I have found that people often get confused about definitions related to veg*nism. Hopefully this list clears things up! Keep in mind that over time, these definitions have been confused and people have taken on their own personal definitions for these words. However, the definitions I have here are the ones most often agreed upon by organizations like Vegan Outreach, PETA, and other veg*n groups.
Vegetarian – One who does not consume animals (and yes, fish count as animals). Basically any food product that involves the direct death of an animal is prohibited for a vegetarian diet (so, I consider gelatin to be a prohibited food for vegetarians). There are also categories of vegetarians: ovo-lacto-vegetarians eat eggs and dairy products, ovo-vegetarians eat eggs but not dairy, and lacto-vegetarians eat dairy but not eggs. Some people also talk about being strict vegetarian: sometimes this means that they are actually vegan, and sometimes it means that they do not include fish in their diet (so they are distinguishing themselves from “vegetarians” who eat fish, who are actually pescetarians). So much confusion!
On a more positive note … vegetarians DO eat vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and dairy/egg products.
Pescetarian – One who eats fish, but other than that has a vegetarian diet. It irks me to no end when people who eat fish claim to be vegetarian, because it further confuses the issue when I tell people that I am vegetarian – they think that I eat fish too! Very frustrating.
Vegan (pronounced “vee’-gun”) – One who does not consume animals or animal products. This prohibits things like honey, leather, and beeswax. It also prohibits cheese, milk, eggs, etc.
On a more positive note … vegans DO eat vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes.
Veg*n – This is simply an abbreviated way to say “vegetarian and/or vegan.”
Here is a list that I will continuously update with vegan or vegetarian information, links, and other things that may be helpful.
VeggieBoards – Friendly forum, good for asking questions or just discussing
Vegan Outreach – Good organization with a down-to-earth perspective of veganism
Compassionate Cooks – Colleen has the coolest podcast, cookbook, and cooking DVD. There’s also a message board for podcast listeners where you can connect to other listeners in your area!