My first introduction to vegetarianism came when I was working downtown Atlanta at one of the state offices. I attended a meeting along with another fellow and while waiting for the Marta Train, the fellow told me that he was a vegetarian.
At the time, I wasn’t a vegetarian. I was curious about vegetarianism, but not too curious to become a vegetarian. The young man told me that he was a vegetarian and that he only ate chicken and fish. I didn’t question him about the chicken and fish, but I didn’t understand how he could claim to be a vegetarian, while still eating chicken and fish.
From then on, I always had a question in my mind about this fellow being a vegetarian. I was confused about how this vegetarian stuff worked because I always thought that a vegetarian was a person who didn’t eat animal flesh, but maybe other things from animals like dairy and eggs. I never understood how the young man could consider himself a vegetarian yet; he was still eating chicken and fish.
Have you ever heard someone voice loudly that they are a vegetarian, yet they are throwing down on some wings and fish? Well, if you have, I want you to know that those people who are claiming they are vegetarians and still eating chicken and fish are not vegetarians. Don’t get it twisted!
When someone tells you they are a vegetarian this is what you should know about that person’s way of eating.
They eat mostly fruits and vegetables.
They may eat nuts and seeds
They may eat grains
They may or may not eat eggs
They may or may not eat dairy
These are foods that vegetarians do not eat:
Some may also abstain from animal by-products of the slaughtered animal (rennet and gelatin).
Lacto-vegetarian is one who eats dairy products, but not eggs.
Ovo-vegetarian is one who eats eggs, but not dairy products.
Ovo-lacto vegetarian is one who eats both eggs and dairy products.
Vegan is one who excludes all animal based products such as eggs, dairy and honey.
The next time someone tells you they are a vegetarian; you will know they probably fall into either of the categories listed above. If someone tells you they are vegetarian and they are still eating chicken and fish, then you will know they are either a semi-vegetarian or a pescetarian (only eats fish and no meat). They are not a true vegetarian.
According to the Vegetarian Society a person is not a vegetarian if they consume fish or birds, because these are animals. If you have a friend or know someone who voices loudly they are vegetarian, but they are still throwing down on some chicken and fish, then you will know the real deal.