As a vegetarian for more than…ahem 23 years…I am often asked many questions about it or feel I need to inform people of misconceptions and reinforce the benefits I know to be true. So in this way, I felt it important to write my 12 frequently asked questions about being a vegetarian to inform, educate and perhaps inspire others. Here you go, one question at a time…
1. What does a “vegetarian diet” mean?
The term “vegetarian” is really not an accurate description, since vegetarians eat more than just vegetables. Vegetarian simply means a plant-based diet. There are several kinds of vegetarian diets, defined by what types of foods are consumed.
- A strict vegetarian, a vegan, avoids all foods of animal origin, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and eggs.
- Lacto-vegetarians include dairy products in their diet. Lacto-ovo- vegetarians also eat dairy products and eggs.
- Pesco-vegetarians eat fish, dairy products, and eggs along with plant foods.
Finally, there are semi-vegetarians, who cheat a little and eat a little poultry along with fish, as well as dairy products and eggs. Most veggie lovers are not strict vegans.