February 3, 2010
I recently told a friend that I have embarked on a journey to live more consciously. The first thing she said was “You’re gonna become a vegan.” Waaa? Me? Vegan? Uh… no. Not that I have anything against vegans, or veganism, or a vegan diet. It’s just not for me. I have no interest in that. But to each his own.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with eating meat. I think as a society we eat far too much of it, we could benefit from cutting back, but I am not opposed to it. I hardly ever eat red meat. I pretty much stick to fish and poultry. I would have a hard time switching to a vegan diet because of the dairy aspect. And when I say dairy, I mean cheese.
I love cheese. Looove it. I love all kinds of it – cheese itself (cheddar, pepper jack, swiss, mozzarella, provolone, bleu, brie, gouda, port wine, feta, chevre – need I go on?), cream cheese, cottage cheese, string cheese, grilled cheese, mac ‘n cheese, cheese fondue, cheese cake – all of it. I just can’t imagine life without cheese. My love of cheese alone, kills the vegan diet for me.
If I were to make a diet switch, I could probably do a vegetarian diet, but vegan is a bit extreme. I was just reading in my Betty Crocker Big Red Cookbook, about the different types of vegetarians. (I didn’t realize there were different types.) It says the most popular type of vegetarianism in the United States is ovo-lacto. Ovo-lacto vegetarians eat eggs (ovo) and dairy (lacto), but do not eat meat. The most popular style of vegetarianism in the world however, is lacto-vegetarian. Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy, but do not eat eggs or meat. What I found to be most interesting though, was this cookbook does not call it vegan, but rather vegan vegetarian. It says a vegan diet is a style of vegetarianism. Is that right? I didn’t know that.
But what I found most surprising, was according to Betty Crocker, I am a semi-vegetarian. Now it acknowledges that this is a trendy term, that doesn’t quite fit the standard definition of vegetarian. But apparently a semi-vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, but does still eat fish and poultry. Ta da! That’s me! Who knew?! Vegan? No. Semi-vegetarian? Right on!
Image Source: “Cheese Mites.” Photo. VirginMedia.com Publication date unknown. 02 Feb. 2011. <http://www.virginmedia.com/homefamily/fooddrink/things-you-didnt-know-you-ate.php?ssid=8>.