The Plight of the Vegetarian
Chelsea Schoen, Tower Staff
November 3, 2011
Filed under Uncategorized
MEAT. Some of you may be saying yum, while others may be repulsed right now. If you are like me, you are in that latter category. Now maybe you just have a weird aversion to that word, but mostly likely, you prefer to not eat meat and are thus a vegetarian. But wait, you eat chicken you say? Ah, then you’re a flexitarian. (No, you’re not a gymnast.) See, many people brush off vegetarianism as a bunch of tree-loving granola-munching hippies, but in actuality, vegetarianism is a lifestyle with many different sects and benefits. Most people are unaware of the various sects and what they entail. For instance, when I’m dining at the Pryz and explain to someone I am pescetarian, I have had several instances where people respond asking where I worship and what my pescetarian faith entails…and then I explain it just means I’m a fish eating vegetarian. #awkward… So here are some of the most common sects and what they each mean:
1. Vegetarian: Refrain from eating meat, poultry, pork, fish, but usually eat animal by-products; in this sense, they’re also called lacto-ovo-vegetarians because they consume dairy and eggs.
2. Pescetarian: Refrain from eating all animal flesh with the exception of fish.
3. Flexitarian: A semi-vegetarian; one who usually follows a vegetarian diet but will occasionally indulge in eating meat.
4. Vegan: Do not eat any meat or animal flesh, no eggs or dairy, and will not consume foods processed with animal by-products.
People choose to go vegetarian for various reasons. Some make the change for the sake of animal cruelty and equality; others choose it as a healthier lifestyle. Personally, I chose to become a pescetarian because I don’t like the way meat and poultry are processed. I feel better putting produce into my body rather than chicken that was born mechanically without a head (it happens). Another solution to this problem would be to eat free-range animals or organic foods. Many restaurants are catching on to this trend and offering these choices. Right in DC, Busboys and Poets is a super vegan/vegetarian friendly restaurant that is incredibly yummy and not that expensive. Regardless of the reasons, vegetarianism is a healthy and delicious option, but maybe it’s not for you. That’s okay! Just be accepting of people with different dietary choices and be aware of the alternatives. Happy eatings!