☆ Different Types of Vegetarian/Vegan. Garlic, Diary, Egg or not? (In Asia)


One might not fit into any of these categories of vegetarians, but understanding them will help one to be more sensitive and knowledgeable when socializing with people.

Different Types of Vegetarians
These category does not take meat & fish.
Lacto-Vegetarian: No eggs but take dairy products.
Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian: Take both eggs and dairy products.
Ovo-Vegetarian: Take eggs but no diary products. (Rarer)
Buddhist Vegetarian: Some take eggs, some do not. Most take diary products but do not take vegetables in the allium family: onion, garlic, scallion, leek, chive, or shallot.
Hindu Vegetarian: Some take eggs, some do not. Most take both diary products and vegetables in the allium family.
Pesco-Vegetarian: Take fish/seafood but does not eat any other meats.
Pollo-Vegetarian: Take poultry (chicken etc.) but does not eat red meats (beef etc.)
Flextarian: Take mainly vegetarian food but will eat meat occasionally.
Vegan: No meat/fish, eggs, dairy products or any other animal products.
Raw Vegan: Take only fresh & uncooked fruit/nuts/seeds/vegetables. Vegetables can only be cooked up to a certain temperature.
Fruitarian: Take only fruit/nuts/seeds, and other plant matter that can be gathered without harming the plant. 
Why this post?
There are various compelling reasons for me to write this post because:
  • Some vegetarians/vegans are not showing sensitivity and tactfulness to other types of vegetarians/vegans different from them.
  • Some omnivores are confused on why some vegetarians eat eggs, onion, garlic, cheese etc while some do not.
  • Some religious vegetarians who do not take the allium family i.e. onion, garlic etc will label you as non-vegetarian when you take these.
Vegan/Vegetarian's Comparison Among Themselves
We should love any humans who can give up meat and have a big heart for animals, but it is disheartening to see vegetarians/vegans comparing among themselves about the level of 'pureness' in their diet.
Online, some vegans try to force-sell their beliefs on veganism, but they forgot that every vegetarians are already doing their part for animals, humanity and planet and this is commendable and enough to deserve respect as compared to people who could not give up meat. Let's respect, love and embrace one another instead of comparing and judging.
Many vegetarians are well-aware of the diary farm cruelty, it could be due to various reasons like social, family or whatsoever that they choose not to forgo diary milk or cheese. It's their lives and their choices. It is perfectly fine to share information and videos of diary farm cruelty industry, but refrain from making harsh comments on vegetarians who take diary, especially in a vegetarian (not vegan) group. No matter what, these vegetarians are humane enough not to kill and eat meat just to satisfy their tongue.
Common Reasons For Being Vegetarians/Vegans
Vegetarianism are adopted for different reasons. People always ask if I can eat this and that, my answer is often: "I can eat anything but I choose not to eat certain things". Like most people, I am a vegetarian because I choose to, for health, animals, humanity and environment.
In Asia, when you tell people you are a vegetarian, 99.9% of the time, the first question that you are going to be posted is: "are you vegetarian due to religion?" Why? Because Buddhism and Hinduism are common here. If you are in the West, you will never get this question as most are vegetarians/vegans due to health, animal and environment etc, any reasons except religions.

Vegetarian Due To Religion (Buddhist and Hindu)
Vegetarianism/veganism is a lifestyle and is a trend that has picked up tremendously over the years in the West whereby people do it for health, animals, humanity and environment. In Asia, many do it for religion e.g. Buddhism and Hinduism. 

For Buddhist Vegetarians, different Buddhist traditions have different teachings on diet, some eat eggs, some do not. Most take diary products but do not take vegetables in the allium family  i.e. onion, garlic, scallions, leeks, chives, or shallots.
Some Hindu Vegetarians take eggs, some do not. Most take dairy products and vegetables in the allium family. 
In Asia, if you are a Chinese vegetarians, you are mostly automatically assumed to be Buddhist vegetarian who cannot take garlic, onion etc. And a lot of Buddhist vegetarians would label any vegetarians/vegans who take onion and garlic as non-vegetarian. They often comment that this certain dish contains garlic and onion thus it is not vegetarian, but egg is vegetarian to some of them.

Many of my vegetarian/vegan friends from the West find this surprising, they have a hard time understanding the reason for abstaining from garlic and onion especially when these are scientifically proven to be good for health. But for religious reason, it is not advisable to consume. You can easily Google the reasons behind this religion teaching, and I shall not elaborate.
I hope this post serves my purpose to make this world of vegetarianism/veganism a more beautiful one. Please be nice and do not leave negative remarks. Vegetarians/vegans are calm and nice people.

Dedicated the below translation for the Chinese readers:


不是每个人因佛教成为素食主义者。 有许多种素食主义者, 这只是其中的几个:
Lacto-Vegetarian 乳素食者:不吃蛋,但吃奶制品。
Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian 奶蛋素食者:吃鸡蛋和奶制品。
Ovo-Vegetarian 蛋素食:吃鸡蛋,但不吃奶制品。
Buddhist vegetarian 教素食者:不同的佛教传统有不同的饮食教导,有些吃鸡蛋,有些则不吃。大多吃奶制品,但不吃洋葱,大蒜,大葱,韭菜,细香葱,或青葱。
Hindu Vegetarian 印度素食有些吃鸡蛋,有些则不吃。吃奶制品和蔬菜中的葱家庭。
Vegan: 不吃蛋, 也不吃奶制品。


  1. Thanks for sharing this post! It is so true! I'm from US. When I visited Malaysia and Singapore years back, the waiters all just assumed I'm vegetarian coz of religion and that I couldn't take garlic, onion. I was thinking WHY! Now I totally got it!

    1. Glad I brought some light to your years of mystery ;)

  2. I'm vegan myself, I personally also do not like to see vegans putting vegetarians down about them having cheese and diary. You are right, the vegetarians at least did not kill animals to satisfy their appetite, that is good enough. Thanks for the post. LOVE PEACE.

    1. Hi, thanks for dropping by and the lovely message.

  3. I'm a vegan, thanks for the post. I'm surprised that there are vegetarians who do not take garlic and onion to think that dishes which contain these are non-vegetarian-food to them. In our country, any food without meat and diary or any animal content is vegan. Your post opened our eyes, thanks.

    1. Hi, thanks, I'm glad my post provided you with knowledge of some vegetarians in Asia.

  4. [ Smiles ] Thank you for highlighting the different types of vegetarians,

    1. Hi Renard, hope this post let you have a better understanding of Asian vegetarians too.

      Been a long time you are around, how have you been, my friend? :)

  5. Thanks for the enlightening on the different types of vegetarians in Asia, it is good to take note if I ever visit Asia countries, thank you so much.

    1. You are most welcome, Jordan, thanks for leaving a note ;)

  6. Chanced upon your site while searching for "where to buy xxx in SG".

    Casual homebaker here. I dont usually consume baked stuff/sweets in the first place but yet been churning out the irregular baked goodies in the last 6mths (every other weekend) for family, friends and colleagues who double up as testers :P

    This voice at the back of my head was telling me that all those refined flours I have been using aint good for health. I mean, it is something that I already knew all along but without actually sitting down and doing a good read up, it wouldnt really 'register' on my brain, you know what I mean? :) And obvs I always procrastinated through out the years, heh.

    I would say I eat quite cleanly and healthy (but am not vegetarian, I still like my animal proteins...however it is great to read what you wrote in this post. I think you being a fellow SGer kinda gives it a local touch that I can extra-appreciate ^^) but all these recent baking is kinda making me feel a bit 'sick' physically - for the lack of a better word.

    That in turn kickstarted my "self-edu research" *finally* into healthier baking ingredient options. Then I stumbled upon here in the midst of my Googling/reading. I have read 3 post so far. The Whole Wheat flour and Whole Wheat Pastry flour post and then this Types of Vegetarian post (*thumbs up*). Your flour ingredients posts were very informative, esp. the bits about where to buy, best prices!

    Thank you kindly for taking the effort to start this blog and come up with such awesome posts. I am definitely returning to explore further :)

    1. Thanks for the long comment, really appreciate it and is very encouraging. I'm glad the info on 'where to buy' is useful for you!

      I love baking too but I cannot bring myself to use refined white flour because I'm rather health conscious. But some bakes really do taste awful with whole wheat pastry flour, e.g. Asian pineapple tarts for CNY. I managed to mix my own gluten free flour to replace refined white flour.

      Let me know if you need any help, leave me a private message at the bottom of the right column. See you soon.