DIETS: Vegetarian, Pescatarian-vegetarian, Ova-Lacto-vegetarian, Lacto-vegetarian, Ovo-vegetarian, Vegan – the World gets increasingly madder?

The US  Impossible Burger, a plant-based imitation that bleeds and sizzles when it cooks, coated in coconut oil to give a crunchy outside, and with a pinky soft middle, that includes the characteristic taste and aroma of meat.

[The term ‘vegetarian’ should not be applied to foods that are, or are made from or with the aid of, products derived from animals that have died, have been slaughtered, or animals that die as a result of being eaten. Animals means farmed, wild or domestic animals, including for example, livestock poultry, game, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, amphibians, tunicates, echinoderms, molluscs, , and insects ( Food Standard Agency)]

There can be no doubt about it, but the British public in these more affluent times, surprisingly (?) are increasingly turning towards forms of vegetarianism – whether or not this is some kind of self-punishment, self-castigation, self-flagellation, or just penitence, is anyone’s guess, eh?

One thing is sure though, which is that many advocates of the veggie diet find it turns out to be a difficult life choice for themselves, so just like an alcoholic-drinker, they both lie extensively about doing it successfully and sometimes they  ‘fall-off the wagon’ at some point and give in to temptation to eat meat, don’t they?

[One of the strangest things about vegetarianism is that so many plant products are nevertheless presented to ‘look’ like meat food and mimic the taste – why is it necessary for people to try to fool their brain into ‘thinking’ they are eating meat, do you think?].

Because of all that, it is difficult to be precise about the actual current level of vegetarianism in the UK [not least as some people in the UK misidentify themselves as vegetarians while still eating fish], but it could be as high as 10% or more of the population (say 4 million people) though it might be less than half of that. Nevertheless, a Canadian study found that the UK has the third highest rate of vegetarianism in the European Union. Apparently, there are twice as many vegetarian women as men – they beat men at everything these days.

[One survey even reports that the number of vegans in UK has skyrocketed to 3.5 million (when the diet was a niche subculture of only around half a million followers a couple of years ago) – driven by social media so more worrying  evidence of it taking over our society?].

Now, you have to just ask yourself if this metamorphism towards a vegetarian lifestyle is a good or damaging development for our society, don’t you? Will it make our race healthier or less healthy, will it turn a large section of the population into miserly-guts [a vegan diet often can be quite joyless they say?], will it alienate our much bigger sector of meat-eaters [a wedge driven by being accused of wrong-doing by those who have come to treat extreme vegetarianism as a belief equivalent to a religion?], or will it even have other damaging impacts like on the economy?

Well for a start, we in the West are eating an unprecedented amount of meat [one in five eating meat every single day] and whatever your attitude is to vegetarianism, it would be much better from a health angle if all us meat-eaters were  to cut back to what is a much more reasonable quantity, don’t you think?

[Rationing in WW2 identified EVERY adult person’s basic need per week as being Bacon & Ham 4oz (110g), plus other meat to the value of 1shilling & 2pence ((equivalent say to 2 chops) – being a meat-avoider or using just those quantities would help to solve the UK’s obesity crisis, wouldn’t it?

There are also good environmental reasons for favouring a vegan or reduced meat consumption diet just to reduce carbon footprint, rather than only curtailing car usage, as ten percent of our total greenhouse gas emissions are indeed associated with meat consumption.

What we all should understand though at the outset, is that our earliest human ancestors were meat & fish eaters who were hunting and butchering animals at least 2 million years ago, so it is no good vegetarians nowadays trying to decry the practice as inhuman, is it?

Nor can vegans criticise really the historic use of animal products by humans, because its only more modern mankind developments that allows them these days to avoid wearing or using clothes, shoes, or furnishings made from animal skins, hair, or feathers, so no fur, leather, wool, feathers or silk – just cotton (seedpot of the plant), linen (from flax plant fibres), hemp (from the Cannabis sativa plant species), or manmade fibres, eh?

That said, it has to be appreciated that increasing numbers of the population also have serious concerns about animal welfare and simply just won’t accept the ‘behind the scenes’ modern factory farming methods that the food industry has progressively introduced and used to provide cheap meat and other animal products.

Mankind’s adaption to the world, for almost the whole time of human history, was in becoming foraging ‘hunter-gatherers’, meaning that most (if not all) food was obtained by collecting wild plants and pursuing wild animals. [Hunting and gathering societies tended to be small, (fewer than fifty members) and involved the family as its primary institution, sharing food, bringing-up children and giving protection].

That has evolved more recently into agricultural societies, with its combination of horticulture together with improving pastures for the care, tending and use of animals such as cattle, camels, goats, yaks, llamas, reindeers, horses, and sheep – so for its meat, modern society relies mainly on domesticated species.

However, many people these days are enjoying a flexitarian diet, a part-vegetarian diet and one that is plant-based but with the occasional inclusion of meat. That certainly carries a lot of appeal to the bulk of the British consumers, doesn’t it? Yep, so nowadays nearly a third of us will identify themselves as ‘meat reducers’ and that certainly is a good thing that we ALL should be set on?.

 

[However, Vegans seem to be on a mission to coerce the rest of society to “go vegan” (so no cheese either,  NOR pets – the children will be mortified ) and adopt their eating preferences, and that is a BIG mistake as attraction is a more powerful force than promotion, isn’t it?]

 

Vegetarian: someone who abstains from the consumption of meat, and may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter

Pescatarian-vegetarian: someone whose diet includes fish or other seafood, but not the flesh of other animals.

Ova-Lacto-vegetarian: consumes some animal products, such as eggs and dairy, but does not eat fish or other seafood

Lacto-vegetarian: has a vegetables diet but includes as well dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ghee, cream, and kefir, but excludes eggs

Ovo-vegetarian: a vegetarian who eats of eggs but not dairy products

Vegan: abstains from the use of animal products, particularly in the diet, and rejects the commodity status of animals

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