Difference between vegan and vegetarian

Vegans reject any form of animal product consumption. This includes not only yogurt, cheese and other dairy products, but also wool, leather, silk and down. Cosmetics or detergents are also taboo if they contain animal raw materials or if their compatibility has been tested on animals.

Vegetarians forgo meat, most commonly out of a sense of responsibility for animals. Often, ecological and health reasons also play a role. The VEBU, an advocacy group for vegans and vegetarians living in Germany, estimates that the number of vegetarians in Germany is more than 7 million.

There are many different kinds of vegetarianism:

  • The “Classical“ Vegetarian, also known as the “Ovo-Lacto-Vegetarian“. They eat neither meat, nor poultry, nor fish. However, their menu does include eggs, as well as milk and dairy products.
  • The Ovo-Vegetarian eats eggs, but no meat, poultry, or fish and no milk or dairy products.
  • The Lacto-Vegetarian consumes milk and dairy products, but no meat, poultry, or fish, and no eggs.
  • The Ovo-Lacto-Pescatarian forgoes meat and poultry, but eats fish (as well as eggs and dairy products).
  • The Flexitarians are a growing group. They keep a largely vegetarian diet, but occasionally eat meat of good quality.
  • Some people avoid red meat, but consume poultry and fish. Sometimes, these people are known as half-vegetarian.

Similar to these subgroups of vegetarians, there is also a subgroup of vegans: the fruitarians. They adhere to even stricter rules than other vegans. Fruitarians mainly eat fruits, nuts and seeds. They try not to damage a plant - which is why, in extreme cases, they only eat fallen fruit. According to the strict doctrine for fruitarians, many vegetables are taboo: Potatoes and carrots grow, for example, in the soil. Their harvest is possible only by damaging or even destroying the plant. This is not acceptable to fruitarians. Official estimate of the number of fruitarians in Germany do not exist.