I realized that when I started going meatless 3 months ago, I called my self – “…someone who is not eating meat anymore”. Yep! I wasn’t calling myself vegetarian (although I thought I was), just because I wasn’t too keen on labels and I was self-conscious. I didn’t want to use the term incorrectly and shame everyone else who are “more aware” and “more experienced” in that area. Maybe I was just insecure but I had a feeling that to become a vegetarian you had to register or really make a huge change in your life like buying a new fridge just for all the veggies or something. I don’t know if someone can relate to that but that’s how I felt. Then I started reading about it, and now I’m sure I’m a vegetarian — a lacto-ovo vegetarian to be specific.
Medical Daily has a really good article that explains the difference between being a vegetarian (full-time and part-time, or lacto and ovo) and being a vegan. Really quickly, Vegetarians generally don’t eat meat. Semi-vegetarians don’t eat red meat, lacto vegeterians don’t eat meat and poulty (but eat food with dairy), ovo vegetarians don’t eat meat and food with dairy (but eat poultry), a lacto-ovo vegetarian eats fruits, vegetables, poultry, and dairy. Vegans on the other hand, just eat plant-based food (fruits and vegetables). I made a quick infographic (my first attempt) that hopefully helps visually explain all of that.
Well, that’s it. So if you’re thinking of being a vegetarian (or vegan), you can start deciding if you’re going to include or exclude dairy and poultry in your diet, or just be semi-vegetarian and just avoid red meat (beef, pork, lamb, etc). You can also choose to be vegetarian a few days a week at first if you think that it will be difficult for you to transition to being a full-time vegetarian all days of the week.