Dr. Jyoti Prasad Jain
Vegetarianism is the theory or practice of a ‘vegetarian’, a term derived from the Latin root Vegetare* and coined for the first time in 1842 A.D. to mean ‘One who abstain from the use as food of flesh, fish and fowl, with or without the addition of eggs and dairy produce’.
In other words, a vegetarian is a believer in abstinence from meat and lives wholly on vegetable food, with or without milk, milk products, honey and eggs. At present, most of the vegetarians in the world are lacto-vegetarians who live on vegetable food, milk and milk products – some of tem include eggs, others eliminate them completely.
There are still others who abstain from all animal products including milk and its preparations, and are, therefore, designated ‘vegan-vegetarians’ whereas those who live only on fruits are called ‘fruitarians’ in India, a vegetarian is usually a lacto-vegetarian who does not take eggs.
Derived from Lain root Vigere (to be strong ), Vegetus(lively, fresh, whole, sound), Vwegetar (to quicken), and Vegetabilis (animating), the term ‘vegetable’ represents a level of life below the sensitive; an organism belonging to that great division of natural objects which is distinguished from animals, and consists of plants. Word ‘fruit’ is derived from Lain Fructus (to enjoy), with meaning ‘an edible part of a plant’.