Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Vegetarian Definition

A vegetarian diet can mean different things to different people. Many people who eat such a diet may not call themselves, or consider themselves to be, a vegetarian. Similarly, Someone who calls themselves a vegetarian may not be considered to be one by others who give themselves the same label. It really isn’t as complex as it might sound at first but certain ethical considerations are often part of a person’s decision to become a ‘veggie’ and so what is on the menu may be more than just a matter of meat versus veg.

Strictly speaking, the vegetarian definition is someone who does not eat meat. But to be absolutely clear, that means not eating anything that might be called an animal in the strictest sense. It’s easy to point at cows and pigs and say ‘I’m not eating those’ but many people stop there and somehow allow themselves to eat poultry. But to be clear: poultry is meat. Other people might not eat beef, pork, lamb and chicken and turkey but allow themselves fish. Again, strictly speaking, fish is meat. Further, some might rule out all the above yet indulge in seafood such as oysters or prawns. This is a grey area to some since to some these are not animals; but, strictly speaking, they are. A great many will also rule out dairy and milk products, and eggs.

So, vegetarian definition really means not eating meat of any kind. But some take this a step further; and this is where the ethical aspect comes in. Essentially, there are three kinds of non-meat eater:

  • there are those who don’t eat meat for health reasons
  • those who are squeamish or don’t like the taste or have some other aversion, and then #
  • there are those who don’t agree with the killing or exploitation of animals;
This last group may well treat their diet as a part of a lifestyle which also includes the avoidance of leather products, dairy produce, and even wool.
The reasons for this choice of diet are almost as varied as the people that choose it. But, whatever a person’s reasons, the basic outcome is this: a healthy, high fibre diet with ample vitamins and minerals and low fat. Followed sensibly, a vegetarian diet can make you feel healthier, fitter and you can look a cow in the eye without feeling guilty.

1 comment:

mangocheeks said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. The many reasons people go veggie. Interesing!