What is your dietary lifestyle?
When I first started the Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics group, my initial purpose was to find other diabetics who are current or former Seventh-day Adventists, either vegetarian or non-vegetarian eating only “clean” meat. I stated from the onset that members did not necessarily have to be Adventists as long they understood the Adventist position* on meat-eating (no pork or shellfish) and would not post recipes containing “unclean” meat. I knew that some might be dietary vegans (or “strict vegetarians” as they are sometimes called).
When I did a Google search on the question, “What is a vegetarian?” I found the following definitions online:
- Vegetarians do not eat any flesh foods, including no poultry or fish.
- Strict Vegetarians follow a vegan diet but not the lifestyle. That means they do not consume any flesh food, dairy, eggs, animal-derived ingredients in food…but they still use cosmetics with animal-derived ingredients and may wear leather, fur, silk, etc. I have referred to them as Dietary Vegans.
- True Vegans do not use any animal products at all–no meat, no dairy, no eggs, no honey, and no animal-derived ingredients in food or cosmetics. Vegans also do not use real leather, fur, silk, etc. Basically, if it comes from an animal, vegans don’t use it. Veganism is not just a diet; it’s a lifestyle.
Seventh-day Adventists recommend vegetarianism and condone abstinence from pork, shellfish, and other foods proscribed as “unclean” in Leviticus 11. Thus, I developed the category Adventist Non-vegetarians, based on that description.
During my lifetime, Adventists have traditionally been lacto-ovo vegetarians, so I thought that would be the most prevalant demographic represented in the group. I’ve taken polls from time to time, but the following is the most recent (done during the week of October 4-10, 2015), and yielded the following results:
Adventist non-vegetarian (eats only “clean” meat, per Leviticus 11) – 33%
Lacto-ovo-vegetarian (eats dairy and eggs, no flesh foods) – 22%
Dietary vegan (no eggs or dairy) – 22%
Eggetarian (eats eggs but no dairy or flesh foods) – 6%
Pescetarian (eats fish but no meat or poultry) – 6%
Pollo-pescetarian (eats fish and poultry but no other meat) – 6%
Flexitarian (mostly vegetarian, but occasional meat, including bacon) – 6%
*The Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Belief No. 22 states, “It also means that because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently. Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well.”