Glossary: The Different Types of Diet


an animal that gets its energy and nutrients mainly, or exclusively, from animal tissue. Carnivores that depend solely on animal flesh for their nutrients are called obligate carnivores. Although they may eat small amounts of plant material they are unable to digest it efficiently. They may even eat vegetation specifically to help make them vomit (as an emetic). So-called facultative carnivores eat non-animal food as well as animal tissue.


an animal that is adapted to eat plants and not meat or fish.


an animal that eats both plants and animals as its main food source. They are not specifically adapted to eat and digest either meat or plant material exclusively.


a person who eats no animal products – red and white meats, fish and other water creatures, eggs, dairy and insect products such as honey and cochineal. That means no damaging animal protein, animal fats or cholesterol in their diet. Far from going short, they can – and are more likely to – pack their diet with a wide range of healthy, diseasebusting foods high in vegetable protein, fibre, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and good fats


a person who avoids eating red and white meats, fish and all other water creatures such as prawns and lobsters; and who also avoids slaughter by-products such as gelatine (made from horns, hooves, bones etc), lard and cochineal (crushed insects). A vegetarian may or may not eat dairy products, free range eggs or honey.