Vegetarians Among Us
By Susan Mack, Photography by Ron Hart
Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Magazine
You grab a bean burrito with chips and salsa for Wednesday’s supper. For lunch the next day you eat tomato soup and a black-bean-and-corn salad. Pasta primavera and garlic bread sound good for dinner. Oh, and by the way, you’ve eaten vegetarian meals for two days.
Vegetarian meals are mainstream eating; most people just don’t realize that. Veggie pizza; eggplant parmesan; cheese lasagna; those wonderful, Southern greens and black-eyed peas (when not prepared with meat); most Indian food (a nation of predominantly vegetarian Hindus) and many Chinese stir-fries–all qualify. At last count, between 14 million and 16 million Americans considered themselves to be vegetarians, and many more are “occasional vegetarians,” who eat meatless meals periodically.
Let’s clarify the term vegetarian. Vegans are the most hard-core: they eat only vegetables, fruits and grains and will not consume animal by-products, including eggs, milk, butter, cheese and honey. Lacto-ovo vegetarians are less strict and will eat cheese, milk, butter and eggs. Pesco-lacto-ovo vegetarians also eat all dairy products and well as fish. Some people even consider themselves vegetarians for not eating red meat. (continued in article)