It’s not easy being a vegetarian. It’s often mistaken for, “Hey, you can eat white meat, right?” The key word being meat. It doesn’t matter whether it’s red or white. It’s still meat. Anything that flies, swims, walks, runs, slides or glides, I don’t eat.
The most difficult part is that, there’s no simple way to define vegetarian. Some swear off red meat and still eat seafood. From what I heard, it’s usually the Westerners. Maybe it’s here too but I never did a survey.
Some swear off all meat, animal and dairy products. The term is “strict vegetarian”. Others don’t eat meat during 1st and 15th of the Chinese Lunar month. For my case, I take dairy products except meat. The term is “lactose vegetarian”. It’s not easy to just eat any food that doesn’t contain meat. Additives do contain animal fats.
With different names for vegetarians, it’s not easy for those who aren’t vegetarian to grasp the concept of just eating vegetables and tofu. Their impression is that our diet consists of eating tofu, mushrooms and vegetables everyday. It can be that easy. I don’t have to worry about accidentally eating meat. Here’s a food pyramid for vegetarians.
However, we human beings have been trained to have variety in our lives. Purely eating those will simply drive us to having meat in our diets again. However, our diets can be improved even when our doctors advise us to have meat in our diets when we have lost weight during our illness bouts.
The most common dairy product that will confuse almost anyone is cheese. Most cheese contains rennet (stomach of slaughtered newly-born calves). There are alternatives such as vegetarian cheese but it can be daunting to find such cheese.
From young, my diet does not contain any meat or animal products (if possible), gelatine, garlic, onions and leek. I try to stick to that as close as possible. A study in London has shown that vegetarians are more intelligent. Here’s an account of someone who made her way towards being vegetarian.