In case you thought that a vegetarian is simply an individual who has given up meat, fish or poultry, you may have to rethink. Many people think of vegetarians as one homogeneous group that just doesn’t eat meat. But nothing could be further from the truth. There are several types of vegetarians and the sheer variety can open up fresh options for you, if you are contemplating vegetarianism for whatever reasons.
A vegetarian is generally defined as someone who doesn’t eat meat. But someone who is vegetarian could conceivably eat dairy products such as milk, eggs and cheese. Lacto-ovo-vegetarian is the most common category or type of vegetarian diet. It is the most general and liberal of the types. A lacto-ovo-vegetarian doesn’t eat meat, fish or poultry, but does consume eggs, milk or cheese. A lacto vegetarian consumes milk and cheese products, but doesn’t consume eggs.
A vegan is someone who doesn’t consume any animal product or by-product, including dairy food. They eat only vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and legumes. They also don’t use animal products, such as leather. This group of people not only ceases to have any meat, fish or poultry products, they even boycott foods which could be by-products of animal origin, including honey, yogurt, etc. This particular lifestyle is called veganism and as is evident, it is much more than giving up non-vegetarian foods. Vegans also don’t use white sugar because it’s often processed with a substance derived from animal bones that whitens the sugar. All vegans have their own reasons for becoming vegan. What they have in common is that they all choose to be vegan, presumably because they think it is better to be vegan than not. Although most people go vegan for ethical reasons, health and environmental concerns are also motivating factors.
here are other categories within the vegetarian community. Fruitarians, for example, eat only fruit. Their rationale is that fruits, including fruits such as tomatoes, are self-perpetuating and don’t need to be planted to create the food source. They consider it a way of eating that’s most in balance and harmony with the earth, the most natural.
All of the above will eat cooked vegetables, fruits and legumes. There is also a growing movement towards eating only raw or living foods. The more restrictive you become with your diet, however, the more educated you need to become to be sure you’re getting all the necessary proteins and vitamins that you need to maintain good health, especially muscle and heart health.