Definition of Lacto vegetarian diet:
"A lactovegetarian diet is a vegetarian diet which includes dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, and kefir but excludes eggs. The origin of "lacto" is the Latin word for milk [lac, lactis]. Within Indian cultures this diet is often what is meant by the term "vegetarian"."
"Lacto-vegetarians choose to consume dairy products, but abstain from specifically eating eggs. Cheeses which include animal rennet and yogurts which contain gelatin are also avoided. This diet may be adopted by vegetarians wishing to lower their cholesterol levels, in view of the high amount of cholesterol contained in egg yolks that have been cooked beyond their natural cholesterol counteraction. Another reason would be to protest the cruelty in the poultry industry. On ethical grounds, some people may oppose the slaughter of unwanted male chicks or risking consuming an egg due to the possibility of an animal being created. However, if the egg has not been fertilised, no chick can be produced. Lacto-vegetarian diets are popular with many followers of Eastern religious traditions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism."
The Law of ahimsa or non-violence
"The core belief of Eastern religious traditions behind a lacto-vegetarian diet is the law of ahimsa or non-violence. According to the Vedas (Hindu holy scriptures), all living beings are equally valued by God. Because it takes many more vegetables or plants to produce an equal amount of meat, many more lives are destroyed and more suffering is caused when meat is used as food. In the case of Jainism, the vegetarian standards are even more strict. It only allows the consumption of fruit and leaves that can be taken from plants without causing their death. This further excludes from the diet vegetables like carrots, potatoes and peanuts. Although some suffering and pain is inevitably always caused to other living beings for our food, according to ahimsa, every effort should be made to minimize this, to avoid karmic consequences and show respect for God's creation. In this sense, wastage of food is a sin."
"Indian traditional medicine or Ayurveda is the root of the Indian lacto-vegetarian kitchen."
"The greatest proportion of vegetarians, such as those in India or those in the area of the classical Mediterranean such as the Pythagoreans, are or were lacto-vegetarian."
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