I don’t understand vegetarianism

Vegetarian 

noun 

  1. a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc.

That may be the true definition of being a vegetarian, but it’s rather vague. For most people, the following term is a better fit:

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian

noun 

  1. Also called lac·to·var·i·an [lak-tuh-vair-ee-uh n] ovolactarianovo-lacto-vegetarian. a vegetarian whose diet includes dairy products and eggs.

As the title suggests, I don’t understand vegetarianism when most people are actually opting for the dairy inclusive diet. There seems to be a small misconception here as to the true meaning behind the term. Here’s the thing: I respect dietary decisions made by everyone. Please feel free to eat meat and dairy products, and this is by no means a post preaching others to change their way in life. 

If you want to have a vegetarian diet inclusive of dairy products for health beneficiary reasons and/or different reasons other than animal cruelty, then I totally get it. Cutting meat out of your diet can drastically improve your health very quickly as it avoids a whole load of bad crap from entering your body. However, if you are opting for a vegetarian diet inclusive of meat because it is cruel to kill animals, then I don’t get it. 

Vegan

noun 

  1. a vegetarian who omits all animal products from the diet. 

A vegan diet omits all animal products including dairy. The reason behind it? Well, let’s look at conventional farming. Due to consumerism, to hit high demands for meat and dairy, farms are forced to act as factories, and animals as products. As a result, the animals do not receive the attention they deserve. Even the regulations behind free range and organic farming are usually regulated only at minimal living quarters for the animals, and do not take into account treatment of animals and other aspects of farming such as transportation of animals. Therefore, the argument to eat a vegetarian diet inclusive of dairy due to animal cruelty falls flat on its backside as dairy farming tortures animals. One might argue that meat is more humane as they are finally killed instead of suffering any further. Cows are artificially impregnated to produce milk and the offspring are taken away to be killed if they are deemed “useless”. Organic free range hens are literally thrown into trucks akin to battery cages to be transported. Any eggs that produce offspring are sorted, in which most chicks are ground alive. The list goes on… I don’t want to promote negativity behind veganism, but rather the positive side. If you want more on the info, a quick Google search will point you in the right direction.

A vegetarian who opts in for the diet due to the consequences of animal farming, and yet consumes dairy, does not fully understand the concept.

I’m actually not against the idea of eating meat and dairy, even though the idea of eating corpses and swallowing the liquid out of a cow’s teet is quite a disgusting concept. Better farming regulations that treat animals humanely is at the core of this debate, though I’m sure that killing animals for human consumption is also a large factor. Dairy would be much easier to stomach if produced based on humane approaches. 

At the time of writing this article, I have been cooking strictly vegan food at home for 2 years. The challenge and creativity behind it is an excellent bonus factor, especially in finding options on making things I love that has a meat or dairy portion in the recipe. I have been reluctant to go fully vegan as I live in Japan, and not only is there a cultural barrier in this concept, finding vegan food is a challenge when eating out. I’ve decided now to at least attempt this option in order to avoid spending my hard earned dosh on suffering. This is still a good step forward. A bonus factor is that selfishly, I will also attempt to become healthier, though eating chips everyday won’t achieve that! 

Eat what you want, but think twice about how the food ended up on your plate.

Here’s some positive pictures of food I cooked in the past two years:

 

Tomato and basil pasta bake
  

Stir fried garden vegetables on spaghetti
  
Butternut squash curry
 

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