DescriptionA vegetarian diet is derived from plants, with or without eggs or dairy, but without meat
VarietiesOvo, Lacto, Ovo-lacto, Veganism, Raw veganism, Fruitarianism, Buddhist vegetarianism, Jain vegetarianism

Vegetarianism əm/ is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal), and may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter.[1][2][3][4]

Vegetarianism may be adopted for various reasons. Many people object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Such ethical motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs, as well as animal rights advocacy. Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic, economic, or personal preference. There are variations of the diet as well: an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products, an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products, and a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs. A vegan diet excludes all animal products, including eggs and dairy. Some vegans also avoid other animal products such as beeswax, leather or silk clothing, and goose-fat shoe polish.

Packaged and processed foods, such as cakes, cookies, candies, chocolate, yogurt, and marshmallows, often contain unfamiliar animal ingredients, so may be a special concern for vegetarians due to the likelihood of such additions.[3][5] Often, prior to purchase or consumption, vegetarians will scrutinize products for animal-derived ingredients.[5] Vegetarians' feelings vary with regard to these ingredients. For example, while some vegetarians may be unaware of animal-derived rennet's role in the production of cheese, and may therefore unknowingly consume the product,[3][6][7] other vegetarians may not take issue with its consumption.[3][4]

Semi-vegetarian diets consist largely of vegetarian foods but may include fish or poultry, or sometimes other meats, on an infrequent basis. Those with diets containing fish or poultry may define meat only as mammalian flesh and may identify with vegetarianism.[8][9] A pescetarian diet has been described as "fish but no other meat".[10] The common-use association between such diets and vegetarianism has led vegetarian groups such as the Vegetarian Society to state that diets containing these ingredients are not vegetarian, because fish and birds are also animals.[11]


The first discovered written use of the term "vegetarian" dates to 1839 and refers to what was previously described as a vegetable regimen or diet, for example in print in 1811.[12] Modern dictionaries based on scientific linguistic principles have always explained its origin as an irregular compound of vegetable (in the adjectival sense of any plant still common today)[13] and the suffix -arian (in the sense of "supporter, believer" as in humanitarian), but there were amateur attempts, even by a Latin scholar not trained in linguistics, to find other origins of the word.[14] The term was popularized with the foundation of the Vegetarian Society in Manchester in 1847,[15] although it may have appeared in print before 1847.[15][16][17] The earliest occurrences of the term seem to be related to Alcott House—a school on the north side of Ham Common, London—which was opened in July 1838 by James Pierrepont Greaves.[16][17][18] From 1841, it was known as A Concordium, or Industry Harmony College, from which time the institution began to publish its own pamphlet entitled The Healthian, which provides some of the earliest appearances of the term "vegetarian".[16]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Vegetarisme
Ænglisc: Flǣsclēas Ǣt
العربية: نباتية
asturianu: Vexetarianismu
azərbaycanca: Vegetarianlıq
Bân-lâm-gú: Sò͘-si̍t
беларуская: Вегетарыянства
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Вэгетарыянства
български: Вегетарианство
čeština: Vegetariánství
Cymraeg: Llysieuaeth
Deutsch: Vegetarismus
Ελληνικά: Χορτοφαγία
español: Vegetarianismo
Esperanto: Vegetarismo
français: Végétarisme
Gàidhlig: Glasraicheachd
ગુજરાતી: શાકાહારી
한국어: 채식주의
हिन्दी: शाकाहार
Bahasa Indonesia: Vegetarian
íslenska: Grænmetisæta
italiano: Vegetarianismo
עברית: צמחונות
Basa Jawa: Vegetarian
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಸಸ್ಯಾಹಾರ
latviešu: Veģetārisms
lietuvių: Vegetarizmas
Livvinkarjala: Kazvossyöndy
la .lojban.: nalre'ucti
मैथिली: शाकाहार
македонски: Вегетаријанство
मराठी: शाकाहारी
Bahasa Melayu: Vegetarian
Mirandés: Begetarianismo
Nederlands: Vegetarisme
नेपाली: शाकाहार
नेपाल भाषा: शाकाहार
日本語: 菜食主義
norsk nynorsk: Vegetarianisme
occitan: Vegetarisme
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: ଶାକାହାର
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Vegetarianlik
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਸ਼ਾਕਾਹਾਰ
português: Vegetarianismo
română: Vegetarianism
Simple English: Vegetarianism
slovenčina: Vegetariánstvo
slovenščina: Vegetarijanstvo
српски / srpski: Vegetarijanstvo
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Vegetarijanstvo
svenska: Vegetarianism
Tagalog: Panggugulayin
тоҷикӣ: Гиёҳхӯрӣ
Türkçe: Vejetaryenlik
українська: Вегетаріанство
Tiếng Việt: Ăn chay
文言: 茹素
粵語: 食素
Zazaki: Vejetaryen
中文: 素食主義