Are Eggs Considered Meat? Here’s What You Don’t Know

Eggs are not meat, but they have a similar protein level. The best way to describe eggs is as a protein food group. They are not dairy or meat, encouraging some vegetarians to include them in their diets.

Since they are not technically animal flesh or meat, eggs are usually considered vegetarian. Eggs that have been fertilized have the potential of becoming an animal, so it may not be considered vegetarian.

A common question when starting a vegan or vegetarian diet is, whether or not eggs are meat. Are eggs considered meat, dairy or poultry? Can you eat eggs if you are a vegetarian?

In this article, I will discuss eggs, are they considered meat, do vegetarians eat eggs, and the role of eggs in a vegetarian diet.

What is meat?

First, we should see the meaning of meat. It refers to food from a living animal; it is high in protein and usually made from the animal’s muscles, tendons, and lean fibers.

SEE: Ways to Know When Your Meat Is Done

What is an egg?

An egg is the hard-shelled reproductive body produced by a bird, especially the common domestic chicken.  Eggs are a versatile ingredient in your kitchen as they can make several different meals and quickly too. It is known that commonly sold eggs come from chickens.

While the primary role of the egg is to reproduce the species, most eggs laid by domestic fowl, except those specifically set aside for hatching, are not fertilized but are sold mainly for human consumption.

SEE: Can You Eat Unrefrigerated Eggs?

Are eggs considered meat?

No, eggs are not considered meat for several reasons. But the most evident reason is that eggs are not fertilized, and eggs consist of non-living matter on which the baby chicken feeds once the egg is fertilized.

But as long as the egg is not fertilized, there is no life and no baby animal growing inside it.

Why are eggs not considered meat?

Eggs are not considered meat as they are not made from animal flesh. As mentioned earlier, meat is the part of animal flesh consumed as food. As long as eggs don’t meet this criterion, they are not considered meat. 

Are eggs considered dairy?

No, they are not. All fluid milk products and most foods made from milk are considered dairy products, per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

That includes foods made from milk that contains calcium, like yogurt and cheese. Foods made from milk that don’t have a lot of calcium, like cream cheese, cream, and butter, are not considered dairy.

SEE: Is There Dairy in Bread?

Are eggs considered poultry?

No, they are not. Although, consumable eggs you see at grocery stores come from chicken, and chicken is poultry. That said, eggs are an animal byproduct; they are unfertilized eggs from the chicken. You can see them the way you see milk from cows. 

SEE: Substitute for Poultry Seasoning You Never Knew Existed

What are eggs classified as?

Since we can’t classify eggs as meat, we also cannot consider them to be poultry. Poultry is a subgroup of meat, and the best way to describe eggs is a protein food group.

Essentially, they are made up of non-living components. The nutrients in eggs would nourish a baby chicken if the egg were fertilized. They are more similar to an animal byproduct than an animal themselves.

Are eggs nutritious?

They are a powerful source of protein, with one egg providing up to 12.7 grams of protein. They are also essentially beneficial for your health as they contain several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B2, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.

SEE: How Much Is 1 Egg White In Grams?

How do you store eggs?

It would be best if you store them in the refrigerator. Eggs kept at room temperature deteriorate about seven times faster than those kept in the refrigerator. You can keep fresh eggs for three to five weeks in the fridge.

Can eggs replace meat?

Yes. Eggs are a superfood and, in many instances, an easy and sustainable meat substitute. They are high in protein, with just one serving of eggs containing 12.7 grams of protein.

Eggs also contain abundant essential minerals, vitamins, and amino acids to create a complete dietary protein. When following a diet plan, many consumers actively interchange meat with eggs for added variety and when looking to reduce their overall intake of meat.

Do vegetarians eat eggs?

A vegetarian diet often avoids animal flesh, including meat and muscle. Therefore, vegetarians eat eggs even if they exclude beef, fish, and poultry in their diets.

Still, some people do not consider eggs a vegetarian-friendly food. If an egg was fertilized as a result of a rooster and hen mating, giving it a chance to become a chicken, vegetarians who are opposed to eating animals might avoid eggs.

On the other hand, if an egg was not fertilized it is never going to become an animal. It would be considered vegetarian and taken as an animal byproduct, along with milk and butter.

Most commercially produced eggs sold at the grocery store are unfertilized, so it is safe to add eggs to your vegan diet.

SEE: Is Egg-Fried-Rice Healthy for Your Die?

The role of eggs in a vegetarian diet

Eggs plays a crucial role in many vegetarian diets with their combination of high-quality protein, vitamin B12, iron, and omega-3s, providing key nutrients that can be low and lacking in common vegetarian eating patterns.


Is boiled egg meat?

No, there is no animal flesh in eggs, so they are not meat.

Are eggs considered vegetarian?

Yes, they are. Many vegetarians include eggs in their diet while still refraining from eating poultry, pork, beef, fish, and other animal products.

Are eggs sold as unfertilized eggs?

Yes, they are. The fertilized eggs are mostly allowed to hatch into hens.


Regardless of the food group, eggs are a highly nutritious food that you should incorporate into a well-balanced diet. There is no limit to recipes in which you can use eggs. You can boil, scramble, fry, or enjoy as desired.

Fertilized eggs are seen differently because they have the potential to be a chicken. So, unfertilized eggs are not considered to be suitable to eat for vegetarians.

If you enjoyed this article, you should also see how long scrambled eggs are good for before they go bad.

Thank you for reading.