Saturday, June 21, 2008


Vegetarianism means different things to different people. Some call themselves vegetarians although they may consume preferred meats viz: chicken or fish.

The word VEGETARIAN comes from the Latin word 'vegetare' which actually means "to enliven" and is also related to another Latin word 'vegetus' meaning "whole, sound, fresh or lively". Therefore, the true meaning of Vegetariaism would rightly mean a balanced philosophical and moral sense of life . To this end, a plant-based diet is necessary for a healthy physical body which in turn will contribute towards a sound mind and moral consciousness.

By and large, Vegetarianism is defined as a practice of living a meatless diet which may or not include the consumption of eggs or diary products.

A question from a friend has prompted me to post the above for reference. I am also posting here a list on the different types of vegetarians as many people are confused why some vegetarians are allowed to take eggs and others will not.

(1) LACTO-OVO VEGETARIAN : Eats both dairy products and eggs
(2) LACTO VEGETARIAN : Eats dairy products but not eggs
(3) OVO VEGETARIAN : Eats eggs but not dairy products
(4) VEGAN : Does not consume eggs, dairy products, honey
or use any animal by-products such as wool, leather, silk, fur
(5) FRUITARIAN : Only eats fruits and raw vegetables.
He/She believes that cooking food destroys the nutrients/enzymes.
(6) PESCATARIAN : Eats fish in addition to vegetables but avoid other meats.

Followers of Buddhism follows a strict vegan diet which also exclude vegetables under the onion, garlic and leek family. The reasons given are - such vegetables are pungent and strong tasting and according to the Buddhist, will "excite the senses". I have also been told that taking these vegetables will foul one's breath and this will attract low-level beings and when reciting the sutras, will drive away the good spirits.

On this note, I must add that many people who, for some personal reason or other, feel uncomfortable using the term VEGETARIANISM. Well, for want of a politically correct word,
I would think "A PLANT-BASED DIET" will sound more appropriate?

Whichever group you may find yourself, let's hope that adopting a plant-based diet will go a long way in promoting good health and protecting our animal friends and the environment.

I hope that this has been helpful and informative. Please share your views and insight with us.

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