Variety a plenty!  Just what is a vegetarian these days anyway?

What do you think when you hear the word Vegetarian?  Does it conjure up the image of a thin and pasty Bondi hipster, or perhaps your generalized view of Vegetarian is more the tanned dreadlocked Byron Bay Variety.   Whatever it is,  to be a Vegetarian these days is not what most folk view it to be.

Now that we have more education, more choice, more awareness- and are developing a consciousness dare I say and an insight into the food industry- live exports were a shocking display at the lack of humanity we can often show toward our fellow living breathing, FEELING creatures, masses of people are wanting to know how they can help to support the treatment and welfare of animals, whilst still enjoying our past time of firing up the barby.

So let’s take a look at the various forms of vegetarianism and just what each class of vego is.  Being Vegetarian in 2014 is not just abstaining from red meat, or foods that contain any animal products- there are many forms of vegetarianism that can cater to your own ethical, gastro intestinal or gustational needs.

Vegan: No meat at all, no eggs, no dairy or processed foods containing these or any other animal derived products.  A good example of this is gelatine.  Gelatine is a yellowish, odourless, and nearly tasteless substance that is made by prolonged boiling of skin, cartilage, and bones from animals- and sadly, for you lolly lovers- lollies are full of gelatine.   Many vegans refrain from eating foods that may not contain animal products, but are made using animal products- gelatine being one basic ubiquitous example.

Pescetarian: No meat or animal flesh- with the exception of fish.

Lacto Ovo Vegetarian: No dairy or eggs. No meat, fish or animal flesh.

Lacto  Vegetarian: Vegetarian that does not eat eggs- but does eat dairy

Ovo Vegetarian: Refers to vegetarians that do not eat meat or dairy, but do eat eggs.

Pollo Vegetarian: This is somebody that follows the basic vegetarian principles of no animal flesh- however, they do entertain the idea of the odd chook and hence enjoy the occasional chicken meal.

Flexitarian: A mostly vegetarian diet, but occasionally eats meat. Well hows about that, there is a vego class for everybody!

Macrobiotic: The macrobiotic diet is mainly vegetarian, but this diet sometimes includes seafood. All other meat products are excluded, as well as eggs and dairy products. The difference between this and the earlier mentioned Pescetarian diet is basically that this diet focuses on eating organic, local and seasonal foods- which is great, however, wholegrains are staples on the macrobiotic diet.  Something i am not a fan of.

Fruitarian: A fruitarian is a person who eats only fruits and vegetables.  This diet is not as restricted as you would first think.  Avocados olives, beans, nuts, seeds- usually raw, are all a part of the fruitarian diet. It is important that these things are taken from the plant without killing it.

And finally- my personal favourite…

Raw Foods: LOVE my raw foods!   This is an unprocessed vegan diet.  Raw does not mean 100% raw all the time.  To keep foods at their optimal nutritive status, raw foodists believe  that food should not be heated above 44degress.  When heated above this, food becomes harmful.   Raw foods are another wonderful subject all to itself- by my goodness you create some A-MAY-ZING foods using raw foods recipes.

If you are in Sydney and you would like to try the delightful flavours, healing benefits and energy giving qualities of raw foods- you must get down to my friend Julie Mitosis’s Cafe “Earth to Table” at 85 Bronte Rd Bondi Junction- YUM!

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