A lot of people are surprised to find that I'm a vegetarian, while others bug me about it, saying I do it because it's "in right now". When, in fact, I've been a vegetarian since I was about the age of 6 or 7, and I do it because I don't like the texture or taste.
There are several different kinds of vegetarians (though all are human, haha!). There are those who will not eat any meat or animal flesh excluding fish; this kind is called "Pescetarians." There are then those that are called "Flexitarians" who, most the time don't eat meat but occasionally will. A "Lacto-Vegetarian" are people who don't eat eggs or meat but will eat dairy, and Ovo-Vegetarians" are those who don't eat meat or dairy, but do eat eggs.
Then there are "Vegans". A lot of people mix up Vegetarians and Vegans, or sometimes think that they are the same thing. Although Vegans do fall under the Vegetarian category, they do not eat meat and they also don't eat anything that comes from an animal, or is made with animal products. A lot of Vegans supplement their dairy products with soy, which is a very healthy alternative. "Raw Vegans" do not eat meat that is cooked over 45 degrees Celsius because they believe that the meat will lose its nutritional value if it is cooked. A lot of Raw Vegans resort to a lot of sushi. Finally, there are "Macrobiotics", who allow the occasional meal including fish, and focus a lot on raw vegetables, seafood and fruits.
I guess I'm just under the standard category of Vegetarian, because I don't eat any meat, fish or poultry, or animal of any kind. I also don't eat soy meals, that don't have meat but do taste like it. As mentioned earlier, I don't eat it because I don't like the texture or taste. But if you ever think of switching to Vegetarianism, you can try soy products!
A lot of people I know will try and argue with me telling me I'm doing it for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) when, in fact, I'm not. There are people out there who are followers of the PETA group, but I am not one of them. I respect the work they do and I respect the Vegetarians who don't eat meat because they love animals, but meat is needed in life to survive. The body needs proteins and most of the proteins we need come from meat. I, myself, take A LOT of vitamins to keep my levels up where they need to be. I also know people who feel uncomfortable eating meat in front of me because I do not eat meat. I think it's funny, but I know they're just trying to respect my decision. My entire family eats meat, and it doesn't bug me, although I know there are some out there who are bugged by it.
Not only am I a vegetarian, but I'm a rather picky eater. I supplement meat in my diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables. Green and red peppers, carrots, celery, salad, cucumber, cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, apples, bananas, almost any melon and so on are some of the things I enjoy in my diet. Being a vegetarian isn't so bad in my opinion, but I've gone so long without meat that I don't miss it.
Some of my friends have told me that I've inspired them to stop eating meat, but they only last a few weeks. It's such a great feeling knowing that I have an impact on people like that, but I'm not trying to get anybody to give up meat. I know that the human diet needs meat, and I'm not all, "DON'T EAT ANIMALS, THEY'RE LIVING THINGS TOO". I just . . . don't like meat!
So if you ever question vegetarians, or you think that we're missing out, I assure you we aren't. Fruits are the most delicious things I have ever tasted, and in my opinion, meat isn't. So if you love meat, keep on eating! But if you ever want to try Vegetarianism, there are many options out there for you.
Author's Note: Resource for names of vegetarians: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetarianvegan101/tp/TypesofVeg.htm