Many people understand the many benefits that a vegetarian diet can have for your health and the environment, but few realize exactly how many different subsets of vegetarianism there are.
When it comes to vegetarianism, many people choose to be either a lacto-vegetarian or an ovo-vegetarian. In this article, I attempt to explain some of the differences between these two diets so that it will be easier for you to figure out exactly which type of diet you should take on for yourself.
Lacto-vegetarians are people that believe that they should avoid eating eggs, but allow themselves to have dairy products. Lacto-vegetarians contend that they should be allowed to have dairy products since they do not lead to the death of cows, but avoid eating eggs because they are potentially destroying a life in eating them.
Dairy products contain lactose as a principle ingredient, giving this type of vegetarian diet its name. If you have problems with your cholesterol levels, you may want to consider the lacto-vegetarian diet as it can help you to decrease your levels by removing meat and eggs from your diet.
Ovo-vegetarians comprise most of the other vegetarians in the world today, and they have a radically different belief structure from lacto-vegetarians. Ovo-vegetarians allow themselves to eat eggs, stating that the eggs that are made for human consumption are not fertilized and therefore do not cause any animal death.
Ovo-vegetarians stress that they should avoid eating dairy products, unlike their lacto-vegetarian counterparts, because they feel that milk is produced only after a mother cow has given birth to a calf which will probably be used for its meat. To that end, ovo-vegetarians and lacto-vegetarians follow very different belief structures and they often argue about which course of action is the right one to take.
Vegans, by contrast, are vegetarians that feel that they should avoid any type of animal product, ensuring that all of the things that they eat only contain ingredients that come from fruits, grains, and vegetables. This is a hard lifestyle to maintain, but many people find comfort in this diet once they are able to adjust.
Finally, there is a separate group of vegetarians that refer to themselves as lacto-ovo vegetarians. These individuals allow themselves to eat all of the things that the ovo and lacto-vegetarians avoid, allowing for the consumption of both dairy products and eggs.
This type of vegetarian is the most commonly found type within the United States, as individuals merely refrain from eating types of meat in order to keep their diet the way that they want to.
Whatever you decide, rest assured that you are making a good decision when it comes to cutting meat out of your diet. Regardless of your individual beliefs over issues of lacto-vegetarianism or ovo-vegetarianism, by cutting meat out of your diet you are helping to promote the proper treatment of animals and will likely find numerous benefits for your health in your new diet.
Stay committed, and it will be well worth it! Here’s an Easy 3-Day Flexitarian Eating Plan to get you started.