The various types of vegetarian- what are they?

What do you think when you hear the word Vegetarian?   Does it conjure up the image of a thin and pasty Bondi hipster, or perhaps your generalized view of Vegetarian is more the tanned dreadlocked Byron Bay Variety.   Whatever it is, to be a Vegetarian these days is not what most folk view it to be.

We have more education, more choice, more awareness- and are developing a consciousness dare i say and an insight into the food industry- live exports were a shocking display at the lack of humanity we can often show toward our fellow living breathing, FEELING creatures, masses of people are wanting to know how they can help to support the treatment and welfare of animals, whilst still enjoying our past time of firing up the BBQ.

You can eat consciously- don’t disconnect from what it is you are eating, eating only what you need, with awareness and thanks to the living being that has been slaughtered for your dinner.   Consciously eating only what you need will drastically reduce the amount you need to buy, enabling you to be able to afford grass fed or if you are in a positon- organic.   At least you will know the cow was fed well and cared for whilst it has its days on our planet. 

So let’s take a look at the various forms of vegetarianism and just what each class of vego is.  Being Vegetarian today is not just about abstaining from red meat, or foods that contain any animal products- there are many forms of vegetarianism that can cater to your own ethical, gastro intestinal or gustational needs.

  • Vegan:   No meat at all, no eggs, no dairy or processed packaged foods containing these or any other animal derived products.  A good example of some other animal derived product you may find hidden in packaged foods is gelatine.  Gelatine is a yellowish, odourless, and nearly tasteless substance that is made by prolonged boiling of skin, cartilage, and bones from animals- and sadly, for lolly lovers- lollies are full of gelatine.  
  • Pescetarian:  No meat or animal flesh- with the exception of fish.
  • Lacto Ovo Vegetarian:  No dairy or eggs.   No meat, fish or animal flesh. 
  • Lacto Vegetarian:  Vegetarian that does not eat eggs- but does eat dairy
  • Ovo Vegetarian:   prefers to vegetarians that do not eat meat or dairy, but do eat eggs.
  • Pollo Vegetarian:  This is somebody that follows the basic vegetarian principles of no animal flesh- however, they do entertain the idea of the odd chook and hence enjoy the occasional chicken meal.
  • Flexitarian:  A mostly vegetarian diet, but occasionally eats meat.     Well how’s about that, there is a vego class for everybody!
  • Macrobiotic: The macrobiotic diet is mainly vegetarian, but this diet sometimes includes seafood. All other meat products are excluded, as well as eggs and dairy products. The difference between this and the earlier mentioned Pescetarian diet is basically that this diet focuses on eating organic, local and seasonal foods- which is great, however, wholegrains are staples on the macrobiotic diet.  Something i am not a fan of.
  • Fruitarian: A fruitarian is a person who eats only fruits and vegetables.  This diet is not as restricted as you would first think.  Avocados olives, beans, nuts, seeds- usually raw, are all a part of the fruitarian diet.  The ethics of a fruitarian is that It is important that these fruits are taken from the plant without killing it.
  • Raw Foods:   This is an unprocessed vegan diet.  Raw does not mean 100% raw all the time.  To keep foods at their optimal nutritive status, raw foodists believe that food should not be heated above 44degress.  When heated above this, food becomes harmful, degrades in its enzymatic quality and nutrition- we essentially kill the food by heating up above 44degrees.

If you are in Sydney and you would like to try the delightful flavours, healing benefits and energy giving qualities of raw foods- you must get down to my friend Julie Mitosis’s Cafe “Earth to Table” at 85 Bronte Rd Bondi Junction- YUM! Check her out on Facebook.