The British Food Standards Agency estimates that there are 3.5-million vegetarians and 250,000 vegans in the UK and, after consultation with both vegetarian and vegan groups, have decided to formulate labeling guidelines to food producers to follow. There is lots of confusion about the definitions of the terms among consumers, as well as manufacturers. Generally speaking, vegetarians refrain from eating meat products and vegans avoid all animal-derived products, including dairy and eggs. The purpose of introducing such guidelines is to prevent manufacturers from incorrectly identifying products as "vegetarian" or "vegan" when they actually contain meat-based or animal derived ingredients. To be sure all their bases were covered, the also defined the term "animals." With standards in place, consumers no longer need to worry that what they are picking up might contain undisclosed ingredients. The official guidelines are:
"Vegetarian: The term 'vegetarian' should not be applied to foods that are, or are made from, or with, the aid of products derived from animals that have died, have been slaughtered, or animals that die as a result of being eaten.
Animals means farmed, wild or domestic animals, including for example, livestock poultry, game, fish, shellfish, crustacea, amphibians, tunicates, echinoderms, mollusks and insects.
Vegan: The term 'vegan' should not be applied to foods that are, or are made from, or with, the aid of animals or animal products (including products from living animals)."