Why is milk considered a vegetarian


What types of vegetarians are there?

There are basically four types of vegetarians:

Ovo-lacto vegetarians: They do without meat and fish, but eat dairy products and eggs. This is the largest group of vegetarians.

Ovo vegetarians: Of course you cook without meat and fish, forego dairy products, but instead eat eggs - a diet that is often chosen for health reasons, for example because of lactose intolerance or lactose allergy.

Lacto vegetarian: You don't eat meat and fish, you don't eat eggs, but yoghurt, cream and other dairy products are on the table.

vegan: Since milk and egg production is inextricably linked to animal husbandry and its disadvantages, the consequent continuation of vegetarianism is veganism. The vegans not only forego all animal food, for example honey, they also do not buy leather products or woolen sweaters. However, the strict vegans are in the minority within the vegetarian group.

Where does the vegetarian movement come from?

Vegetarianism has a long history. The Greek scholar Pythagoras (around 570 to 500 BC) is considered the first great vegetarian today: "Everything that humans do to animals comes back to humans." A fairly modern idea, expressed by Pythagoras around 2500 years ago.

He and his followers not only abhorred religious animal sacrifices, but also believed that humans should not eat animals because eating meat turned them into a war machine, aggressive and murderous. According to the motto: as long as man kills animals, he will also kill people.

Pythagoras found imitators such as Ovid and Plutarch, including the Roman philosopher Seneca, but it did not result in a real movement. After all, until the introduction of the term vegetarian in 1847 (the term comes from "vegetable", English for "vegetable, vegetable") in England, people who lived without meat were called Pythagoreans.

In the Middle Ages, the movement could not establish itself, prominent representatives such as Voltaire and Rousseau first attracted more attention during the Enlightenment.

The movement finally established itself in Europe in the 19th century. The first English Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom was founded in Manchester in 1847.

In Germany, the first German "Vegetarian Association" was founded in Nordhausen in the Harz Mountains in 1867. After the First World War, the movement experienced another boom with the development of homeopathy.

The vegetarian movement reached its peak after the first BSE case in Germany in 2000: According to estimates, around 15 percent of Germans followed a vegetarian diet. In the meantime, the number has decreased somewhat.

Ethical and moral reasons

It is estimated that around a billion people around the world have a vegetarian diet, but the majority are for economic reasons, especially in developing countries. When people in industrialized nations forego meat or fish, ethical-moral, health or ecological reasons, often combined, are often decisive.

Factory farming, animal transport, cage farming, stress during slaughtering - terms that we associate with sometimes frightening images these days. Every year over two billion livestock and grazing animals as well as over 20 billion poultry animals are killed to serve as food for humans.

More and more people no longer want to allow this, see the modern form of animal breeding as ethically questionable and therefore change their eating habits. Loosely based on George Bernhard Shaw: "Animals are my friends and I don't eat my friends".

Ecological reasons

In developing countries, large areas, including rainforest, are being cleared, on the one hand as grazing land for the animals themselves and on the other hand as cultivation areas for the production of feed. Either 50 kilograms of meat or 6,000 kilograms of carrots, 4,000 kilograms of apples or 1,000 kilograms of cherries can be produced in the same area.

In addition, animal agriculture is one of the largest consumers of water in Germany. With the consumption of water to produce one kilo of meat, you could shower every day for a whole year. 36 percent of the grain produced worldwide and 70 percent of the soy production go into meat production. Numbers from which many people deduce their turn to vegetarianism.

And factory farming also plays a role in the climate debate. The methane gas produced during digestion of the animals is considered to be harmful to the climate. Methane is formed in the rumen of sheep and cows when the animals' stomach bacteria break down plant fibers into their components. It is one of the greenhouse gases; Factory farming thus contributes to the warming of the earth's atmosphere.

A cattle emits just as much greenhouse gases in one year as a car does in one year (with a mileage of 18,000 kilometers). Worldwide cattle breeding produces more climate-damaging gases than all cars combined.

Health reasons

Studies have now shown that vegetarians suffer less from some diseases of civilization and that they have a significantly longer life expectancy. Vegetarians are less likely to develop cancer, have lower blood pressure levels, and are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases and obesity.

However, it remains unclear to what extent it could also be due to the fact that vegetarians generally smoke less, drink less alcohol and do more sport, i.e. live more consciously and healthier overall.