I have family and friends who are vegetarians to some degree.  Some just don’t eat red meat and say they are vegetarians, some don’t eat any meat or chicken but do eat fish and say they are vegetarian, some only eat eggs and say they are vegetarian, others don’t consume any meat or dairy products at all.

Some do it for health reasons, others for religious reasons and some for ethical reasons, whichever way I don’t have a problem with any of it.

My understanding of a vegetarian is somebody who fits into one of two categories, both categories don’t consume any meat, chicken, or fish and are divided with the one category consuming eggs and dairy products and the other category not.

I have also noticed a trend of late with a few of the blogs I visit.  When a really meaty recipe is posted, quite often some of the people leaving comments state that they have been a “vegetarian” for many years but are slowly starting to incorporate meat back into their diets.  They don’t say why they are doing this, just that they are.  I wonder why there is this “trend”?

This image that I came across on the Braai 4 Heritage blog a while back, poses an interesting question…

So I wonder then, what constitutes a vegetarian?  

I think it all depends on the individual and what they are comfortable with.

24 thoughts on “Vegetarians

  1. Yup 🙂 Chefs get really narky because of this very issue. Nobody minds cooking for a gluten free client/friend cos we all know what that means, but when it comes to the vegetarian…, what in the heck does it mean & your forced to ask & quite often get your head blown off because in some way we’ve highlighted their inconsistencies. Perhaps they should just say “I rarely eat meat products” & we’d get it 🙂

  2. It’s an ever evolving thing for each person. I think the problem comes in where there are not ‘names’ for people who only eat fish. Instead of just saying “I’m vegetarian” they have to sit there and explain, I don’t eat red meat, pork, or poultry. I only eat fish. Blah blah blah. But if they just say “I’m vegetarian, expect I do eat fish” it is so much easier.

    • Hi Jessica, thanks for stopping by. I think you just hit the nail on the head with your explanation of being a vegetarian with the exception of like you say, eating fish etc. 🙂 You have a lovely blog and I have just subscribed to receive your updates. 😉

  3. My bosses when I used to work in HK were vegetarians and they are really strict thats why when we had office sponsored meals such as dinners, client meetings, snacks, etc it should be vegetarian menu. But I wondered why they use Italian leather belts and shoes and even their cars are Top of the Line Mercedes and Jaguar which uses leather upholstery.

  4. Very good post. Considering that I have been a vegetarian for 10 years, it bugs me very much when people say “I’m a vegetarian, but I eat fish…” or “but I eat jello…” etc. These are what I call “semi-vegetarians” like my husband, who eats a lot of vegetarian food, but only because I do.

    I also try my hardest to cut out products and foods that have gelatin in them, but most OTC meds have it in them and you can’t avoid that (wondering now if vegans ever thought of that??) and I only use leather products if it was given as a gift (ex. my father-in-law just gave me a pair of gloves and I would hate to return them because he forgets I don’t eat meat).

    And to the woman who said it’s not healthy, ANY diet’s not healthy if you don’t get the proper nutrients. But it’s easy to supplement your diet with dairy, nuts, and soy products to get adequate protein intake.

  5. I’ve been an ovo-lacto vegetarian since I was 12, I’ll be 30 in March. I have no issues with people eating meat, it’s just my own personal preference. i cook meat for my fmaily (though it’s difficult because you can’t taste everything). But in general….”vegetarian” means that the person will eat eggs and milk. “Vegan” means they don’t eat any animal products at all.

    I will only eat animal prodcuts that don’t hurt the animal, essentially. This means…a cow has to be milked…why not use the milk? lol. A chicken’s bound to lay an egg anyway….might as well eat it.

    My kids eat meat, my husband eats meat. People that only eat meat “on occasion”are in no way vegetraians in my opinion. They just eat meat rarely. Then there are some who don’t eat “red meat” and that’s usually what they refer to themselves as …”I don’t eat red meat”.

    My point?

    “Vegans” – don’t eat any animal products. I’ve tried it for a week or two, but I love cheese too much. Sorry, vegans.
    “vegetarians” – usually mean ovo-lacto vegetarian.

  6. I was a lacto-ovo eating vegetarian for many years and my body simply couldn’t cope. I breastfed my daughter for 2 1/5 years and my bones and teeth show the damage. Well done to those who manage it successfully.

  7. I’m not a vegetarian, but my 6 year old daughter is really against eating meat. When she found out that the meat on her plate came from a real animal, she pretty much quit eating it. I realize she’s little, but I wonder when the foundation for that decision happens.

  8. I saw this tagged in your Trip Down Memory Lane post. I’m vegan, meaning I don’t eat any meat, eggs, dairy, or honey, and I try to avoid buying any animal products for clothing, etc. I agree with you that everyone has to do what they are comfortable with. This list highlights some of the challenges of living in a non-vegan world! Personally I just try to do the best I can and stay informed, but I also know that it’s next to impossible to 100% eliminate every animal product from my life. My reasoning for being vegan is ethical, so I figure as little money as I can contribute to the factory farming system the better. Even though it’s incredibly hard to eliminate every animal product, even cutting back on your consumption or being mindful of it makes a difference.

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