Have you ever considered becoming a vegetarian? Can you give up on eating animals and subscribe to a plant-based diet? Well, you are not alone. Vegetarian Nigerians do exist.
There is a growing number of people in and outside Nigeria who have given up their hunger for meat to become vegetarians.
Motivations for this could be health-related, environmental, cultural, economic, or personal. While vegetarianism generally refers to a class of people that abstain from certain foods and subscribe to certain diets, there are levels to vegetarianism that depend on the kind of diet or foods you choose not to eat.
While deciding on which of the types of vegetarianism you would fit in, think about what types of food you want to include or avoid. You don’t necessarily need to fit into any of the standard vegetarian categories, but understanding them will help you consider your options if you choose to follow.
This category is the most restrictive and completely plant-based diet. Vegans do not eat meat, animal products, or by-products. That implies that they do not eat red or white meat, fish, or fowl – including eggs and dairy. Vegans do not use honey or beeswax, gelatin, and any other animal by-product ingredients, or products including animal products like silk, leather, and wool as well.
As the name suggests, flexitarians are flexible when it comes to diet. They are people who are mostly vegetarians but who may be more willing to eat animal products sometimes. The diet is mostly plant-based but allows dieters to incorporate meat and other animal products here and there when they feel like it. It’s the safest way to incorporate a vegetarian diet for people looking to reduce their animal-product intake.
Pescatarians eat fish, fish products, or seafood as a source of protein. They do not eat red meat, white meat, or fowl. Many pescatarians also eat dairy and eggs. This could also be considered as a Flexitarian diet as well.
Lacto Vegetarians eat plant-based diets and dairy products but avoid meat, seafood, and eggs. That means they can have milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, and other dairy products.
Ovo Vegetarians don’t eat meat, seafood, or dairy products. They do eat eggs and products that contain eggs. Although not very popular, this eating style also offers some flexibility.
This is the most common form of vegetarianism. It’s the Latin name for what most people mean when they refer to themselves as vegetarians. Lacto-Ovo vegetarians avoid meat, fish, and poultry but still eat animal products like dairy and eggs.
Similar to the pescatarian, this “semi-vegetarian” diet restricts meat consumption to poultry and fowl only but is not officially considered a vegetarian diet. Pollotarians do not consume red meat, fish, or seafood.
If you plan to subscribe to Vegetarianism in whatever form, ensure you include enough protein, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D in your diet for a healthy balance.