In a typical setting, with some typical people, I came up with my typical confession that I have become a vegetarian. Very typically, someone will pause for a second, then asked : "Oh! But you do eat fish right?" My typical respond would be a firm "no". Arrgh!
There are many types of vegetarian. A typical one would be a Vegan. They are the most religious of all. Not only does not eat meat, but also abstain from garlic, chives, shallots, ginger, daily products like eggs, milk, cheese, etc.... its the most difficult to practice and easiest to give-up because of it's rigidity. But I do admire them because it takes determinations, lots of great determination, to sustain.
Another type would be those that practice being a Vegan on certain days of the month. Its the easiest to follow since you just have to stick to it on certain days every month. But let's not stop here. There is more to be done. Go Vege Go !
One type to watch out for is those that abstain from one or more types of meat. For example pork, beef, seafood (for these I suspect its more due to religion, mental or physical). Nevertheless, some form of abstain is a good beginning.
A typical gourmet like me settled for becoming a Lacto-Ova Vegetarian. One which omits all meat but eats anything else edible. So long as it does not promotes killing. This form of vegetarianism is the easiest to stick to and also most widely accepted among other practices. We still want to enjoy deliciously cooked saliva dripping food, don't we? Nah... So much for attachments!
You can choose one of the above style that typically fits in your daily routine to begin with. But whichever you chose, bare this in mind:-
The spirit of giving brings joy. But the joyous gift of all is the gift of life!
I frequently go to events and parties, and I find it extremely difficult to remain a pure vegetarian. It seems to insult the host or the cook if their food is not eaten and enjoyed. So I now describe myself as a flexitarian, I only eat meat when the social situation calls for it . Sort of like drinking alcohol for me.
I suppose I don't get the choice of being vegetarian. I can't argue against the religious choice, but I can say my own beliefs certainly do not require such a lifestyle choice.
As for the philosophic choice, it seems to be centered on the killing of sentient beings. "Sentient" is defined as "responsive to or conscious of sense impressions," but on a practical basis (that which we can observe in other animals) is being able to sense stimuli and respond to them. How do we decide what things are sentient? If it is simply based on sensing stimuli and responding to the stimuli, then you have described every living organism, including plants and animals. Whether it be the plant that senses sunlight and grows towards it or the crayfish that responds to contact with its head by flipping its tail (a simple neural reflex circuit) to propel it backwards or the chicken that responds to the shape of a natural predator by vocalizing (clucking) and fleeing, they are all explained by biological processes. What makes anything *different* ('cause after all I think people are different)? It may be that element of "consciousness" in the original definition I listed above. Consciousness is essentially the ability to modulate one's thoughts - that is to say, to alter behavior and sensation through non-stimuli induced processes. Humans are definitely capable of this. What about other animals? I personally do not think that the animals I eat have those properties that would warrant not eating them.
|"A typical one would be a Vegan. They are the most religious of all. Not only does not eat meat, but also abstain from garlic, chives, shallots, ginger, daily products like eggs, milk, cheese, etc.... its the most difficult to practice and easiest to give-up because of it's rigidity. But I do admire them because it takes determinations, lots of great determination, to sustain. " |
I would argue that vegan is NOT the strictest. The strictest I am familiar with are the 'super'-vegans. These unfortunate dieticians only eat plants that eat animals. So things like fly traps, bucket flowers, etc. I understand it's a retribution thing...
On a more serious, but less funny, note, I am a vegetarian myself. My reasons are along the philosophical lines of animal suffering. I favor certain forms of free-range meats, but I do not eat them myself; this applies to fish as well. However, with fishing, there is the problem of species extinction, whereas it's hard to imagine domesticated cattle ever becoming extinct...
As far as sentience is concern, I understand that there are very complex realms of thought that could be lent to the issue. I basically feel that anything without a central nervous system probably doesn't have the capacity to feel pain, and so that's where I draw the line. It works pretty well for me.
I remember reading some rant about semi-vegetarians once; the kind who eat chicken and fish, but not pork of beef. For these people, it seems that the choice of what to eat is based on closeness between the animal's eyes and human eyes: there's too much of a similarity with pigs and cows to humans. Fish and chicken, on the other hand, are nasty beady-eyed little critters. (chomp)
Personally, I don't think being vegan is hard at all. When I'm at restaurants I do have to make sure my host knows that I don't want certain things in my meal. Cooking at home isn't a problem. There are tons of alternative. I mean there is even vegan whip cream.
What do you call someone that doesn't eat a certain type of meat (pork for example) a vegetarian?
Semivegetarian Meat occasionally is included in the diet. Some people who follow such a diet may not eat red meat but may eat fish and perhaps chicken.
Lactoovovegetarian Eggs, milk, and milk products (lacto = dairy; ovo = eggs) are included, but no meat is consumed.
Lactovegetarian Milk and milk products are included in the diet, but no eggs or meat are consumed.
Macrobiotic Whole grains, especially brown rice, are emphasized and vegetables, fruits, legumes, and seaweeds are included in the diet. Locally-grown fruits are recommended. Animal foods limited to white meat or white-meat fish may be included in the diet once or twice a week.
Vegan All animal products, including eggs, milk, and milk products, are excluded from the diet. Some vegans do not use honey and may refrain from using animal products such as leather or wool. They also may avoid foods that are processed or not organically grown
Would people consider a pescatarian (someone who only eats fish) as a vegetarian?
There are many types of vegetarians. Vegans and lacto-vegetarian are just some of the many types of vegetarianism.