Lacto-ovo Vegetarian

What Is a Vegetarian ?

When most people think of vegetarians, they think of lacto-ovo-vegetarians: People who do not eat beef, pork, poultry, fish, shellfish or animal flesh of any kind, but do eat eggs and dairy products are lacto-ovo vegetarians (“lacto” comes from the Latin for milk, and “ovo” for egg). This is the most common in North America.


Vegetarian Food Pyramids

Lacto-ovo Vegetarians

Lacto-vegetarian is used to describe a vegetarian who does not eat eggs, but does eat dairy products. Many Hindu vegetarians are lacto-vegetarians who avoid eggs for religious reasons while continuing to eat dairy.

Ovo-vegetarian refers to people who do not eat meat or dairy products but do eat eggs. Some people are ovo-vegetarians because they are lactose-intolerant.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians, like many other types of plant-based eaters, purposely avoid the consumption of products that have come at the sacrifice of animals. Their philosophy differs from vegans in that lacto-ovo vegetarians make an exception for protein sources derived from living animals. Egg-laying chickens and lactating cows, they reason, yield edibles that can easily be obtained without harming the creature. Because so many of today's prepared foods and assorted consumer goods contain some combination of milk, dairy, or both followers of lacto-ovo vegetarianism have access to a wider range of mainstream and easily accessible products than their vegan counterparts.