The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as someone living on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits, with or without the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish(*see below for definitions of shellfish) or slaughter by-products.
*Shellfish are typically a sea animal covered with a shell. The types of shellfish include crustaceans (crustacea) and molluscs (mollusca).
Crustaceans (hard external shell)
Large e.g. lobsters, crayfish, crabs
Small e.g. prawns, shrimps
Molluscs (most are protected by a shell)
E.g. mussels, oysters, winkles, limpets, clams, etc. Also includes cephalopods such as cuttlefish, squid, octopus.
The following will explain the different types of vegetarians and what they do and don't eat.
Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: This type of vegetarian eats both dairy products and eggs and is the most common type of vegetarian diet.
Lacto-vegetarian. This type of vegetarian eats dairy products but does not eat eggs.
Ovo-vegetarian. This type of vegetarian eats eggs but not dairy.
Vegan. This type of vegetarian does not eat dairy products, eggs, or any other animal product such as honey.
It is not usually necessary to understand why people choose to become vegetarian only that it is their choice not to eat animals and this should be respected.
Vegetarians do not want to eat even the smallest trace of animal products and this includes additives such as animal derived E numbers, gelatin, rennet and animal fats to name a few. So it is important to know where all these animal ingredients are hidden and this will be covered in Unit 3.
While it is important to respect your customers choice not to eat any living creature remember it is not only vegetarians that chose to eat vegetarian meals. Many of your customers will want to take advantage of the healthier option of a vegetarian meal too.