Until recently, the common wisdom has been that an animal-based diet would ensure you had enough protein. But based on the famous “you are what you eat” phrase, we just want to put this question out there: Have you ever seen an ox eating a cow?
The movie Game Changers tells us that cows are just middlemen in the nutrition delivery chain. Which made us wonder… why don’t we consume the vitamins, amino acids and minerals straight from the source? This month is Vegan Month and we want to take a moment to examine some misconceptions regarding the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. Most importantly, why they do it? If you understand the WHY, you will understand the WHAT they eat. Let’s kick it off with what means to be a vegetarian?
The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as someone who does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or by-products of animal slaughter. Vegetarian diets contain various levels of fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, nuts and seeds. There are also various forms of the vegetarian diet.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Vegetarians who avoid all animal flesh, but do consume dairy and egg products.
- Lacto vegetarians: Vegetarians who avoid animal flesh and eggs, but do consume dairy products.
- Ovo vegetarians: Vegetarians who avoid all animal products except eggs.
- Vegans: Vegetarians who avoid all animal and animal-derived products.
Some variations are pescatarians who don’t eat meat or poultry but do consume fish and seafood, and flexitarians who intermittently consume meat. Veganism on the other hand, is not only a diet but a lifestyle. Therefore, for those who are not vegetarian it is important to understand the WHY.
- Ethical: Perhaps the most widely known reason, these people seek what they perceive to be a more caring and compassionate lifestyle. They see problems with animal testing, animals in captivity, animal exploitation, avoiding certain garment choices such as animal skins or wearing wool, silk and others. Understanding this makes obvious their position regarding animal-based diets!
- Some choose a plant-Based diet for health reasons.
- Raw: Raw vegans choose not to eat anything cooked or heated up, so this diet mainly consists of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains.
- HCLF (High Carbs Low Fat) vegans will eat huge quantities of carbs in the form of fruit, vegetables and grains, and as little fat as possible. Although, healthy fats are still essential in the diet, they are consumed in much smaller quantities and some find their carbs in potatoes, rice and pasta.
- Environmentally Conscious: More and more, people are trying to make changes in their daily lives to better take care of our planet. Many believe that mass consumption of meat and dairy puts a lot of pressure on the environment.