From ArticleWorld

Vegetarianism is the word used to describe the practice of abstaining from meat (such as beef, poultry and fish) or the byproducts of meat.



Depending on the level of vegetarianism, dairy or eggs may either be included or excluded from the diets. Also left up to the vegetarian is whether or not he or she will consume lard, tallow, gelatin, rennet or other products that are derived from animal carcasses.


Vegetarianism has grown increasingly popular in the West since the beginning of the 20th century. Proponents cite nutritional, ethical and environmental reasons for making this lifestyle choice.


A variety of vegetarian classifications exist. They include:

  • Lacto vegetarians, who do not eat meat or eggs but do consume dairy. Most vegetarians in India and classical Mediterranean lands fell into this classification.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian, or ovo-lacto, eat meat but do consume dairy and eggs, this is the most common type of Vegetarianism in the Western world.
  • Ovo vegetarians do not eat meat or dairy but do consume eggs.
  • Vegans avoid eating any animal products and avoid wearing or using animal products.
  • Dietary vegans avoid eating animal products but will still wear or use animal products.
  • Raw food diet involves mostly vegan food that has not been heated above 116 degrees F or 46.7 degrees C. They typically only consume organic foods.
  • Macrobiotic diets are mostly whole grains and beans.
  • Natural hygiene is principally raw vegan foods.
  • Fruitarianism consists only of plant matter that can be collected without harming the plant.

Diets that are not classified as vegetarian include:

  • Semi-vegetarian, where people avoid some meat (usually for health or ethical reasons) for example, ones who avoid red meat but still eat poultry or seafood.
  • Flexitarians lead a mostly vegetarian lifestyle but occasionally eat meat.
  • Freegans only eat food that has been discarded and would otherwise consume landfill space.

Vegetarian food

Vegetarian cuisine is typically food that does not contain ingredients under which an animal must have died for their creation (meat, meat broth, cheeses with rennet), gelatin, etc.