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It’s good for you. It’s good for animals. And it’s good for the planet.  So why not?

If you’re new to vegetarianism there can be a lot to learn. But it’s a great adventure. Get ready to feel better and experience a whole new world of eating.

When you join the NZ Vegetarian Society, we send you more comprehensive information and tips to live well on a vegetarian/vegan diet. You’ll find reasons to go veg, tips on how to go veg, recipes and lots more.

What is a Vegetarian?

  • Vegan: A person who does not eat, wear or use any products derived from animals. A person who seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. Vegans don’t eat any animal products (such as meat, fish, shellfish, crustacea, poultry, eggs, milk, honey) and their derivatives.
  • Vegetarian: A person who, for whatever reason (eg moral, health, religious), does not eat meat (red meat, poultry, fish, shellfish or crustacea) or by-products of slaughter.
  • Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: Vegetarian who eats both dairy products and eggs.
  • Lacto Vegetarian: Vegetarian who eats dairy products but avoids eggs.
  • Ovo Vegetarian: Vegetarian who eats eggs but not dairy products.
  • Pescetarian: Avoids red meat and poultry but eats fish. Not a vegetarian.

Eggs: Many vegetarians eat only free-range eggs. This is due to welfare objections to the intensive farming of hens.

There are, of course, overlaps between these categories, and most people will be a variation of these. For example, a vegetarian may eat free range eggs but avoid leather and animal tested products.

We need definitions for clarity, but in reality, people may make equally ethically-based choices but come to different conclusions based on personal prioritisation.

As a new or experienced vegetarian or vegan, you may have come to your lifestyle choice for various reasons. We can support you with information both about the nutritional aspects of being vegetarian and about ethical aspects too. At our gatherings and in our magazine Vegetarian Living NZ, you will find articles and discussions about the impact our diet has on the environment, health and how real compassion for animals is enacted.