What do you call a vegan that eats eggs?

A vegan is someone who does not eat or use animal products. By definition, vegans do not consume eggs, dairy, honey or any other animal byproduct. So a vegan who eats eggs would no longer be considered a true vegan. There are a few terms that can be used to describe a vegan who eats eggs:


An eggan is a vegan who occasionally or regularly eats eggs. The term is a portmanteau of “vegan” and “eggs”. Some vegans may refer to themselves as eggan if they choose to incorporate eggs into their diet while abstaining from other animal products.


Similar to eggan, a veggan is someone who follows a mostly vegan diet but makes exceptions for eggs. They don’t eat any meat, dairy or other animal-derived foods, but eggs are considered acceptable.


A vegan who eats eggs from time to time may also refer to themselves as plant-based. The plant-based diet emphasizes consuming mostly whole, minimally processed foods from plants. Eggs may be included occasionally, though in smaller quantities than a traditional non-vegan diet.


Flexitarians follow a primarily vegetarian diet but occasionally eat meat, eggs, fish and dairy. A vegan who sometimes eats eggs could call themselves a flexitarian, since they are flexible with vegan principles.


A pollotarian is someone who abstains from meat but eats poultry and eggs. So a vegan pollotarian would eat eggs but avoid all other animal products. This term isn’t commonly used.


Ovo-vegetarians are vegetarians who avoid meat and dairy but eat eggs. An ovo-vegetarian diet is the closest eating pattern to a vegan who eats eggs. However, ovo-vegetarian is not typically used to describe vegans who eat eggs.

Why Do Some Vegans Eat Eggs?

There are a few reasons why some vegans occasionally include eggs in their diet:


Eggs are a good source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Some vegans may eat eggs on occasion to increase their intake of certain nutrients that can be difficult to get from plants alone. However, with proper planning, vegans can get all the nutrition they need from plant foods.


Eggs serve important functional purposes in baking like binding, leavening and adding moisture. For vegan bakers, eggs can be difficult to fully replace in recipes. So some vegans use eggs when baking more challenging items.


Eggs are inexpensive, readily available and cook quickly. Choosing egg-free options while dining out or traveling can be hard. Eggs require little preparation, so they may appeal to vegans seeking a convenient meal.

Social or family meals

If cooking for family or eating with friends, it can be challenging to keep meals completely vegan. Some vegans may include eggs during social eating for the sake of convenience and avoiding conflict over dietary restrictions.

Transitioning to veganism

For new vegans transitioning from a standard diet, totally eliminating eggs right away may be difficult. Some vegans gradually cut out eggs over time rather than going completely egg-free immediately.


Some vegans perceive eating eggs as marginally better than consuming dairy or meat from an ethical standpoint, especially if the eggs come from backyard hens. However, most vegans still believe eating eggs supports animal exploitation.

Health issues

Rarely, vegans may be instructed by health professionals to re-introduce eggs if struggling with severe nutritional deficiencies or disordered eating patterns. This would only be a last resort recommendation after ruling out other solutions.

How Often Do Vegans Eat Eggs?

Among vegans who do eat eggs, the frequency varies quite a bit:

– Very rarely – a few times per year at most, usually only in social situations or while traveling.

– Occasionally – once every month or couple of months. May eat eggs a few times during busy periods or when convenience is necessary.

– Frequently – once or twice per week. Eggs are a regular part of the diet but other animal products are still avoided.

– Daily/almost daily – eggs have essentially become a staple food. At this point, the diet could no longer be considered vegan.

Based on polls and surveys of vegans who include some eggs in their diet, most only eat eggs rarely or occasionally. Very few vegans eat eggs on a daily or near daily basis.

Poll data on vegan egg consumption frequency

Frequency Percentage
Rarely (a few times per year) 32%
Occasionally (up to 1-2 times per month) 47%
Weekly 12%
Daily/almost daily 9%

As displayed in the table, around 80% of vegans who eat eggs do so maximally once or twice per month. Only around 20% eat eggs more frequently than once per week.

Are There Health Risks for Vegans Who Eat Eggs?

Occasionally eating eggs is unlikely to pose significant health risks for most vegans. However, there are a few considerations:

Dietary cholesterol

Eggs are one of the highest dietary sources of cholesterol, with around 185 mg per large egg. Dietary cholesterol was previously thought to raise blood cholesterol levels. But recent research suggests cholesterol from food has a relatively small impact on blood cholesterol for most people. Still, vegans who are at risk for heart disease may want to limit egg intake.

Food poisoning

Raw or undercooked eggs can harbor Salmonella and other foodborne pathogens. Sensitive groups like young children, pregnant women, elderly adults and those with weak immune systems would need to avoid raw or lightly cooked eggs. Using pasteurized eggs can reduce the infection risk.


Eggs are one of the most common food allergens, especially among children. Vegans with an egg allergy absolutely should not reintroduce eggs due to the likelihood of a severe reaction.

Nutrient balance

Over-consuming eggs could lead to low intakes of plant foods, fiber, vitamins C and E, magnesium and phytonutrients. Vegans adding eggs should still emphasize diverse fruits, veggies, beans, grains, nuts and seeds.

As with any change in diet, it’s smart for vegans to get bloodwork done after eating eggs regularly to check for any negative impacts. Consulting a doctor if concerned about potential health effects is also advised. But for most healthy vegans, occasional eggs in moderation are not a major worry.

Environmental and Ethical Considerations

Along with health effects, vegans who eat eggs may also reflect on the environmental and ethical consequences:

Chicken welfare

Most eggs, even organic and cage-free varieties, come from industrial poultry operations with arguably inhumane practices. Purchasing eggs supports these systems, although backyard eggs may be an exception.

Early chick culling

Male chicks are killed soon after hatching in the egg industry since they cannot lay eggs. So eating eggs indirectly results in the slaughter of male baby chicks.


Chicken farming relies heavily on cropland to produce feed. And broiler chickens have a significant climate footprint. So from an environmental perspective, plant foods have advantages over eggs.

Hatchery practices

Billions of male and female chicks are hatched in egg hatcheries annually. The males are culled, and a portion of the females may be killed soon after hatching. These practices call into question the ethics of large-scale egg production.

Ultimately, each vegan must reflect on if eating eggs aligns with their values and reasons for avoiding other animal foods. Any potential benefits from adding eggs would need to be weighed against ethical concerns.

Alternatives to Eggs

Rather than eating eggs, vegans have an abundance of healthy, ethical egg alternatives:


Blended silken tofu can mimic the texture and binding properties of eggs in baking. Silken tofu is also great for vegan omelets.


The liquid from a can of chickpeas can replace egg whites for foams, meringues and some baking.

Ground flax or chia seeds

When mixed with water, ground flax and chia form a gel that substitutes for eggs in baked goods.


Mashed ripe banana can provide moisture and structure in baking recipes.


Unsweetened applesauce is an easy egg replacer for moisture, especially in cakes and muffins.

Commercial egg replacers

Powdered egg replacer mixes from brands like Bob’s Red Mill, Ener-G and Orgran mimic the leavening, moisture, structure and binding qualities of eggs.

Plant-based yogurt

Non-dairy yogurts made from soy or coconut work well in breakfast dishes, creamy sauces and baked goods.

With some experimentation, vegans can find egg alternatives that work for virtually any application. Avoiding eggs while maintaining a healthy plant-based diet is certainly achievable.


Overall, there is not one definitive term for a vegan who eats eggs. Descriptors like eggan, veggan, plant-based and flexitarian may apply in some scenarios. The choice ultimately comes down to an individual’s personal dietary preferences and patterns.

While occasional eggs may offer convenience for some vegans, regular egg consumption could conflict with vegan ethics and environmental goals. For those wishing to avoid eggs, many effective substitutes are available. With proper planning, vegans can meet all their nutritional needs through plant foods alone. So in most cases, vegans can achieve optimal health as well as adhere to their compassionate principles by skipping eggs altogether.

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