Posts Tagged Vegetarian

The Difference Between Vegan & Vegetarian

If you recently started reading about vegetarian diets, you have probably read all sorts of  strange vegetarian terms and categories like “vegan,”  “ovo-lacto vegetarian,” and “semi-vegetarian.” You probably wondered what the big deal was.  Afterall, what is so conceptually tough about not eating meat?

And you were right!

The distinctions between these sub-categories of vegetarian are actually small, but each is very important to members who belong to the groups. For them, these  distinctions aren’t arbitrary lines; they are important dietary or ethical decisions.

Let’s take a look at some of these groups:

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What Is Vegetarian Cheese?

Vegetarian cheese is cheese that is not curdled with rennet, an enzyme that occurs naturally in animal stomachs. Most vegetarian cheeses are curdled with either plants, fungi, or bacteria.

Vegetarians who do not consume cheese with rennet generally choose not to because it involves slaughtering animals to extract the enzymes.

Vegetarian cheese is hard to distinguish from cheese made with rennet. This lack of distinguisability often forces vegetarians who are ethically-opposed to harming animals to consume cheeses that contain rennet.

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Cooking With Tofu

398px-tofu-beijingchinaIf you aren’t a vegetarian now and haven’t been one in the past, you probably also haven’t eaten tofu many times. In fact, the only time most people hear about tofu it is in jokes aimed at vegetarians.

So why is it that vegetarians eat this stuff all the time? Is is it simply because they have no other choice?

The answer is both yes and no.

Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean you have to eat tofu. In fact, there are many vegetarians who never eat tofu or any popular meat-replacement dishes–such as “veggie burgers” or “tofurkey”–for that matter.

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