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;
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.