet. The most popular varieties of vegetarianism are ovo-, lacto-, ovo-lacto, semi- and vegan.
- Ovo-vegetarian: includes eggs but not dairy
- Lacto-vegetarian: includes dairy but not eggs
- Ovo-lacto vegetarian: includes both eggs and dairy
- Semi-vegetarian: includes fish and/or free-range poultry
Every one of these diets is similar, except for semi-vegetarian, in that they exclude all forms of meat. Semi-vegetarians consume fish and/or poultry because they define meat only as “mammalian flesh”, as defined by Wikipedia.
Vegans are a completely different breed of vegetarian, if you ask me, but I will discuss that at a later date.
As you can see, not all vegetarians are alike. We all have our reasons for eating, or not eating, what we do, and there is no right or wrong way to be a vegetarian. Vegetarianism is a personal lifestyle choice (key word being ‘personal’) and everyone has the right to define the parameters of their life.