What are the different vegetarian types?
Want to live a vegetarian lifestyle but don't know the different levels of vegetarianism?

Many meat and potato eaters may be thinking to themselves, “There are different TYPES of vegetarians? I thought all vegetarians only ate fruits and vegetables.” There are actually several varying levels of vegetarianism, usually based on the reason somebody has chosen to begin living a vegetarian lifestyle.

Some people become vegetarians because of their ethical beliefs. There is a large group of people who feel that slaughtering and butchering animals for humans to eat is barbaric. These people feel that the conditions that animals, like cattle and chickens who are raised to be slaughtered, live in are unacceptable, despite the fact that the animals will eventually be killed. They feel that all animals deserve to be treated decently and with respect; thus, they feel that it is morally unacceptable for humans to even consider using animals for food. There is also a group of people who feel that, environmentally, a diet that is vegetarian is much better. This is due to the fact that when we raise animals specifically to be slaughtered and used for human consumption, we are wasting our precious natural resources. Most people who become vegetarians for ethical beliefs or for animal rights become full-fledged vegans. Vegans do not eat any animals, nor do they eat, wear or use any item that is made from an animal by-product. Thus, these vegans do not eat meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products. Nor do they use any type of leather products. In short, if an item is made from an animal or from any type of animal product (like leather, gelatin, ivory, silk and wool), that item would be considered off-limits. Others consider themselves fruitarians. Fruitarians eat only raw fruits and seeds and nothing else.

Others become vegetarians for health reasons. Some people want to eat foods that are lower in cholesterol so they give up red meat or dairy products for these reasons. Then there are some people who give up, say, red meat because they hate the taste of it. Some other types of vegetarians include lacto-vegetarians (these are essentially vegans who also consume milk and milk products), ovo-vegetarians (vegans who consume eggs and egg products), lacto-ovo vegetarians (vegans who will eat both milk and egg products) and pescetarians (vegans who will eat fish). When one hears of a strict vegetarian, this usually means a vegan. In fact, some vegans do not consider lacto-, ovo- or lacto-ovo vegetarians real vegetarians.

There are also some who swear by a macrobiotic diet. This diet consists of foods that are grown organically. There is also much emphasis placed on how the food is prepared and eaten. For example, rice should be cooked in a pressure cooker, food should never be prepared in a microwave, food should be thoroughly chewed and food should only be eaten when the person is hungry.

Fortunately, for anybody who wants to become vegetarian, it is much more publicly accepted and acknowledged than it used to be. You can go to most restaurants and order the vegetarian special and even most grocery stores have an entire section of food devoted to vegetarians.