Monday, March 10, 2014

I am a vegetarian… but you are not vegetarian.

If in India you say that you are vegetarian then any one can understand what do you mean by it but it is difficult to stick to the vegetarian’s Indian definition once you go out of India. You have to change the term.

In my Swedish office I am the only one who is Vegetarian but actually I am not. Why? Because I consume dairy products. It was hard for me to explain our vegetarian definition in which we include dairy products by default (as all Indians love dairy products) and exclude any kind of animal flesh.

Once in my office we were having cake with ice-cream and there were two variants of ice-cream, lactose free and with lactose, I scooped the regular one on my cake and one of my colleague intervened to make me aware that I have taken the wrong one.

He asked me: “you are vegetarian right ?”

I said: “Yes”.

He: “You have taken the wrong ice-cream, its the one made from dairy products, you must take the lactose free.”

Me: “No, its fine with me. I love dairy products so I have the right one.

He: “What!!! but you said you are Vegetarian ?

Me: “Yes, I am a vegetarian,  I just don’t eat animal products.

He: “In that case, you are not Vegetarian. If you consume dairy products then you are not vegetarian because dairy products are also animal products.”

Me: “Okay!! Look, by animal products I meant to say any kind of animal flesh but I consume dairy products. In India, if somebody is saying that he is a vegetarian then this term includes consumption of dairy product with out any kind of animal flesh.

He: “That’s strange!! You guys are fooling the world by saying that you are vegetarian while you are not.

Me: “No, we are not. The type of diet you are talking about is a vegan or strict vegetarian which excludes all animal products and animal flesh  including eggs, dairy, honey etc. We are or I should say I am lacto-vegetarian or Ovo-lacto-vegetarian. It’s just like we don’t feel to say Ovo-lacto-vegetarian or lacto-vegetarian every time.

He: “Hmm! What is Ovo-lacto-vegetarian ?

Me: “Ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet includes eggs and dairy products.

He: “Oh!! this is damn confusing. How one can survive with out eating meat ? What do you eat in your Vegetarian meal ? Do you eat salad all the time ?

Me: “It’s confusing for you because you are totally  non-vegetarian and we can survive in the same manner as you are surviving with our eating vegetarian food. We don’t eat salad all the time, there are many things to eat in vegetarian food, come to my home sometime for dinner or lunch if in case you want to have vegetarian food sometime.

He: “I must say, you have a very typical of diet.

Me: “I know, I am not alone in the world having such diet.

So, this actually turned out in a discussion. Now, I have to specifically say that I am a Ovo-lacto-vegetarian. Btw, being here , for the first time I see a separate section of lactose free products and soya milk in the stores. I never saw such things in India.


  1. Ayyo people confuse vegetarians with vegans. Vegans don't eat any dairy product or eggs. I am a vegetarian, an ovo-lacto vegetarian at that. By the way, good to see you back. But, I am not getting any of your feeds. My feed shows your 2013 post as the last one.

  2. May be because this is my second post in 2014. Stay tuned for more updates.

  3. Welcome back, Ankit ji. Maine aaj hi apka blog visit kiya.