And no, if you look the word up in the dictionary it isn’t there.
So what exactly is a lacto-ovo vegequarian?
For me it means this: lacto = I’ll eat dairy products – milk, cheese, butter and yoghurt; 0vo = eggs and chicken; vege = obviously vegetables & fruits, plus nuts & grains. And then comes the quarian. This is where my kids stepped in and suggested that because I eat fish, I should change the ~tarian to ~quarian.
I haven’t always been one though. Once upon I time I was quite fond of red meat. Which all changed when I was pregnant with Daughter.
I can still remember that night. 1997.
I was merrily cooking up a savoury mince for dinner when the smell of the cooking meat turned my stomach. I finished cooking it (all the while trying not to heave in the pan) and then left the kitchen while Husband ate.
This type of reaction to meat seems to be a fairly common thing among pregnant women and in my case (like so many others, I’m sure) I thought I’d be fine once Daughter was born.
But that wasn’t the case. It was like the red-meat switch had been flicked off and was stuck there.
Fast forward to 2002 and I’m about half-way through the rotten pregnancy that is the Little Man.
Up until now, whenever Husband had cooked meat in the house, I had to sit outside in the fresh air because he said that the sound of me vomiting put him off eating. But this particular Saturday as he was cooking a steak, I was hanging over the pan saying “Hurry up, I need to have some.” I demolished that steak and kept it down. But the red-meat switch was still stuck in yuck and after that small feast I returned to vomiting at the smell of meat.
I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegequarian for about 15 years now.
At first it was a pain in the arse. Telling and/or reminding friends that I no longer ate red meat… “Can you cook chicken for me please?” Although I couldn’t even stomach the chicken if it had been cooked in the same pan as anything red. It tasted like red meat. Vomit.
Then there was the explaining why. “No, it’s not because of cruelty. It’s just that my body doesn’t want it. Literally. It rejects it in a rather violent way.” Vomit.
Walking past the meat section in Coles or Woolworths was a mission. And a butcher!? I would hold my breath and rush past. It was either that or vomit.
The MIL would try and convince me to eat some of her lamb roast (which I used to love pre-Daughter). “Thanks Mum. It’s delicious. Will you just excuse me a moment.” Vomit.
Husband would tell me “You need red meat for iron.” I’d try and eat some to shut him up. Vomit.
I got sick of the vomiting.
So now I tell people I’m a vegetarian who eats chicken and fish. It’s easier than explaining lacto-ovo vegequarian to them – although the term often prompts lots of discussion and debate at dinner parties.
The MIL has given up trying to get me to eat red. And I can usually stay in the house when Husband is cooking something red. I can even stomach bacon that has been burned to a crisp. But I draw the line at Small Boy sucking the marrow out of a lamb roast bone. Vomit.
I don’t miss meat. I’m a happy, healthy lacto-ovo vegequarian.
And that’s the way it’s going to stay.
What about you?
Are there any foods that you don’t/won’t eat because your body rejects them?
Are you vegan or vegetarian?
Or are you a red-blooded red meat eater who can’t understand why anyone in their right mind won’t eat red meat!?
Leave me a comment with your story.
NB: In no way an I advocating lacto-ovo vegequarianism as a diet or way of life. This is a personal choice that I have made and you need to decide for yourself – preferably in consultation with a health professional.