Vegetarian or Vegan?

If you’re unsure about leaving the world of steaks and burgers, some information is always helpful. To begin, know what you’re choosing.

Vegetarians are a bit more ‘liberal’ in their food choices. While they omit meat from their diet, many will eat eggs, dairy, and other products made with animal derivitives. Take pudding for example. Even if you substitute the milk (dairy) with almond, soy, or some other milk alternative to avoid dairy, the gelatin that causes the pudding to firm is an aminal by-product. So consider if consuming these foods is acceptable to you. I gave up pudding, and other products that use gelatin, when I learned how they were made. I consume eggs and dairy, always making an effort to buy from people and companies that treat animals humanely.

Vegans are strict in their adherence of not consuming any animal products. This choice includes not eating eggs, dairy, and honey. Many vegans won’t wear leather or other clothing made from animals, nor will they use animal by-products, like beeswax.

So here are a few questions to consider when making your decision:

Why am I considering this lifestyle?

Is my motivation purely for a more healthy diet?

Am I looking to avoid the hormones, and other drugs, used in the industrialized production of animals raised for food?

Am I uncomfortable consuming animal products?

What foods am I willing to give up or go without?

Will I eat eggs and dairy? What if they are attained or produced by humane means?

Really think past the food to consider how your decision will effect different aspects of your life. I have been asked some unusual questions about being vegetarian, some rather comical–Do you eat chicken? But you can eat fish, right?  These questions demonstrate that many people don’t understand what it means to be vegetarian or vegan. Be sure you do before you change your lifestyle.

Carefully consider your favorite foods and do dome research into how they are made, especially if they aren’t simple enough to identify as vegetarian/vegan friendly. If they aren’t vegetarian or vegan acceptable, can you live without them and still be happy? Which means more to you-the reason you’re a vegetarian or vegan or your chocolate pudding? Knowing the answer to this question will help you make the choice that is best for you.

Knowing your personal perspective, how you feel, and what you are willing to give up will enable you to make a choice that you can happily live with for the rest of you life.


Copyright ElleVeg 2013