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Readers Respond: Can you eat eggs on a vegetarian diet?

Responses: 36


From the article: Are eggs vegetarian?
Are eggs vegetarian or do they count as meat? If you're a vegetarian, can you eat eggs? Why or why not? What do you think?

Are eggs vegetarian?

We should not put up too many rules. I think every person has to find out for herself, what she should eat and what not. I have been a vegetarian for 35 years. When I was younger I avoided milk and eggs, but now I am 66 and my strength is getting less. So I add an occasional omelette - or part of it - to my meals and drink a little skim-milk to get enough calcium and to avoid bone osteoporose. For me, that is O.K., thats what I can do in my life to help animals . If it is not enough, well, there always is a next life where I can try to do better and maybe become stronger than in this life... Love to all vegetarians - which form however- shanti, from Indonesia
—Guest shanti

No animal has to die.

I have been a vegetarian for 5 years now and. I follow the rule if it had to die to eat it, then dont. I also take into consideration how the animal was treated. My boyfriend and I have 8 acres in a rural area so I have 3 chickens that I love and consider pets. They are free to range large areas of the property, like to be held, are fed all organic and NOT pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics. I assure you they do not mind when I collect their eggs. They are unfertilized so they will never become a chick. When my hens get old and no longer produce eggs I will let them live out their lives happy and safe. I try to be as sustainable can. I dont feel bad about giving an animal a good life and them helping me out a little too, they also eat bugs and help fertilize. I love and respect all animals. I dont understand how that could make me not a vegetarian. I am lucky enough to have neighbors who have organic free range dairy cows, who I love up. and get some raw milk from.
—Guest addeline

Just Don't eat Eggs!!

Just don't eat eggs - fertilized or unfertilized! You do know right, where they come from? That has life. You're denying them a chance to live a life! Don't eat such stuff just to enhance quality of your taste buds! If you're pro-life, don't eat eggs!
—Guest Humanity

Eggs are okay

I am a Hindu and I follow an ethical diet. That means no animal is killed in making food. So fish and meat are strict no-no. I do use milk. And eggs are also okay for me as long as they are unfertilized. It will be unethical to use fertilised egg just because they carry a life within them.
—Guest Rakesh


I'm shocked that so many people assume that every egg becomes a baby chick as if the fertilisation process has nothing to do with it? Do they think if they keep all of their supermarket eggs for long enough they'll have their own flock of chickens? As far as I'm concerned, no animal is slaughtered to make a non-fertilised egg, therefore it is a bye-product similar to honey and in my opinion vegetarian. The main ethical dilemma therefore is on how well the hens have been treated. I consider myself a vegetarian and do eat eggs, but if it doesn't fit with your own moral/health compass then don't - simples.
—Guest Guest M

Eggs are 100% Non-vegetarian!

It's not a debate. You are all silly who say eggs are vegetarian.
—Guest vijay

Yes and No

I'm a vegetarian - all "vegetarian" means is "a person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, esp. for moral, religious, or health reasons". I don't eat MEAT, so I'm a vegetarian. That said, people have their own personal definitions, and if yours has to do with abstaining from any foods that result in the cruelty to animals, then you can't eggs, unless you are literally buying them form a local farmer who you know doesn't give the hens hormones and lets them live freely. I would like to stop eating eggs - I stopped using milk almost completely - but my diet is already so limited, it's difficult.
—Guest mizzemm

Yes, they are vegetarian!!

Eggs available in the market are unfertilised and will never hatch. Instead they might decay from the inside if not eaten ...just a waste of good food!
—Guest akash

Yes-they are never going to be chickens

Eggs are unfertilized. And to the people claiming that vegetarians only eat vegetables, I do not recall fruits and nuts ever being vegetables, yet you continue to eat them.
—Guest guest


Eggs can be part of the vegetarian diet. A hen and a rooster would have to mate prior to egg formation in order for a chick to form, so if an egg was present and the hen who laid it never had contact with a rooster then the egg can never become a chick. I don't see any reason why an unfertilized wouldn't be considered vegetarian, as I mentioned before it will NEVER be a chicken, so a consumer would not be preventing life from forming.
—Guest yes

A silly question

I believe the term is ovo-lacto vegetarian. Not all vegetarians just eat plants. I have been vegetarian for 19 years. Vegetarianism in my opinion is a process. One would hope you would progress from meat eater to vegan, but not always. Eating eggs are no different from eating dairy products. They are animal products, but not animal, just like honey. Should we not eat honey then either? This question isn't for vegans.
—Guest susans

They're not meat...

People are getting hung up on the wrong fact! No, unfertilized eggs will never become a chicken. However they are not a VEGetarian food either. Veganism exists because Vegetarians can't seem to understand what VEGetation is! It's accepted as a vegetarian food, but IMO it shouldn't be.
—Guest Common Sense

Eggs are vegetarian, people!!

The egg is not meat. It only becomes meat when the hen mates with the rooster. If the hen does not mate with a rooster it will still lay an egg. You can keep that uncracked egg forever and it won't become a chicken because there is no animal being born. You are not killing an animal if you eat eggs unless the hen mated with the rooster beforehand.
—Guest Vegetarian Man

This debate is crazy!

Whoever wrote that article is really crazy! How can eggs be vegetarian? They become an animal! If you are eating eggs you are technically eating that (to be)animal.
—Guest ghost

Eggs are not vegetarian because...

Although there is no actual meat in an egg, if you had left it alone it would have grown up into a chicken or something else (it depends on what animal lay), so really when you crack open an egg, you have a miscarriage in your hand. So you are killing a something that hasn't lived yet. It is illegal to do it human babies, so why do it eggs? Why kill animals to eat them? How would you like it if something ate you before you were fertilized? Okay, so you wouldn't know, but that is denying you a chance of life, that is the same with any type of egg.
—Guest Stranger Danger

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Can you eat eggs on a vegetarian diet?

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