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We Are What We Eat: an infographic

11 April, 2011

An infographic showing what some groups of people like pescetarians, vegetarians, vegans, freegans and fruitarians can eat

Click on the image to enlarge it

With so many “-arians” and “-egans” being used in our everyday vocabulary, here is a visual map of who eats what.

It is a list, in a table format, that shows what some groups of people can eat. Food wise, there are icons for meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, honey, grains, fruits, vegetables (roots and leaves), vegetables (fruits), nuts and pulses.

Carnivore is an organism that eats almost exclusively other species of the animal kingdom; on the infographic meat, poultry and fish are foods depicted for a carnivore organism.

Omnivore is an organism that eats both animals and plants as well as their ‘products’; on the infographic all the foods that have been already mentioned are depicted for an omnivore organism.

Pescetarians or pescatarians or piscetarians eat what an omnivore eats except meat (poultry included). Another definition describes pescetarians as vegetarians who also eat fish. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word was first used in 1993.

The pescetarians are followed by the group of vegetarians. As a rule of thumb, vegetarians do not eat any food that comes from a killed (dead) animal. So meats, poultry and fish are not something that vegetarians can eat. In the case of cheeses if you want to follow a vegetarian diet check on the label of the cheese you buy that it is suitable for vegetarians.

In the wider group of vegetarians there are three ‘subgroups’:

Lacto-ovo-vegetarians exclude from their diet meat (animal & poultry) and fish.

Ovo-vegetarians are like lacto-ovo-vegetarians but do not eat dairy products (e.g. milk and cheese).

Lacto-vegetarians do eat dairy products (like milk and cheese) but they do not eat eggs.

Vegans do not eat anything that comes from/exploits an animal. So on the infographic that leaves them with grains, fruits, all vegetables, nuts and pulses.

Much more focused on how they obtain their foods (avoiding channels of the conventional economy as much as possible) rather than what they eat, freegans are mainly vegans who will eat non-vegan foods in the case that otherwise the foods would end to the rubbish bin/landfill.

Finally fruitarians can eat what a vegan eats except grains and ‘living’ vegetables like roots and leaves. As a rule of thumb if eating part of a plant kills the plant fruitarians will not eat it. For example eating a tomato (which is considered as the plant’s fruit) will not kill the tomato plant that produced the fruit. But eating a carrot which is the root of the plant, will kill the plant.

Some of the fruitarians do not even eat any vegetables (fruits e.g. tomatoes), nuts and pulses. All of the latter are presented as dimmed on the infographic.

Feel free to print out (Printer-friendly version here) the infographic and perhaps stick it on your fridge or somewhere in your kitchen so you can take care of most of the people out there. It could be useful for kitchens in restaurants, cafes, pubs and anywhere food is served.

The Vegetarian Society Definition of a vegetarian
The Vegan Society Definition of vegan food
Freegan.Info What is a freegan Definition of fruitarian Definition of pescatarian

Many thanks to  Tony Primentas, The Peppermint Family and Dinos Konstantinou for their invaluable feedback (through user testing), ideas, suggestions and support during the design process.

If you found this post interesting, why not have a look at other related posts:
The Food Cube (as the new Food Pyramid)
Potatoes in the UK
Carrots in the UK
Know your onions: an infograph
Alcohol-related deaths in England
6 Comments leave one →
  1. Bee permalink
    21 April, 2011 4:38 pm

    This is very interesting! Interestingly enough, many restaurants have ‘fish’ under the Vegetarian meals option in their menus. And I really mean many restaurants. And when I ask whether they have something vegetarian they often offer me a fish. And I always say: ‘Well, it’s an animal, isn’t it?’ And they give me a very surprised look. It’s incredible how many people think that fish is not meat. Is it a vegetable according to them? Or a fruit? Have been always thinking about it:-) Very interesting overview:-)

    • Miyuki-Jean permalink
      4 December, 2013 5:49 am

      In my life I have a met several “vegetarians” that say they eat fish, either regularly or occasionally. I always think, “then aren’t you a pescetarian??”
      Perhaps these people have given restaurants that idea?


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