What are vegetarian eggs?

What are vegetarian eggs?


Vegetarian eggs are a term used to describe eggs produced by hens that are raised in accordance with vegetarian principles. While eggs are a common food item in many diets, some individuals choose to follow a vegetarian lifestyle, which means they avoid consuming animal products. This has led to the demand for eggs that are produced in a way that aligns with vegetarian values. In this article, we will dive deeper into what vegetarian eggs are and how they differ from conventional eggs.

What Makes Eggs Vegetarian?

To understand what vegetarian eggs are, it’s important to first understand the concept of vegetarianism. Vegetarianism is a dietary choice that excludes the consumption of meat, poultry, and seafood. However, there are different variations of vegetarianism, with some individuals also excluding other animal products like eggs and dairy from their diet. Those who follow a vegetarian diet but still consume eggs are known as ovo-vegetarians.

Vegetarian eggs are produced by hens that are fed a vegetarian diet. This means that the feed provided to these hens does not contain any animal by-products. Conventional eggs, on the other hand, may come from hens that are fed a diet containing animal-based ingredients such as fish meal or meat by-products. The aim of vegetarian eggs is to provide an option for individuals who want to consume eggs while adhering to their vegetarian principles.

How Are Vegetarian Eggs Produced?

To produce vegetarian eggs, farmers ensure that the hens are fed a diet that is free from animal by-products. The feed for these hens typically consists of grains, legumes, vegetables, and other plant-based ingredients. This ensures that the eggs produced by these hens are free from any animal-derived components.

In addition to the diet, the living conditions of the hens are also important in the production of vegetarian eggs. Farmers who produce vegetarian eggs prioritize providing the hens with ample space to move around and engage in natural behaviors. This includes access to outdoor areas where they can forage for insects and plants, as well as providing them with comfortable nesting areas.

Are Vegetarian Eggs More Nutritious?

In terms of nutritional content, vegetarian eggs are similar to conventional eggs. Both types of eggs provide a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. The nutritional composition of an egg is primarily determined by the hen’s diet, regardless of whether it is vegetarian or conventional.

However, some studies suggest that eggs from hens raised on a vegetarian diet may have higher levels of certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. This is because the vegetarian feed provided to these hens often includes ingredients that are naturally rich in these nutrients. It’s worth noting that the differences in nutrient levels between vegetarian and conventional eggs may vary depending on the specific farming practices and feed composition.


In conclusion, vegetarian eggs are produced by hens that are raised on a vegetarian diet, free from animal by-products. These eggs provide an option for individuals who follow a vegetarian lifestyle but still choose to consume eggs. The production of vegetarian eggs involves feeding hens a plant-based diet and ensuring they have appropriate living conditions. While the nutritional content of vegetarian eggs is similar to conventional eggs, they may have higher levels of certain nutrients depending on the specific farming practices.


1. Egg Nutrition Center: www.eggnutritioncenter.org
2. Vegetarian Society: www.vegetarian.org.uk
3. Poultry Science: www.journals.elsevier.com/poultry-science