by FMH Design
is a Vegetarian? <top>
A vegetarian is someone living on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts,
seeds, vegetables and fruits with or without the use of dairy
products and eggs (preferably free-range).
A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish
or crustacea, or slaughter by-products such as gelatine or animal
of Vegetarian Diets <top>
Lacto-ovo-vegetarian. Eats both
dairy products and eggs. This is the most common type of vegetarian
• Lacto-vegetarian. Eats
dairy products but not eggs.
• Vegan. Does
not eat dairy products, eggs, or any other animal product.
• Fruitarian. A
type of vegan diet where very few processed or cooked foods are
eaten. Consists mainly of raw fruit, grains and nuts. Fruitarians
believe only plant foods that can be harvested without killing
the plant should be eaten.
• Macrobiotic. A
diet followed for spiritual and philosophical reasons. Aims to
maintain a balance between foods seen as ying (positive) or yang
(negative). The diet progresses through ten levels, becoming increasingly
restrictive. Not all levels are vegetarian, though each level
gradually eliminates animal products. The highest levels eliminate
fruit and vegetables, eventually reaching the level of a brown
Other terms can be used in describing various vegetarian diets,
though their exact meaning can differ. The term strict vegetarian
may refer to a vegan diet, though in other cases it may simply
mean a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet. The terms common or broad vegetarian
may be used to refer to lacto-ovo-vegetarians. Demi-vegetarian
is a term sometimes used to describe persons who eat no or little
meat but may eat fish. Persons consuming fish but no meat are
sometimes called pescetarians.
foods contain ingredients derived from the slaughter of animals.
Gelatine is made from animal ligaments, tendons, bones etc. which
have been boiled in water. It is often found in confectionery,
ice cream, and other dairy products. Animal fats refer to carcass
fats and may be present in a wide range of foods, including biscuits,
cakes, and margarines. Suet and lard are types of animal fats.
Certain food additives (E numbers) may be derived from animal
Cheese is generally made with rennet extracted from the stomach
lining of slaughtered calves. Vegetarian cheese is made with rennet
from a microbial source.
Many vegetarians that eat eggs will eat only free-range eggs.
This is due to moral objections to the battery farming of hens.
The Vegetarian Society only endorses products containing eggs
if the eggs are certified as free-range.
A well balanced vegetarian diet can provide all the nutrients
your body needs and there is much scientific evidence to indicate
vegetarians may be healthier than meat-eaters.
A vegetarian diet is healthy because it is typically low in saturated
and total fat, high in dietary fibre and complex carbohydrate,
and high in protective minerals and vitamins present in fresh
fruit and vegetables. See the Health and Nutrition Index
Vegetarian food groups are:
• Cereals/grains - wheat (bread & pasta), oats, maize,
barley, rye, rice, etc. Potatoes are a useful cereal alternative.
• Pulses - kidney beans, baked beans, chick peas, lentils,
• Nuts & Seeds - almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sesame
seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
• Fruit & vegetables.
• Dairy products or Soya products - tofu, tempeh, soya protein
• Vegetable oils and fats - margarine or butter.
for Becoming Vegetarian<top>
Most people become vegetarian because they believe it is wrong
to slaughter animals for food and because they are opposed to
the cruelty and suffering inflicted upon the billions of animals
reared for food.
The effect of meat production on the environment, such as the
destruction of vast areas of rainforest for cattle ranching, is
another reason commonly cited for becoming vegetarian. Others
may become vegetarian because of the links between meat production
and poverty and famine in developing countries.
The health advantages of a vegetarian diet are another commonly
cited reason to become vegetarian, particularly among adults.
A dislike of the taste of meat and religious reasons may also
be a factor.