Vegetarianism. Part III. What is vegetarianism and non-vegetarianism?

The term vegetarianism is applied to a number of different dietary habits. The generally accepted definition and understanding of vegetarianism is that it involves abstention from eating animal flesh and related products. However, various forms of vegetarianism have arisen because of conflicting opinions regarding the suitability of eating eggs, dairy products and fish.

Strict vegetarians do not eat eggs, while many other people who also consider themselves vegetarians do. Eggs are often objected to on the grounds that they are carriers of life. However, it is worthwhile pointing out that in fact most eggs are unfertilized and so incapable of producing life. Other people eat fish and also claim to be vegetarians.

Ultra-strict vegetarians go as far as to refuse to eat any type of dairy product, including milk. In India, where a large proportion of the population is vegetarian, milk is widely consumed, together with its derivatives, such as clarified butter (ghee).
The definition of vegetarianism depends on individual interpretation. However, for the purpose of this discussion we will define it as abstention from eating animal flesh of any type. The term non-vegetarian will therefore be used to describe persons who include animal flesh in their diet.

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