A book could be written about the differences between the three… because I do not feel like writing a novel, I’ll be brief and straight-forward.
Defined as: a person who does not eat or use animal products.
What they do NOT consume/use: any animal by-product. We’re talking meat/seafood, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, honey, silk, wool, leather, cosmetics containing animal products, gelatin, etc.
What they still eat: Plants, grains, legumes, etc.
Defined as: a person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious, or health reasons.
What they do not consume: Depends on the classification below!
Different types of vegetarians:
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat both dairy products and eggs; this is the most common type of vegetarian diet.
- Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products but avoid eggs.
- Ovo-vegetarian. Eats eggs but not dairy products.
- Pescatarian eat fish (eat fish, but not other meats).
What they still eat: Depending on the type, anything from eggs, milk and dairy to fish/seafood.
Defined as: (of food or a diet) not containing gluten.
What it means: People who eat gluten free don’t eat typical grain sources. For some it is an allergy (celiacs) where as for others its a choice.
What they do NOT consume: wheat, barley, rye, and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale.
What they still consume: Meats, dairy, eggs, etc.
It’s awfully awkward when you ask the ingredients to an item on the menu labeled “vegetarian” – only to get most waitresses looking confused followed by the statement “I’ll have to check with the kitchen – I’ll be right back!”. I always feel embarrassed asking, and I’m sure the waitress feels no better about the situation than I do.
Or worse – a miseducated waitress that assures you the menu item is vegan – only to find out a few bites in that it is clearly not vegan. Bless their hearts, but my stomach is ready to rip them a new one. :-S
An opinion piece….
It was the most logical for me. If I am not eating meat, how do I have any right to the milk of another animal, menstrual cycle of another animal (eggs), or the flesh of another animal (leather)? Is it not just as bad? Are most animals being abused/tortured for the purpose of creating the product? Through my own personal research, I personally came to the conclusioin that is is just as bad. I am not writing this to preah to anyone – I invite you to do your own research, come to your own conslusions and decide what feels best to you.Also – to be 100 with you – I am not 100% vegan all of the time. I try my best, but I still have a thing for cheese (blame it on the casein?). I’ll indulge 1-2x a week, max. Every time I do, I get “gut rot”, not to mention the other thoughts going through my mind.. as I mentioned earlier – no one is perfect. We’re all out here, trying the best we can. Let us acknowledge this, but not use it as a crutch.
You know your body best – so follow your heart, do your research, and come to your own conclusions! 🙂