So it’s about 12:15am pacific time, and what is a night owl to do other than to troll the internet for….(*sigh* yes, fill in the blank with your improper thoughts..why don’t ya??)…vegetarian food articles and other interesting goodness!
When searching for information on vegetarian lifestyles, you’ll be amazed at just how many different vegetarian types exist! Those who are just considering adopting a vegetarian diet may feel overwhelmed by all of the information, and not sure which direction they should go in. Of course the vegans will scream, “Go Vegan”! The ovo-lacto vegetarians will lament why they still ingest dairy products, and of course those who eat raw and gluten/wheat free will have their own arguments.
For those people who are new to a vegetarian lifestyle, I am not one to push people into any specific realm of vegetarianism. I believe there should be room for experimentation, that way the person is free to decide what works best for him/her. Each lifestyle choice has its advantages, and some its disadvantages; below, I’ll give the run down of each veggie lifestyle choice.
Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian: Probably the most popular type of vegetarianism as it is the most easy to transition to, this type of vegetarian diet is one that still allows the consumption of eggs and dairy products. Technically, Lauren and I are ovo-lacto vegetarians as we periodically consume eggs and dairy products. However it is our belief that if we are going to still eat these items, we should always buy organic, and free-range (eggs). All in all, we are about 80% vegan.
Vegan: A person who omits all animal products from one’s diet. This means a completely plant-based diet abundant in fruits, legumes, veggies, soy products, and whole grains. Rarely will vegans consume honey, and many opt a kind way of dressing as well (i.e. no clothes made with animal products.) Lauren and I make sure to not purchase leather or other products made via animal exploitation.
Gluten-Free: A vegetarian who is gluten free is pretty self-explanatory. He/she abstains from all meat and gluten containing products. Gluten is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, and malts. Many people purport gluten as being the cause of hyperactivity in children and claim it can cause restlessness, allergies, and issues with digestion.
Macrobiotic: Macrobiotic vegans often have different levels of macrobiotic, with the last being the “most hardcore” so to speak. Macrobiotic diets generally make whole grains their staple food, but often will combine beans, and sea vegetables to make it a complete meal. Many times macrobiotic vegans stray away completely from all processed foods, and stick to a completely whole foods diet. Some even drink miso soup for breakfast–very hardcore, but very good for you.
Raw Vegan: A raw vegan is a person who not only omits all animal products from his/her diet, but takes it one step further. The raw vegan will not consume food cooked in heat above 115 degrees Fahrenheit, but often times will not eat heated foods at all. This is in my eyes probably the healthiest diet to adopt, albeit difficult. Lauren and I hope to at one point be in a place where we consume 1-2 raw vegan meals daily with a cooked vegan meal at the end of the day. 🙂
And there you are, five different levels of vegetarianism. I consider them levels because I organized the different types according to difficulty level, with raw veganism being the most difficult to achieve.
Play around with the different diets, and relish in all of the opportunites that a vegetarian lifestyle has to offer, including the opportunity to save thousands of animals lives’ yearly and to better your overall health!