Vegetarians who use dairy products are called lacto-vegetarians.
Butter, milk, yogurt, and cheeses made without rennet (inner
lining of the stomach of a calf or pig used to harden cheeses) are
used in a supplemental way, not as a basic staple of the diet.
Most vegetarians do not want to use fur, leather, cosmetics,
silks, and other products derived from animal exploitation; those
who do not use dairy products or eggs either are total
vegetarians, or vegans. In particular, vegans believe that cow’s
milk is meant for calves, not humans. In affluent countries where
dairy foods are produced in excess to the demand for them, there
are many injustices and cruelties which vegans refuse to support.
Calves, for example, are separated within forty-eight hours from
their mother, never having a chance to suckle or know their
mother’s love. A deep pain is carved in both mother and calf.
Tears and endless mooing bear witness to this.
Male calves born in a dairy herd are
relegated to the veal industry to spend sixteen weeks in nearly
total darkness, confined in small indoor pens and fattened on
iron-deficient gruel which deliberately renders them anemic and
listless so as to produce white, tender meat.
In nations where cows, buffalos, and
goats are not separated from offspring and where milking is done
humanely, milk products are accepted by many vegetarians
Vegetarians who eat eggs are called
lacto-ovo-vegetarians. To avoid taking life, such vegetarians
would not eat fertile eggs. As a symbol of potential life, eggs
are not a part of the diet of strict vegetarians. In countries
where factory farming methods confine twenty thousand or more
laying hens in one single warehouse, the resultant suffering,
neurotic behavior, unsanitary and diseased conditions make most
vegetarians shun even the infertile egg.
* * *