6 Degrees of Vegetarianism.

6 Sep

Image via Wikipedia

Well I think there truly are more then 6 degrees of people claiming to be ‘vegetarian’ these days, but when it really comes down to it most of them are not even close to being vegetarian. What I will do is take the ‘Top 6′ Most Popular Degrees of Vegetarianism‘ and explain them to you in the easiest way possible. I will state for the record that eating the flesh of any animal really ’86’s’ the whole vegetarian out of vegetarianism, but I respect some people’s dietary needs/religious/cultural situations so therefore will include fish eaters in this listing. I will attempt to start with the ‘most mild’ degree of vegetarianism and end with the ‘most intense’. I will not acknowledge terms like ‘Flexitarianism’ or ‘Semi-Vegetarianism’ on this list. Those are wonderful stepping stones to becoming a vegetarian, but I personally feel that for ethical and practical reasons they are not vegetarian lifestyles. Again I am NOT knocking those lifestyles by any means and I truly wish more people would embrace those lifestyles. Those lifestyles tend to lead to a full blown vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, which as we all know is a beautiful thing 😉

Here are my personal ‘6 Degrees of Vegetarianism’

Degree #6 –  Pesco-vegetarianism or Pescetarianism
A pesco-vegetarian is a vegetarian who also eats seafood or sea animals, excluding sea mammals. They may also eat eggs or dairy products. This degree of vegetarianism is also known as a pescetarian. This is a very common form of vegetarianism in the Western World and also in the Far East.

Degree #5 – Macrobiotic Diet
The macrobiotic diet is a diet with many followers who believe in its health-promoting qualities. It contains mainly of unprocessed vegetarian foods such as whole grains, vegetables and beans. However, it is not a fully vegetarian diet as it sometimes contains fish. Sugar is avoided, and fruits are often also excluded or consumed in limited amounts.The macrobiotic diet stands out due to its extensive inclusion of sea vegetables, such as seaweeds. This is a more ‘trendy’ degree of vegetarianism in my opinion, unless it is being used for medical reasons.

Degree #4- Ovo-lacto-vegetarianism or Lacto-ovo-vegetarianism
An ovo-lacto-vegetarian or a lacto-ovo-vegetarian is a vegetarian who also eats eggs and dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese. The principal of this degree of vegetarianism is that animal food which is produced without causing death or suffering to the animals can be eaten. Another example of such foods would be honey. This seems to be the most popular degree of vegetarianism in the Western World and is easy to follow. Most people who I know that are vegetarians started at this degree and have stayed here or progressed to vegan.

Degree #3- Lacto-vegetarianism
A lacto-vegetarian is a vegetarian who also eats dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese; the prefix “lacto” refers to dairy products. This degree of vegetarianism is sometimes also called a lactarian.

This is the degree of vegetarianism that I practice, I do not eat eggs or milk but I do get down with fat free yogurt and cheese and my guilty pleasure…butter. I am a complete vegan in my lifestyle choices though, I do not wear any animal hide, fur, no silk, no wool, no cashmere, no nothing animal related. I also do not use or condone the use of any products tested on animals, this is just so wrong in my opinion. It may sound crazy, but its quite easy to find great clothes and great skin care products that never caused any harm to an animal 😉

Degree #2- Veganism

Vegans do not eat any animal products at all, including eggs, dairy products, as well as processed foods which contain substances derived from animals, such as gelatin. Even honey is excluded.

I personally consider (and so do ALL Vegans I know), veganism to be more than just a diet, but also a lifestyle – a true Vegan does not use any animal products at all, not even for clothing or other purposes. The lifestyle is also against practices such as animal testing in laboratories and modern commercial livestock farming methods. This means to leather, suede, fur, wool, silk and no beauty products that are tested on animals.

Degree #1- Raw Veganism
A raw vegan is a vegan who only eats raw foods. Some define a raw vegan diet as one which consists of unprocessed foods which have not been heated above 46 degrees Celsius or 115 degrees Fahrenheit. The rationale is that foods which are heated above this temperature lose a significant portion of their nutrients, and can even become harmful to the human body when consumed. This is a crazy strict diet and one I would find impossible to follow, but more power to those who can make it happen. I eat tons of raw food but I need some cooking every once in a while.

I hope this helped to clear things up and gives you a better idea of where your lifestyles falls or where you want it to fall. Let it be known, that whichever degree you are on or choose to advance to, every little bit counts. Every meal you do not eat meat in, saves more then that animal… it saves water, grain, pollution and your body. Best of luck on your way to the degree of your choice 😉

Here is a Vegetarian Food Pyramid…


Here is a Vegan Food Pyramid…


vegan food pyramid adapted from recommendation...

Image via Wikipedia


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