Is Caviar Vegetarian?

Caviar is considered an expensive and delicate meal. But is it vegetarian or vegan? The answer is neither! Since vegans don’t eat animal products and vegetarians are against killing animals, it is safe to assume that the caviar is neither vegetarian nor vegan.

In this article, we will explain why caviar is neither vegan nor vegetarian and share some information about the benefits and diets that include caviar.  

The Benefits Of Eating Caviar

Caviar is a meal made of fish eggs belonging to the Acipenseridae family. Officially, roe is seafood originating in the fish and other marine animals’ ovaries. The caviar can be produced from roes of sturgeon, salmon, trout, steelhead, lumpfish, etc.

Although there are many fish eggs from which caviar can be made, the caviar from sturgeon eggs is considered the ‘real thing.’ This is because the sturgeon is likely to be extinct in a few years; there are only about 20 species worldwide. For this reason, wild caviar trade is prohibited in many countries worldwide.

When it is fresh, the caviar has a rich and sweet flavor. Since it is one of the most extravagant foods, caviar is quite pricey – around $70 per ounce.

Once the ripe eggs are cured with salt and put in tins, they are up for sale. Since the added salt helps eliminate harmful bacteria, it is safe to consume caviar raw. The caviar can be pasteurized but loses its texture and unique taste if not eaten fresh. 

Aside from the high price, this seafood has a lot of healthy benefits. Caviars contain omega-three minerals, B12 vitamins, magnesium, calcium, iron, selenium, and much more.

The meal is known to be a nutritional powerhouse because it helps maintain healthy skin and better immunity, plus it is an excellent source of good fats, minerals, and vitamins.  

If you eat at least a gram of caviar every day, you will maintain good heart health.   

Is Caviar Really Vegetarian?

Caviar is a meal produced from fish eggs. While chicken eggs are approved among vegetarians, there is a debate regarding whether caviar should be included in the vegetarian lifestyle.

The main reason chicken eggs are part of a vegetarian diet is that after the chicken lays the eggs, people can take them without harming the animal. On the other hand, caviar eggs are removed from the fish’s insides, which involves killing the fish. So, to eat caviar, we need to kill the fish first.

The main reason caviar is not part of the vegetarian diet is that the fish is killed in the egg extraction process.  

Is There A Vegan Caviar?

By now, you should already assume why caviar is not vegan. Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes all animal cruelty. Therefore, vegans stay away from food, clothes, or animal exploitation.

Since eating caviar involves eating fish eggs, it is safe to assume that caviar is not a vegan food. Still, there is an alternative to the traditional caviar – vegan caviar.

The vegan caviar is environment-friendly and doesn’t contain animal ingredients. Vegan caviar is produced from kelp and seaweed; hence it has a lot of minerals, vitamins, and healthy nutrients.

Besides the delicious taste, the vegan caviar is rich in amino acids, vitamin B12, and omega-three healthy fats. Also, vegan caviar helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, is gluten-free, low on calories, and contains minimal salt.   

This is an excellent choice for all who enjoy caviar and avoid animal products.   

Which Diet Includes Caviar?

Many diets allow caviar. For example, Pescatarian diets include caviar in their meals since they consider it an animal byproduct. On the other hand, Lacto-veganism forbids the usage of animal byproducts such as caviar.

While caviar is not part of vegetarian food, other diets allow caviar consumption. Both Pollotarianism and Flexitarianism allow caviar in their diets. The use of caviar in ovo-vegetarianism is debatable since the diet does not allow animal flesh or products, except for eggs.    

Substitutes For Caviar

Since caviar doesn’t belong in vegetarian food, many vegetarian and vegan substitutions exist. Mainly, all the alternatives are vegan versions of caviar which try to imitate the taste and the look of the caviar. Vegan caviar is made from algae, seaweed, animal-free gelatin, agar-agar, etc.

One great alternative example of traditional caviar is the Kelp caviar. The Kelp caviar comes from Canada and can have wasabi, salmon, or sturgeon flavor.

Another vegan version of caviar is the Cavi-art. The Cavi-art is a very well-liked substitute for caviar. Being the number-one selling vegan caviar across Europe, the Cavi-art stays fresh for up to 90 days. It doesn’t change color or taste and goes well with many different dishes.

All the substitutes for caviar are sustainable vegan alternatives, do not contain animal products, have a lot of omega-three, vitamins, and minerals, and are low on calories. 

Aside from the nutritional benefits, vegan caviars are cheaper, have a longer shelf life, are easier to stack, do not change color or taste, do not go rancid, and don’t need to be frozen.


In conclusion, vegetarian and vegan meals do not include caviar. The vegetarian lifestyle, and the vegan, do not allow animal products. Since the caviar is made of fish eggs and the fish is killed in the process, the food cannot belong to either group.

Still, many diets allow caviar consumption, such as Flexitarianism, Pollotarianism, and Pescetarianism. For those of you who follow a strict vegan diet, there are healthy and animal-friendly caviar alternatives such as the Kelp caviar and the Cavi-art.

The Cavi-art and the Kelp caviar are made of seaweeds and have many nutritional and environmental benefits. Plus, they have a great shelf life!


Is Caviar Made From Fertilized Eggs?

No, the eggs used to make caviar are not fertilized. They are harvested before the fish is fertilized, so there is no chance that fish roe will develop in a baby fish.  

Is Caviar Considered Vegan Or Vegetarian?

The correct answer is neither. Since vegan and vegetarian diets do not allow animal products and animal cruelty, caviar is not a part of the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.  

How Is Vegan Caviar Produced?

The animal-friendly caviar version is made of kelp and seaweed. The vegan caviar does not contain animal ingredients, and it is an entirely plant-based product.

Brett White
Latest posts by Brett White (see all)