Being a vegetarian isn’t as unusual as it may seem: according to a 2008 study from Vegetarian Times, 3.2 percent of Americans are vegetarian, .5 percent is vegan, and 10 percent say they follow a largely vegetarian-inclined diet. Whether you are interested in eating less meat and animal products (or cutting them out altogether) for ethical, health or environmental reasons, here are the basics of vegetarianism:
- Vegetarian: This term describes someone who does not consume poultry, meat, seafood or fish.
- Semi-Vegetarian: A person who consumes dairy products, poultry (including eggs) and fish, but does not eat any other animal flesh or products.
- Ovo-Lacto-Vegetarian: Someone who eats eggs and milk, but does not consume any other animal products.
- Ovo-Vegetarian: A person who consumes eggs but no other animal products or flesh.
- Lacto-Vegetarian: Someone who consumes milk but no other animal products or flesh.
- Vegan: Vegans do not consume any animal flesh, products or by-products. Some vegans also do not consume yeast or honey, and often opt not to wear clothing and accessories made from animals.
If you are considering a change in your diet that excludes or sharply limits animal products, be sure to take quality supplements that can supply essential vitamins, minerals and fats that are typically provided by animal-based sources. And don’t miss next Monday’s post, which offers six healthy lunch ideas, most of which are vegetarian.