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 willingly.

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.

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