Ovo-lacto vegetarianism

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An ovo-lacto vegetarian or lacto-ovo vegetarian (referred to as eggetarian in India) is a vegetarian who does not eat meat, but does consume some animal products such as eggs and dairy. Unlike pescatarians, they do not consume fish or other seafood. In India, eating eggs is not generally considered vegetarian. According to Food Safety and standards authority of India, it is mandatory to mark the products that contain eggs or meat products with a non-vegetarian mark while the lacto-vegetarian products should be marked with a vegetarian mark [1] A typical ovo-lacto vegetarian diet can include fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, roots, fungi, milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, and eggs.[2]


The terminology stems from the Latin lac meaning "milk" (as in 'lactation'), ovum meaning "egg", and the English term vegetarian, so as giving the definition of a vegetarian diet containing milk and eggs.


In the Western world, ovo-lacto vegetarians are the most common type of vegetarian.[3] Generally speaking, when one uses the term vegetarian an ovo-lacto vegetarian is assumed.[4] Ovo-lacto vegetarians are often well-catered to in restaurants and shops, especially in some parts of Europe and metropolitan cities in North America.


Jainism prohibits causing harm to anything with a soul or potential life. Traditionally this includes eggs and certain kinds of vegetables, as well as animals, but dairy products are permitted. Jains are therefore lacto vegetarians, not ovo-lacto vegetarians.[5]

In Hinduism, many individuals are either raised as ovo-lacto vegetarians or lacto vegetarians.[6]

The Bible Christian Church was a Christian vegetarian sect founded by William Cowherd in 1809.[7] Cowherd was one of the philosophical forerunners of the Vegetarian Society founded in 1847. The Bible Christian Church promoted the use of eggs, dairy and honey as God's given food per "the promised land flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus 3:8).[8]

Many Seventh-day Adventist followers are lacto-ovo vegetarians. For over 130 years, Seventh-day Adventists have recommended a vegetarian diet which may include milk products and eggs.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. 'Food Safety and standards (Packaging and Labelling) regulations, 2011.'. Index page
  2. ^ http://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Guidelines-Lacto-Ovo.aspx
  3. ^ "Top 7 Types of Vegetarians". 
  4. ^ "Vegetarian (Lacto-ovo vegetarian)". 
  5. ^ "Jainpedia". Archived from the original on 2017-05-24. Retrieved 2017-05-24. 
  6. ^ Surveys studying food habits of Indians include: "Diary and poultry sector growth in India", Quote:"An analysis of consumption data originating from National Sample Survey (NSS) shows that 42 percent of households are vegetarian, in that they never eat fish, meat or eggs. The remaining 58 percent of households are less strict vegetarians or non-vegetarians." "Indian consumer patterns" and "Agri reform in India". Results indicate that Indians who eat meat do so infrequently with less than 30% consuming non-vegetarian foods regularly, although the reasons may be economical. Archived June 26, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Julia Twigg (1981). "The Bible Christian Church". International Vegetarian Union. 
  8. ^ John Davis. "A History of Veganism from 1806" (PDF). International Vegetarian Union. 
  9. ^ "''A Position Statement on The Vegetarian Diet Adapted from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Nutrition Council''". SDADA. Retrieved 2011-10-03.