What happened to the plain and simple terms of dinosaurs? They were either herbivores (eating only plants), carnivores (eating only meat), or omnivores who had their feet in both worlds!
In recent years I have been exposed to so many terms related to what people eat or don’t eat (or can and can’t eat), that it makes my head spin! When we started homeschooling 6 years ago, I started hearing people talk about being vegan and I was totally lost! I had no idea what they were referring to, although I knew it was food related and it seemed similar to a vegetarian which I was familiar with. As the years have gone on, terms like vegan have become more and more prevalent in our lives. Whether for health, principle, or other reasons, we have come in contact with more and more who are vegetarians, or are vegan.
The following definitions are taken from Wikipedia:
• vegetarian encompasses the practice of following plant-based diets (fruits, vegetables, etc.), with or without the inclusion of dairy products or eggs, and with the exclusion of meat (red meat, poultry, and seafood)
• veganism is the practice of eliminating the use of animal products (a term used to describe material taken from the body of a non-human animal. Examples are fat, flesh, blood, milk, eggs)
The main difference between the eating habits of your average person and a vegan person would be that the vegan eats much less meat (really no meat or meat products). Vegetarians eat dairy products and other foods that belong in those categories which still come from animals. This is one of the biggest differences between a vegan and a vegetarian. True vegans do not eat animal products of any sort which also includes the consumption of any animal products like milk, yogurt, butter, and eggs.
It is not uncommon for one to think that vegans and vegetarians are the same. Vegetarians do not eat meat but they will consume animal related products which would mostly be classified as dairy including yogurt, eggs, milk and others. Basically they will still eat the products that do not directly harm animals like meat which is not included in their diet.
Now I am no expert, nor do we choose to use any of these diets, but I thought it might be nice to have a better understanding of some of these terms and what it means in real life. When we have our friends over who are vegetarian or vegan, it is nice to have a small grasp of what their consumption is like and possibly some recipes on hand that we know they can eat.
Which is kind of where I am going to look to all of you reading this.
What are your favorite vegan or vegetarian recipes, reference sites, tips, etc.?
Do you teach your homeschool students about alternative types of eating habits?
Leave a comment and share your wealth of knowledge with me, and others like me who would like to be a little more in the light about this modern strain of herbivores! 🙂