The most annoying thing you can ask a vegetarian is “you eat fish don’t you?” Firstly, let me point out that vegetarians do not eat fish, the clue is in the name. Secondly, if we ate fish we would be Pescatarians, easy to say. Sadly for us actual vegetarians this term is so seldom used that it doesn’t even come up on my Word Spellcheck.
Its quite simple, carnivores are animals who eat meat only. Omnivores can eat meat and vegetation, and herbivores can not consume meat, only vegetable matter. Vegetarians fall into the middle category as we are capable of eating meat, we just chose not to.
Whether this choice is based on religion, health or because we don’t agree with killing and eating animals, the resulting conclusion is still the same, we are vegetarians and we don’t eat meat or fish. I have met many so called vegetarians who give us a bad name, eating only white meat never red meat, apparently constitutes being a vegetarian. Eating just poultry apparently does too. Avoiding meat at home but eating a Big Mac when out of the house also constitutes being a veggie I am told.
For those of us true to the term vegetarian, being asked at social functions if we eat fish and seafood is very grating. The answer is always no. Fish are still living creatures and we have made the choice not to eat them.
Vegans are more extreme and totally eliminate all animals and derivatives from their diets. Avoiding dairy and products containing dairy such as chocolate, which can be very restrictive. It is also not permitted to wear leather if you are a vegan. However it is possible to be healthy on a vegan diet and some of the fittest athletes and body builders have been vegans.
Raw vegans as the name suggests eat only raw vegetables, fruit, nuts seeds and grains. These food types can not be cooked over 40C as the heat is thought to kill the food, reduce nutrients and increase toxicity. Foods are eaten alive and supposedly full of nutrients. Though cooking does deplete the vitamin C and some B vitamins, overall, steaming vegetables releases the nutrients, increases bioavailability and makes food digestible. For example carrots, tomatoes and spinach release more vitamins if cooked slightly than when raw. Deep fat frying and boiling food is obviously not the answer, but a diet containing some raw and some lightly cooked or steamed food is advisable
Fruitarians are even more restricted as they consume fruit, nuts, vegetable and seeds and avoid eating grains, animals and derivatives. Although there is some evidence to show this holistic diet is similar to that of early pre human ancestors, followers typically have low amounts of protein and iron in their diet which can be unhealthy.
Radical fruitarians only eat fruit that has fallen from the tree and not been picked. More restrictive than normal fruitarians this is incredibly antisocial and difficult to maintain, but the least likely to affect the balance of nature. With the population of the world growing steadily, it would be impossible to feed many of the 7 billion people on this diet,
However whether a veggie, a raw or standard vegan, a standard or radical fruitarian, the answer is still the same, we still do not eat fish!
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