VEGETARIANISM /vɛdʒɪˈtɛəriənɪzəm/ is the practice of
abstaining from the consumption of meat (red meat , poultry , seafood
, and the flesh of any other animal ), and may also include abstention
from by-products of animal slaughter .
Vegetarianism may be adopted for various reasons. Many people object
to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Such ethical
motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs , as
well as animal rights advocacy. Other motivations for vegetarianism
are health-related, political, environmental , cultural, aesthetic ,
economic , or personal preference. There are variations of the diet as
well: an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy
products, an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products,
and a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs. A
vegan diet excludes all animal products , including eggs and dairy.
Some vegans also avoid other animal products such as beeswax , leather
or silk clothing, and goose-fat shoe polish.
Packaged and processed foods, such as cakes, cookies, candies,
chocolate, yogurt, and marshmallows, often contain unfamiliar animal
ingredients, so may be a special concern for vegetarians due to the
likelihood of such additions. Often, prior to purchase or
consumption, vegetarians will scrutinize products for animal-derived
ingredients. Vegetarians' feelings vary with regard to these
ingredients. For example, while some vegetarians may be unaware of
animal-derived rennet 's role in the production of cheese, and may
therefore unknowingly consume the product, other vegetarians may
not take issue with its consumption.
Semi-vegetarian diets consist largely of vegetarian foods but may
include fish or poultry, or sometimes other meats, on an infrequent
basis. Those with diets containing fish or poultry may define meat
only as mammalian flesh and may identify with vegetarianism. A
pescetarian diet has been described as "fish but no other meat". The
common use association between such diets and vegetarianism has led
vegetarian groups such as the
Vegetarian Society to state that diets
containing these ingredients are not vegetarian, because fish and
birds are also animals.
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 3 Varieties
* 4 Health effects
* 4.1.4 Fatty acids
* 4.3 Medical use
* 4.4 Physiology
* 4.5 Eating disorders
* 5 Ethics and diet
* 5.1 General
* 5.2 Ethics of killing for food
* 5.3 Dairy and eggs
* 5.4 Treatment of animals
* 5.5 Classical Greek and Roman philosophy
* 6 Religion and diet
* 6.1 Bahá\'í Faith
* 6.2 Buddhism
* 6.3 Christianity
* 6.3.1 Seventh-day Adventist
* 6.5 Islam
* 7 Environment and diet
* 8 Labor conditions and diet
* 9 Economics and diet
* 10 Demographics
* 10.1 Gender
* 10.2 Country-specific information
* 11 See also
* 12 Notes
* 13 References
* 14 Further reading
* 15 External links
The term 'vegetarian' has been in use since 1839 to refer to what was
previously described as a "vegetable diet". The word is commonly
believed to be a compound of vegetable and the suffix -arian (as in
agrarian). (John Davis shows that it was probably not derived from the
Latin word vegetus. ) The term was popularized with the foundation of
Vegetarian Society in Manchester, UK in 1847. The earliest
occurrences of the term seem to be related to
Alcott House , a school
on the north side of
Ham Common, London , opened in July 1838 by James
Pierrepont Greaves . From 1841, it was known as A Concordium, or
Industry Harmony College, from which time the institution began to
publish its own pamphlet, "The Healthian", which provides some of the
earliest appearances of the term "vegetarian".
Mysore , India
History of vegetarianism
The earliest record of vegetarianism comes from Indus Valley
Civilization as early as the 7th century BCE, inculcating tolerance
towards all living beings.
Vegetarianism was also practiced in
ancient Greece and the earliest reliable evidence for vegetarian
theory and practice in Greece dates from the 6th century BC. The
Orphics , a religious movement spreading in Greece at that time, and
Pythagoras , a philosopher and religious leader in the area of
Southern Italy colonized by Greek settlers, abstained from the flesh
Vegetarianism was also practiced about six centuries later in another
instance (between 30 BCE–50 CE) in northern Thracian region, the
Moesi tribe who inhabited present day
Bulgaria , feeding
themselves on honey, milk and cheese.
In the Indian culture, the diet was closely connected with the
attitude of nonviolence towards animals (called ahimsa in India) and
was promoted by religious groups and philosophers. The ancient Indian
Tirukkural explicitly and unambiguously emphasizes
vegetarianism and non-killing. Chapter 26 of the Tirukkural, through
couplets 251 to 260, deals exclusively on vegetarianism or veganism.
Hellenes , Egyptians and others, it had medical or ritual
Ashoka asserted protection to fauna:
"Twenty-six years after my coronation various animals were declared
to be protected – parrots, mainas, aruna, ruddy geese, wild ducks,
nandimukhas, gelatas, bats, queen ants, terrapins, boneless fish,
vedareyaka, gangapuputaka, sankiya fish, tortoises, porcupines,
squirrels, deer, bulls, okapinda, wild asses, wild pigeons, domestic
pigeons and all four-footed creatures that are neither useful nor
edible. Those nanny goats, ewes and sows which are with young or
giving milk to their young are protected, and so are young ones less
than six months old. Cocks are not to be caponized, husks hiding
living beings are not to be burnt and forests are not to be burnt
either without reason or to kill creatures. One animal is not to be
fed to another." —Edicts of
Ashoka , Fifth Pillar Labeling is
mandatory in India to distinguish vegetarian products (green) from
non-vegetarian products (red).
Following the Christianization of the Roman Empire in late antiquity,
vegetarianism practically disappeared from Europe, as it did on other
continents, except India. Several orders of monks in medieval Europe
restricted or banned the consumption of meat for ascetic reasons, but
none of them eschewed fish. (The medieval definition of "fish"
included such animals as seals, porpoises, dolphins, barnacle geese,
puffins, and beavers.) It re-emerged during the
becoming more widespread in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1847, the
Vegetarian Society was founded in the United Kingdom; Germany,
the Netherlands, and other countries followed. In 1886, the vegetarian
Nueva Germania was founded in
Paraguay , though its vegetarian
aspect would prove short-lived. :345–358 The International
Vegetarian Union , an association of the national societies, was
founded in 1908. In the Western world, the popularity of vegetarianism
grew during the twentieth century as a result of nutritional, ethical,
and more recently, environmental and economic concerns.
Roadside café near
Kullu , India See also: Semi-vegetarianism
§ Comparison of vegetarian and semi-vegetarian diets
Comparison of the main vegetarian diets
There are a number of vegetarian diets that exclude or include
Buddhist vegetarianism . Different Buddhist traditions have
differing teachings on diet, which may also vary for ordained monks
and nuns compared to others. Many interpret the precept 'not to kill'
to require abstinence from meat, but not all. In Taiwan, su
vegetarianism excludes not only all animal products but also
vegetables in the allium family (which have the characteristic aroma
of onion and garlic): onion, garlic, scallions, leeks, chives, or
Fruitarianism permits only fruit, nuts, seeds, and other plant
matter that can be gathered without harming the plant.
Jain vegetarianism includes dairy but excludes eggs and honey, as
well as root vegetables.
* Macrobiotic diets consist mostly of whole grains and beans .
Lacto vegetarianism includes dairy products but not eggs.
Ovo vegetarianism includes eggs but not dairy products.
Ovo-lacto vegetarianism (or lacto-ovo vegetarianism) includes
animal/dairy products such as eggs, milk, and honey.
Sattvic diet (also known as yogic diet), a plant based diet which
may also include dairy (not eggs) and honey, but excludes anything
from the onion or leek family , red lentils , durian fruit ,
mushrooms, blue cheeses, fermented foods or sauces, alcoholic drinks
and often also excludes coffee, black or green tea , chocolate ,
nutmeg or any other type of stimulant such as excess sharp spices.
Veganism excludes all animal flesh and by-products, such as milk,
honey (not always), and eggs, as well as items refined or manufactured
through any such product, such as bone-char refined white sugar or
animal-tested baking soda.
Raw veganism includes only fresh and uncooked fruit, nuts, seeds,
and vegetables. Vegetables can only be cooked up to a certain
temperature, for instance using a dehydrator.
Within the "ovo-" groups, there are many who refuse to consume
fertilized eggs (with balut being an extreme example); however, such
distinction is typically not specifically addressed.
Some vegetarians also avoid products that may use animal ingredients
not included in their labels or which use animal products in their
manufacturing; for example, sugars that are whitened with bone char ,
cheeses that use animal rennet (enzymes from animal stomach lining),
gelatin (derived from the collagen inside animals' skin, bones and
connective tissue ), some cane sugar (but not beet sugar) and apple
juice/alcohol clarified with gelatin or crushed shellfish and
sturgeon, while other vegetarians are unaware of or do not mind such
Individuals sometimes label themselves "vegetarian" while practicing
a semi-vegetarian diet, as some dictionary definitions describe
vegetarianism as sometimes including the consumption of fish, or only
include mammalian flesh as part of their definition of meat, while
other definitions exclude fish and all animal flesh. In other cases,
individuals may describe themselves as "flexitarian". These diets
may be followed by those who reduce animal flesh consumed as a way of
transitioning to a complete vegetarian diet or for health, ethical,
environmental, or other reasons. Semi-vegetarian diets include:
Macrobiotic diet consisting mostly of whole grains and beans, but
may sometimes include fish.
Pescetarianism , which includes fish and possibly other forms of
* "Pollo-pescetarian", which includes poultry and fish, or "white
* Pollotarianism, which includes chicken and possibly other poultry;
Semi-vegetarianism is contested by vegetarian groups, such as the
Vegetarian Society, which states that vegetarianism excludes all
On average, vegetarians consume a lower proportion of calories from
fat (particularly saturated fatty acids), fewer overall calories, more
fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, than do non-vegetarians. Vegetarians
generally have a lower body mass index. These characteristics and
other lifestyle factors associated with a vegetarian diet may
contribute to the positive health outcomes that have been identified
among vegetarians. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 – A
report issued by the
U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S.
Department of Health and
Studies on the health effects of vegetarian diets observe
heterogeneous effects on mortality. One review found a decreased
overall risk of all cause mortality, cancer (except breast) and
cardiovascular disease, however another meta analysis found lower
risk for ischemic heart disease and cancer , but no effect on overall
mortality or cerebrovascular disease. Possible limitations include
varying definitions used of vegetarianism, and the observation of
increased risk of lung cancer mortality in those on a vegetarian diet
for less than five years. An analysis pooling 2 large studies found
vegetarians in the UK have similar all cause mortality as meat eaters.
An older meta analysis found similar results, only finding decreased
mortality in vegetarians, pescatarians, and irregular meat eaters in
ischemic heart disease, but not from any other cause.
A vegetarian diet which is poorly planned can lead to
hyperhomocysteinemia and platelet disorders; this risk may be offset
by ensuring sufficient consumption of vitamin B 12 and polyunsaturated
fatty acids .
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and
Dietitians of Canada have
stated that at all stages of life, a properly planned vegetarian diet
is "healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provides health benefits in
the prevention and treatment of certain diseases". Large-scale
studies have shown that mortality from ischemic heart disease was 30%
lower among vegetarian men and 20% lower among vegetarian women than
Vegetarian diets offer lower levels of saturated
fat , cholesterol and animal protein, and higher levels of
carbohydrates, fibre , magnesium , potassium , folate , and
antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals .
Vegetarian diets can meet guidelines for the treatment of diabetes
and some research suggests that diets that are more plant-based reduce
risk of type-2 diabetes. Rates of self-reported Seventh-day Adventists
(SDA) were less than half of those of the general population, and,
among SDA, vegetarians had lower rates of diabetes than
non-vegetarians. Among possible explanations for a protective effect
of vegetarian diet are the Lower BMI of vegetarians and higher fiber
intake, both of which improve insulin sensitivity."
The relationship between vegetarian diet and bone health remains
unclear. According to some studies, a vegetarian lifestyle can be
associated with vitamin B 12 deficiency and low bone mineral density.
However, a study of vegetarian and non-vegetarian adults in Taiwan
found no significant difference in bone mineral density between the
two groups. Other studies, exploring animal protein's negative
effects on bone health, suggest that vegetarians may be less prone to
osteoporosis than omnivores, as vegetarian subjects had greater bone
mineral density and more bone formation.
China-Cornell-Oxford Project , a 20-year study conducted by
Cornell University , the
University of Oxford
University of Oxford , and the government of
China has established a correlation between the consumption of animal
products and a variety of chronic illnesses, such as coronary heart
disease , diabetes , and cancers of the breast , prostate and bowel
The China Study ).
A British study of almost 10,000 men found that those who gave up
meat were almost twice as likely to suffer from depression as people
on a conventional balanced diet. The study found that the 350
committed vegetarians studied had a higher average depression score
compared to others.
Vegetarian nutrition and vegan nutrition A fruit
Western vegetarian diets are typically high in carotenoids , but
relatively low in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 . Vegans can
have particularly low intake of vitamin B and calcium if they do not
eat enough items such as collard greens , leafy greens , tempeh and
tofu (soy). High levels of dietary fiber, folic acid , vitamins C and
E, and magnesium, and low consumption of saturated fat are all
considered to be beneficial aspects of a vegetarian diet. A well
planned vegetarian diet will provide all nutrients in a meat-eater's
diet to the same level for all stages of life.
Protein intake in vegetarian diets is lower than in meat diets but
can meet the daily requirements for most people. Studies at Harvard
University as well as other studies conducted in the United States,
United Kingdom, Canada, Australia,
New Zealand and various European
countries, confirmed vegetarian diets provide sufficient protein
intake as long as a variety of plant sources are available and
consumed. Pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, hemp seed, almonds, pistachio
nuts, flaxseed, tofu, oats, soybeans, walnuts, are great sources of
protein for vegetarians. Proteins are composed of amino acids , and a
common concern with protein acquired from vegetable sources is an
adequate intake of the essential amino acids , which cannot be
synthesised by the human body. While dairy and egg products provide
complete sources for ovo-lacto vegetarian , several vegetable sources
have significant amounts of all eight types of essential amino acids,
including lupin beans , soy , hempseed , chia seed , amaranth ,
buckwheat , pumpkin seeds spirulina , pistachios , and quinoa .
However, the essential amino acids can also be obtained by eating a
variety of complementary plant sources that, in combination, provide
all eight essential amino acids (e.g. brown rice and beans , or hummus
and whole wheat pita , though protein combining in the same meal is
not necessary). A 1994 study found a varied intake of such sources can
Vegetarian diets typically contain similar levels of iron to
non-vegetarian diets, but this has lower bioavailability than iron
from meat sources, and its absorption can sometimes be inhibited by
other dietary constituents. According to the
Group, consuming food that contains vitamin C, such as citrus fruit or
juices, tomatoes, or broccoli, is a good way to increase the amount of
iron absorbed at a meal.
Vegetarian foods rich in iron include black
beans , cashews , hempseed , kidney beans , broccoli , lentils ,
oatmeal , raisins , spinach , cabbage , lettuce, black-eyed peas ,
soybeans , many breakfast cereals , sunflower seeds , chickpeas ,
tomato juice , tempeh , molasses , thyme , and whole-wheat bread .
The related vegan diets can often be higher in iron than vegetarian
diets, because dairy products are low in iron.
Iron stores often tend
to be lower in vegetarians than non-vegetarians, and a few small
studies report very high rates of iron deficiency (up to 40%, and 58%
of the respective vegetarian or vegan groups). However, the American
Dietetic Association states that iron deficiency is no more common in
vegetarians than non-vegetarians (adult males are rarely iron
deficient); iron deficiency anaemia is rare no matter the diet.
According to the United States
National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health ,
vitamin B12 is not generally present in plants and is naturally found
in foods of animal origin. Lacto-ovo vegetarians can obtain B12 from
dairy products and eggs, and vegans can obtain it from fortified foods
(including some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and dietary
Vitamin B12 can also be obtained from fortified
yeast extract products.
The recommended dietary allowance of B12 in the United States is, per
day, 0.4 mcg (0–6 months), rising to 1.8 mcg (9–13 years), 2.4 mcg
(14+ years), and 2.8 mcg (lactating female). While the body's daily
requirement for vitamin B12 is very small, deficiency of the vitamin
is very serious leading to anemia and irreversible nerve damage.
Plant-based, or vegetarian, sources of
Omega 3 fatty acids include
soy , walnuts , pumpkin seeds, canola oil , kiwifruit , hempseed ,
algae , chia seed , flaxseed , echium seed and leafy vegetables such
as lettuce, spinach , cabbage and purslane . Purslane contains more
Omega 3 than any other known leafy green. Olives (and olive oil ) are
another important plant source of unsaturated fatty acids. Plant foods
can provide alpha-linolenic acid which the human body uses to
synthesize the long-chain n-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA . EPA and DHA
can be obtained directly in high amounts from oily fish or fish oils.
Vegetarians, and particularly vegans, have lower levels of EPA and DHA
than meat-eaters. While the health effects of low levels of EPA and
DHA are unknown, it is unlikely that supplementation with
alpha-linolenic acid will significantly increase levels. Recently,
some companies have begun to market vegetarian DHA supplements
containing seaweed extracts. Similar supplements providing both DHA
and EPA have also begun to appear. Whole seaweeds are not suitable
for supplementation because their high iodine content limits the
amount that may be safely consumed. However, certain algae such as
spirulina are good sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA),
alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), linoleic acid (LA), stearidonic acid
(SDA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and
arachidonic acid (AA).
Calcium intake in vegetarians and vegans can be similar to
non-vegetarians, as long as the diet is properly planned. Lacto-ovo
vegetarians that include dairy products can still obtain calcium from
dairy sources like milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Non-dairy milks that are fortified with calcium, such as soymilk and
almond milk can also contribute a significant amount of calcium in the
diet. The calcium found in broccoli , bok choy , and kale have also
been found to have calcium that is well absorbed in the body.
Though the calcium content per serving is lower in these vegetables
than a glass of milk, the absorption of the calcium into the body is
higher. Other foods that contain calcium include calcium-set tofu,
blackstrap molasses, turnip greens , mustard greens, soybeans, tempeh,
almonds, okra, dried figs, and tahini . Though calcium can be found
Spinach , swiss chard , beans and beet greens , they are generally
not considered to be a good source since the calcium binds to oxalic
acid and is poorly absorbed into the body. Phytic acid found in nuts,
seeds, and beans may also impact calcium absorption rates. See the
National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements for
calcium needs for various ages, the
Vegetarian Resource Group and
Calcium Fact Sheet from the Academy of
Nutrition and Dietetics for more specifics on how to obtain adequate
calcium intake on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Vitamin D needs can be met via the human body's own generation upon
sufficient and sensible exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light in
sunlight. Products including milk, soy milk and cereal grains may be
fortified to provide a source of
Vitamin D. For those who do not get
adequate sun exposure or food sources,
Vitamin D supplementation may
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp. sativa), shoot: 4.8 μg (192 IU)
vitamin D2, 0.1 μg (4 IU) vitamin D3
Fungus , from USDA nutrient database:
* Mushrooms, portabella, exposed to ultraviolet light , raw: Vitamin
D2: 11.2 μg (446 IU)
* Mushrooms, portabella, exposed to ultraviolet light, grilled:
Vitamin D2: 13.1 μg (524 IU)
* Mushrooms, shiitake, dried:
Vitamin D2: 3.9 μg (154 IU)
* Mushrooms, shiitake, raw:
Vitamin D2: 0.4 μg (18 IU)
* Mushrooms, portabella, raw:
Vitamin D2: 0.3 μg (10 IU)
* Mushroom powder, any species, illuminated with sunlight or
artificial ultraviolet light sources
Vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol is found in fungus (except alfalfa
which is a plantae ) and created from viosterol , which in turn is
created when ultraviolet light activates ergosterol (which is found in
fungi and named as a sterol from ergot ). Any UV -irradiated fungus
including yeast form vitamin D2.
Human bioavailability of vitamin D2
from vitamin D2-enhanced button mushrooms via UV-B irradiation is
effective in improving vitamin D status and not different from a
vitamin D2 supplement according to study. For example,
from UV-irradiated yeast baked into bread is bioavailable. By visual
assessment or using a chromometer, no significant discoloration of
irradiated mushrooms, as measured by the degree of "whiteness", was
observed making it hard to discover if they have been treated without
labeling. Claims have been made that a normal serving (approx. 3 oz or
1/2 cup, or 60 grams) of mushrooms treated with ultraviolet light
increase their vitamin D content to levels up to 80 micrograms, or
2700 IU if exposed to just 5 minutes of UV light after being
There have been many comparative and statistical studies of the
relationship between diet and longevity, including vegetarianism and
A 1999 metastudy combined data from five studies from western
countries. The metastudy reported mortality ratios , where lower
numbers indicated fewer deaths, for fish eaters to be 0.82,
vegetarians to be 0.84, occasional meat eaters (eat meat less than
once per week) to be 0.84. Regular meat eaters had the base mortality
rate of 1.0, while the number for vegans was very uncertain (anywhere
between 0.7 and 1.44) due to too few data points. The study reported
the numbers of deaths in each category, and expected error ranges for
each ratio, and adjustments made to the data. However, the "lower
mortality was due largely to the relatively low prevalence of smoking
in these cohorts". Out of the major causes of death studied, only one
difference in mortality rate was attributed to the difference in diet,
as the conclusion states: "...vegetarians had a 24% lower mortality
from ischaemic heart disease than non-vegetarians, but no associations
of a vegetarian diet with other major causes of death were
In Mortality in British vegetarians, a similar conclusion is drawn:
"British vegetarians have low mortality compared with the general
population. Their death rates are similar to those of comparable
non-vegetarians, suggesting that much of this benefit may be
attributed to non-dietary lifestyle factors such as a low prevalence
of smoking and a generally high socio-economic status, or to aspects
of the diet other than the avoidance of meat and fish."
Adventist Health Studies is ongoing research that documents the
life expectancy in Seventh-day Adventists . This is the only study
among others with similar methodology which had favourable indication
for vegetarianism. The researchers found that a combination of
different lifestyle choices could influence life expectancy by as much
as 10 years. Among the lifestyle choices investigated, a vegetarian
diet was estimated to confer an extra 1–1/2 to 2 years of life. The
researchers concluded that "the life expectancies of California
Adventist men and women are higher than those of any other
well-described natural population" at 78.5 years for men and 82.3
years for women. The life expectancy of
surviving to age 30 was 83.3 years for men and 85.7 years for women.
The Adventist health study is again incorporated into a metastudy
titled "Does low meat consumption increase life expectancy in humans?"
published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which concluded
that low meat eating (less than once per week) and other lifestyle
choices significantly increase life expectancy, relative to a group
with high meat intake. The study concluded that "The findings from one
cohort of healthy adults raises the possibility that long-term (≥ 2
decades) adherence to a vegetarian diet can further produce a
significant 3.6-y increase in life expectancy." However, the study
also concluded that "Some of the variation in the survival advantage
in vegetarians may have been due to marked differences between studies
in adjustment for confounders, the definition of vegetarian,
measurement error, age distribution, the healthy volunteer effect, and
intake of specific plant foods by the vegetarians." It further states
that "This raises the possibility that a low-meat, high plant-food
dietary pattern may be the true causal protective factor rather than
simply elimination of meat from the diet." In a recent review of
studies relating low-meat diet patterns to all-cause mortality, Singh
noted that "5 out of 5 studies indicated that adults who followed a
low meat, high plant-food diet pattern experienced significant or
marginally significant decreases in mortality risk relative to other
patterns of intake."
Statistical studies, such as comparing life expectancy with regional
areas and local diets in Europe also have found life expectancy
considerably greater in southern France, where a low meat, high plant
Mediterranean diet is common, than northern France, where a diet with
high meat content is more common.
A study by the Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, and
Institute of Physiological Chemistry looked at a group of 19
vegetarians (lacto-ovo) and used as a comparison a group of 19
omnivorous subjects recruited from the same region. The study found
that this group of vegetarians (lacto-ovo) have a significantly higher
amount of plasma carboxymethyllysine and advanced glycation
endproducts (AGEs) compared to this group of non-vegetarians.
Carboxymethyllysine is a glycation product which represents "a general
marker of oxidative stress and long-term damage of proteins in aging,
atherosclerosis and diabetes" and "dvanced glycation end products
(AGEs) may play an important adverse role in process of
atherosclerosis, diabetes, aging and chronic renal failure".
Western medicine , patients are sometimes advised to adhere to a
vegetarian diet. According to studies by the Permanente Journal and
National Institute for Health
National Institute for Health (NIH), vegetarian diets are
affordable and can help reduce health risks like high blood pressure,
cardiovascular disease, and cholesterol levels. A plant based diet has
the potential to lower the risk of heart disease as well as reducing
the amount of medications prescribed in instances of chronic illness.
A change to a plant based diet, or vegetarianism, has had dramatic
positive effects on the health of patients with chronic illnesses,
significantly more than exercise alone
Vegetarian diets have been
used as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis , but the evidence is
inconclusive whether this is effective. Certain alternative medicines
, such as
Ayurveda and Siddha , prescribe a vegetarian diet as a
Maya Tiwari notes that
Ayurveda recommends small
portions of meat for some people, though "the rules of hunting and
killing the animal, practiced by the native peoples, were very
specific and detailed". Now that such methods of hunting and killing
are not observed, she does not recommend the use of "any animal meat
as food, not even for the Vata types".
The human digestive system is omnivorous , capable of consuming a
wide variety of plant and animal material. Some nutritional experts
believe that early hominids evolved into eating meat as a result of
huge climatic changes that took place three to four million years ago,
when forests and jungles dried up and became open grasslands and
opened hunting and scavenging opportunities.
American Dietetic Association has presented evidence that
vegetarian diets may be more common among adolescents with eating
disorders . At the same time the association cautions however, that
the adoption of a vegetarian diet may not necessarily lead to eating
disorders, rather that "vegetarian diets may be selected to camouflage
an existing eating disorder". Other studies and statements by
dietitians and counselors support this conclusion.
ETHICS AND DIET
Ethics of eating meat
Various ethical reasons have been suggested for choosing
vegetarianism, usually predicated on the interests of non-human
animals. In many societies, controversy and debate have arisen over
the ethics of eating animals. Some people, while not vegetarians,
refuse to eat the flesh of certain animals due to cultural taboo ,
such as cats, dogs, horses or rabbits. Others support meat eating for
scientific, nutritional and cultural reasons, including religious
ones. Some meat eaters abstain from the meat of animals reared in
particular ways, such as factory farms , or avoid certain meats, such
as veal or foie gras . Some people follow vegetarian or vegan diets
not because of moral concerns involving the raising or consumption of
animals in general, but because of concerns about the specific
treatment and practises involved in the raising and slaughter of
animals, i.e. factory farming and the industrialisation of animal
slaughter . Others still avoid meat because meat production is claimed
to place a greater burden on the environment than production of an
equivalent amount of plant protein .
Ethical objections based on consideration for animals are generally
divided into opposition to the act of killing in general, and
opposition to certain agricultural practices surrounding the
production of meat.
ETHICS OF KILLING FOR FOOD
Princeton University professor and founder of the animal rights
Peter Singer , believes that if alternative means of
survival exist, one ought to choose the option that does not cause
unnecessary harm to animals. Most ethical vegetarians argue that the
same reasons exist against killing animals to eat as against killing
humans to eat. Singer, in his book
Animal Liberation listed possible
qualities of sentience in non-human creatures that gave such creatures
the scope to be considered under utilitarian ethics , and this has
been widely referenced by animal rights campaigners and vegetarians.
Ethical vegetarians also believe that killing an animal, like killing
a human, can only be justified in extreme circumstances and that
consuming a living creature for its enjoyable taste, convenience, or
nutrition value is not a sufficient cause. Another common view is that
humans are morally conscious of their behaviour in a way other animals
are not, and therefore subject to higher standards.
Opponents of ethical vegetarianism argue that animals are not moral
equals to humans and so consider the comparison of eating livestock
with killing people to be fallacious. This view does not excuse
cruelty, but maintains that animals do not possess the rights a human
DAIRY AND EGGS
One of the main differences between a vegan and a typical vegetarian
diet is the avoidance of both eggs and dairy products such as milk,
cheese, butter and yogurt. Ethical vegans do not consume dairy or eggs
because they state that their production causes the animal suffering
or a premature death.
To produce milk from dairy cattle , calves are separated from their
mothers soon after birth and slaughtered or fed milk replacer in order
to retain the cows milk for human consumption. Vegans state that this
breaks the natural mother and calf bond. Unwanted male calves are
either slaughtered at birth or sent for veal production. To prolong
lactation , dairy cows are almost permanently kept pregnant through
artificial insemination . After about five years, once the cows milk
production has dropped, they are considered "spent" and sent to
slaughter for beef and their hides. A dairy cow's natural life
expectancy is about twenty years.
In battery cage and free-range egg production, unwanted male chicks
are culled or discarded at birth during the process of securing a
further generation of egg-laying hens.
TREATMENT OF ANIMALS
Ethical vegetarianism has become popular in developed countries
particularly because of the spread of factory farming , faster
communications, and environmental consciousness. Some believe that the
current mass demand for meat cannot be satisfied without a
mass-production system that disregards the welfare of animals, while
others believe that practices like well-managed free-ranging and
consumption of game, particularly from species whose natural predators
have been significantly eliminated, could substantially alleviate the
demand for mass-produced meat.
CLASSICAL GREEK AND ROMAN PHILOSOPHY
Pythagoras advocating vegetarianism, painting by
Ancient Greek philosophy has a long tradition of vegetarianism.
Pythagoras was reportedly vegetarian (and studied at Mt. Carmel, where
some historians say there was a vegetarian community), as his
followers were expected to be.
Ovid concluded his magnum opus
Metamorphoses , in part,
with the impassioned argument (uttered by the character of Pythagoras)
that in order for humanity to change, or metamorphose , into a better,
more harmonious species, it must strive towards more humane
tendencies. He cited vegetarianism as the crucial decision in this
metamorphosis, explaining his belief that human life and animal life
are so entwined that to kill an animal is virtually the same as
killing a fellow human.
Everything changes; nothing dies; the soul roams to and fro, now
here, now there, and takes what frame it will, passing from beast to
man, from our own form to beast and never dies...Therefore lest
appetite and greed destroy the bonds of love and duty, heed my
message! Abstain! Never by slaughter dispossess souls that are kin and
nourish blood with blood!
RELIGION AND DIET
Vegetarianism and religion
Indian cuisine offers
a wide range of vegetarian delicacies because the two main sects of
Hinduism , practised by the majority of India's population, encourage
a vegetarian diet. Shown here is a vegetarian thali .
Jainism teaches vegetarianism as moral conduct as do some major
Hinduism . Buddhism in general does not prohibit meat eating,
Mahayana Buddhism encourages vegetarianism as beneficial for
developing compassion. Other denominations that advocate a vegetarian
diet include the Seventh-day Adventists , the
Rastafari movement , the
Ananda Marga movement and the
Hare Krishnas .
Sikhism does not
equate spirituality with diet and does not specify a vegetarian or
While there are no dietary restrictions in the Bahá\'í Faith ,
`Abdu\'l-Bahá , the son of the religion's founder, noted that a
vegetarian diet consisting of fruits and grains was desirable, except
for people with a weak constitution or those that are sick. He stated
that there are no requirements that Bahá'ís become vegetarian, but
that a future society should gradually become vegetarian.
`Abdu'l-Bahá also stated that killing animals was contrary to
Shoghi Effendi , the head of the
Bahá'í Faith in
the first half of the 20th century, stated that a purely vegetarian
diet would be preferable since it avoided killing animals, both he
Universal House of Justice
Universal House of Justice , the governing body of the
Bahá'ís have stated that these teachings do not constitute a
Bahá'í practice and that Bahá'ís can choose to eat whatever they
wish but should be respectful of others' beliefs.
A vegetarian dinner at a Japanese Buddhist temple Main
Theravadins in general eat meat. If Buddhist monks "see, hear or
know" a living animal was killed specifically for them to eat, they
must refuse it or else incur an offense. However, this does not
include eating meat which was given as alms or commercially purchased.
In the Theravada canon, Buddha did not make any comment discouraging
them from eating meat (except specific types, such as human, elephant
meat , horse, dog, snake, lion, tiger, leopard, bear, and hyena flesh
) but he specifically refused to institute vegetarianism in his
monastic code when a suggestion had been made.
Sanskrit texts of
Mahayana Buddhism , Buddha instructs his
followers to avoid meat. However, each branch of
selects which sutra to follow, and some branches, including the
majority of Tibetan and Japanese Buddhists, do eat meat, while many
Chinese Buddhist branches do not.
Christians have always been free to make their own decisions about
what to eat; however, there are groups within Christianity that
practice specific dietary restrictions for various reasons. The early
sect known as the
Ebionites are considered to have practiced
vegetarianism. Surviving fragments from their Gospel indicate their
belief that – as Christ is the Passover sacrifice and eating the
Passover lamb is no longer required – a vegetarian diet may (or
should) be observed. However, orthodox Christianity does not accept
their teaching as authentic. Indeed, their specific injunction to
strict vegetarianism was cited as one of the Ebionites' "errors".
At a much later time, the Bible Christian Church founded by Reverend
William Cowherd in 1809 followed a vegetarian diet. Cowherd was one
of the philosophical forerunners of the
Vegetarian Society . Cowherd
encouraged members to abstain from eating of meat as a form of
Seventh-day Adventists are encouraged to engage in healthy eating
practices, and ova-lacto-vegetarian diets are recommended by the
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Nutrition Council (GCNC).
They have also sponsored and participated in many scientific studies
exploring the impact of dietary decisions upon health outcomes. The
GCNC has in addition adapted the USDA 's food pyramid for a vegetarian
dietary approach. However, the only kinds of meat specifically
frowned upon by the SDA health message are unclean meats , or those
forbidden in scripture.
Additionally, some monastic orders follow a vegetarian diet, and
members of the
Orthodox Church follow a vegan diet during fasts.
There is also a strong association between the
vegetarianism dating back at least to the 18th century. The
association grew in prominence during the 19th century, coupled with
growing Quaker concerns in connection with alcohol consumption,
anti-vivisection and social purity. The association between the Quaker
tradition and vegetarianism, however, becomes most significant with
the founding of the Friends'
Vegetarian Society in 1902 "to spread a
kindlier way of living amongst the Society of Friends."
According to Canon Law ,
Roman Catholics are required to abstain from
meat (defined as all animal flesh excluding water animals) on Ash
Wednesday and all Fridays of
Good Friday . Canon Law
also obliges Catholics to abstain from meat on the Fridays of the year
Lent (excluding certain holy days) unless, with the
permission of the local conference of bishops, another penitential act
is substituted. The restrictions on eating meat on these days is
solely as an act of penance and not because of a religious objection
to eating meat.
Since the formation of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church
Seventh-day Adventist Church in the 1860s
when the church began, wholeness and health have been an emphasis of
the Adventist church, and has been known as the "health message"
belief of the church. Adventists are well known for presenting a
health message that recommends vegetarianism and expects adherence to
the kosher laws in Leviticus 11. Obedience to these laws means
abstinence from pork, shellfish, and other animals proscribed as
"unclean ". The church discourages its members from consuming
alcoholic beverages , tobacco or illegal drugs (compare Christianity
and alcohol ). In addition, some Adventists avoid coffee , tea , cola
, and other beverages containing caffeine . Adventist who follow the
vegetarian lifestyle tend to live up to 10 years longer than people
who do eat meat. Adventists believe in taking care of one's body and
eating as God intended from the
Garden of Eden , all natural fruits,
grains, nuts and vegetables. Sanitarium products for sale
The pioneers of the Adventist Church had much to do with the common
acceptance of breakfast cereals into the Western diet, and the "modern
commercial concept of cereal food" originated among Adventists. John
Harvey Kellogg was one of the early founders of Adventist health work.
His development of breakfast cereals as a health food led to the
founding of Kellogg\'s by his brother William . In both
New Zealand , the church-owned Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company
is a leading manufacturer of health and vegetarian-related products,
Research funded by the U.S.
National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health has shown
that the average Adventist in
California lives 4 to 10 years longer
than the average Californian. The research , as cited by the cover
story of the November 2005 issue of National Geographic , asserts that
Adventists live longer because they do not smoke or drink alcohol,
have a day of rest every week, and maintain a healthy, low-fat
vegetarian diet that is rich in nuts and beans. The cohesiveness of
Adventists' social networks has also been put forward as an
explanation for their extended lifespan. Since
Dan Buettner 's 2005
National Geographic story about Adventist longevity, his book, The
Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the
Longest, named Loma Linda,
California a "blue zone " because of the
large concentration of Seventh-day Adventists. He cites the Adventist
emphasis on health, diet, and Sabbath-keeping as primary factors for
An estimated 35% of Adventists practice vegetarianism or veganism ,
according to a 2002 worldwide survey of local church leaders.
Adventists' clean lifestyles were recognized by the U.S. military in
1954 when 2,200 Adventists volunteered for
Operation Whitecoat to be
human test subjects for a range of diseases the effects of which were
The first task for the scientists was to find people willing to be
infected by pathogens that could make them very sick. They found them
in the followers of the Seventh-day Adventist faith. Although willing
to serve their country when drafted, the Adventists refused to bear
arms. As a result many of them became medics. Now the U.S. was
offering recruits an opportunity to help in a different manner: to
volunteer for biological tests as a way of satisfying their military
obligations. When contacted in late 1954, the Adventist hierarchy
readily agreed to this plan. For Camp Detrick scientists, church
members were a model test population, since most of them were in
excellent health and they neither drank, smoked, nor used caffeine.
From the perspective of the volunteers, the tests gave them a way to
fulfill their patriotic duty while remaining true to their beliefs.
Vegetable Shop in Meppadi Main article: Diet in Hinduism
Hinduism is more of a practice that was classified as a religion.
Though there is no strict rule on what to consume and what not to,
Hinduism hold vegetarianism as an ideal influenced by Jains.
Some reasons are: the principle of nonviolence (ahimsa ) applied to
animals; the intention to offer only "pure" (vegetarian) food to a
deity and then to receive it back as prasad ; and the conviction that
a sentient diet is beneficial for a healthy body and mind and that
non-vegetarian food is not recommended for a better mind and for
spiritual development. Other reasons maybe lack of availability of
meat and forced diet by rulers.
However, the food habits of
Hindus vary according to their community,
location, custom and varying traditions. Historically and currently,
Hindus who eat meat prescribe
Jhatka meat, while some Hindus
believe that the cow is a holy animal whose slaughter for meat is
forbidden. This belief varies according to region.
Islam and animals and
Islamic dietary laws
Islamic dietary laws
Some followers of Islam, or Muslims, chose to be vegetarian for
health, ethical, or personal reasons. However, the choice to become
vegetarian for non-medical reasons can sometimes be controversial due
to conflicting fatwas and differing interpretations of the
Though some more traditional Muslims may keep quiet about their
vegetarian diet, the number of vegetarian Muslims is increasing.
Vegetarianism has been practiced by some influential Muslims
including the Iraqi theologian, female mystic and poet Râbi‘ah
al-‘Adawîyah of Basrah , who died in the year 801, and the Sri
Lankan Sufi master
Bawa Muhaiyaddeen who established The Bawa
Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship of North America in Philadelphia. The former
Indian president Dr.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was also famously a
In January 1996, The
International Vegetarian Union announced the
formation of the Muslim Vegetarian/
Many non-vegetarian Muslims will select vegetarian (or seafood)
options when dining in non-halal restaurants. However, this is a
matter of not having the right kind of meat rather than preferring not
to eat meat on the whole.
Jain vegetarianism The food choices of Jains are
based on the value of
Ahimsa (non-violence) .
Jainism believe that all living organisms whether they
are micro-organism are living and have a soul, and have one or more
senses out of five senses and they go to great lengths to minimise any
harm to any living organism. Most Jains are lacto-vegetarians but more
devout Jains do not eat root vegetables because they believe that root
vegetables contain a lot more micro-organisms as compared to other
vegetables, and that, by eating them, violence of these
micro-organisms is inevitable. So they focus on eating beans and
fruits, whose cultivation do not involve killing of a lot of
micro-organisms. No products obtained from dead animals are allowed,
because when a living beings dies, a lot of micro-organisms (called as
decomposers) will reproduce in the body which decomposes the body, and
in eating the dead bodies, violence of decomposers is inevitable. Jain
monks usually do a lot of fasting, and when they knew through
spiritual powers that their life is very little, they start fasting
until death. Some particularly dedicated individuals are fruitarians
. Honey is forbidden, because honey is the regurgitation of nectar by
bees and may also contain eggs, excreta and dead bees. Some Jains do
not consume plant parts that grow underground such as roots and bulbs,
because tiny animals may be killed when the plants are pulled up.
Jewish vegetarianism Basket of fresh fruit and
vegetables grown in
While it is neither required (required only on special holidays
according to some traditions, but not on Shabbat , when just bread and
wine/grape juice is required) nor prohibited for Jews to eat meat, a
number of medieval scholars of Jewish religion (e.g.,
Joseph Albo and
Isaac Arama ) regard vegetarianism as a moral ideal, not just because
of a concern for the welfare of animals, but because the slaughter of
animals might cause the individual who performs such acts to develop
negative character traits. One modern-day scholar who is in favour of
vegetarianism is the late Rabbi
Abraham Isaac Kook
Abraham Isaac Kook , the Chief Rabbi
of Mandate Palestine . In his writings, Rabbi Kook speaks of
vegetarianism as an ideal, and points to the fact that Adam did not
partake of the flesh of animals, as all humans and animals were
originally commanded by God to only eat plants. In context, Rabbi
Kook makes those comments in his portrayal of the eschatological
(messianic) era. However, he personally refrained from eating meat
except on the Sabbath and Festivals, and one of his leading disciples,
Rabbi David Cohen , known as the "
Nazirite " of Jerusalem, was a
devout vegetarian. Several other members of Rabbi Kook's circle were
According to some Kabbalists , only a mystic, who is able to sense
and elevate the reincarnated human souls and "divine sparks", is
permitted to consume meat, though eating the flesh of an animal might
still cause spiritual damage to the soul. A number of Orthodox Jewish
vegetarian groups and activists promote such ideas and believe that
the halakhic permission to eat meat is a temporary leniency for those
who are not ready yet to accept the vegetarian diet. Jewish law also
commands people to ritually slaughter animals when killing them, and
goes into precise detail on the rituals of both animal sacrifice and
ordinary slaughter (shechita ). According to medieval sage Rabbi
Shlomo Ephraim Luntschitz , author of the Torah commentary
Kli Yakar ,
the complexity of these laws was intended to discourage the
consumption of meat and make it less painful for the animals.
Within the Afro-Caribbean community, a minority are
follow the dietary regulations with varying degrees of strictness. The
most orthodox eat only "
Ital " or natural foods, in which the matching
of herbs or spices with vegetables is the result of long tradition
originating from the African ancestry and cultural heritage of
Rastafari. "Ital", which is derived from the word vital, means
essential to human existence.
Ital cooking in its strictest form
prohibits the use of salt, meat (especially pork), preservatives,
colorings, flavorings and anything artificial. Most
Main article: Diet in
The tenets of
Sikhism do not advocate a particular stance on either
vegetarianism or the consumption of meat, but leave the decision
of diet to the individual. The tenth guru,
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh ,
however, prohibited "Amritdhari" Sikhs, or those that follow the Sikh
Rehat Maryada (the Official Sikh Code of Conduct) from eating Kutha
meat , or meat which has been obtained from animals which have been
killed in a ritualistic way. This is understood to have been for the
political reason of maintaining independence from the then-new Muslim
hegemony, as Muslims largely adhere to the ritualistic halal diet.
"Amritdharis" that belong to some Sikh sects (e.g. Akhand Kirtani
Damdami Taksal ,
Namdhari and Rarionwalay, etc.) are
vehemently against the consumption of meat and eggs (though they do
consume and encourage the consumption of milk, butter and cheese).
This vegetarian stance has been traced back to the times of the
British Raj , with the advent of many new
Vaishnava converts. In
response to the varying views on diet throughout the Sikh population,
Sikh Gurus have sought to clarify the Sikh view on diet, stressing
their preference only for simplicity of diet.
Guru Nanak said that
over-consumption of food (
Lobh , Greed) involves a drain on the
Earth's resources and thus on life. Passages from the Guru Granth
Sahib (the holy book of Sikhs, also known as the Adi Granth) say that
it is "foolish" to argue for the superiority of animal life, because
though all life is related, only human life carries more importance:
"Only fools argue whether to eat meat or not. Who can define what is
meat and what is not meat? Who knows where the sin lies, being a
vegetarian or a non-vegetarian?" The Sikh langar , or free temple
meal, is largely lacto-vegetarian, though this is understood to be a
result of efforts to present a meal that is respectful of the diets of
any person who would wish to dine, rather than out of dogma.
ENVIRONMENT AND DIET
Environmental vegetarianism is based on the concern that the
production of meat and animal products for mass consumption,
especially through factory farming , is environmentally unsustainable
. According to a 2006 United Nations initiative, the livestock
industry is one of the largest contributors to environmental
degradation worldwide, and modern practices of raising animals for
food contribute on a "massive scale" to air and water pollution, land
degradation , climate change, and loss of biodiversity. The initiative
concluded that "the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or
three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental
problems, at every scale from local to global."
In addition, animal agriculture is a large source of greenhouse
gases. According to a 2006 report it is responsible for 18% of the
world's greenhouse gas emissions as estimated in 100-year CO2
Livestock sources (including enteric fermentation and
manure) account for about 3.1 percent of US anthropogenic GHG
emissions expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents. This EPA estimate
is based on methodologies agreed to by the Conference of Parties of
the UNFCCC, with 100-year global warming potentials from the IPCC
Second Assessment Report used in estimating GHG emissions as carbon
Meat produced in a laboratory (called in vitro meat ) may be more
environmentally sustainable than regularly produced meat. Reactions
of vegetarians vary. Rearing a relatively small number of grazing
animals can be beneficial, as the Food Climate Research Network at
Surrey University reports: "A little bit of livestock production is
probably a good thing for the environment.
In May 2009,
Ghent , Belgium, was reported to be "the first in the
world to go vegetarian at least once a week" for environmental
reasons, when local authorities decided to implement a "weekly
meatless day". Civil servants would eat vegetarian meals one day per
week, in recognition of the United Nations' report. Posters were put
up by local authorities to encourage the population to take part on
vegetarian days, and "veggie street maps" were printed to highlight
vegetarian restaurants. In September 2009, schools in
Ghent are due to
have a weekly veggiedag ("vegetarian day") too.
LABOR CONDITIONS AND DIET
Some groups, such as
PETA , promote vegetarianism as a way to offset
poor treatment and working conditions of workers in the contemporary
meat industry. These groups cite studies showing the psychological
damage caused by working in the meat industry, especially in factory
and industrialised settings, and argue that the meat industry violates
its labourers' human rights by assigning difficult and distressing
tasks without adequate counselling, training and debriefing.
However, the working conditions of agricultural workers as a whole,
particularly non-permanent workers, remain poor and well below
conditions prevailing in other economic sectors. Accidents, including
pesticide poisoning, among farmers and plantation workers contribute
to increased health risks, including increased mortality. According
International Labour Organization , agriculture is one of the
three most dangerous jobs in the world.
ECONOMICS AND DIET
Similar to environmental vegetarianism is the concept of economic
vegetarianism . An economic vegetarian is someone who practices
vegetarianism from either the philosophical viewpoint concerning
issues such as public health and curbing world starvation, the belief
that the consumption of meat is economically unsound, part of a
conscious simple living strategy or just out of necessity. According
Worldwatch Institute , "Massive reductions in meat consumption
in industrial nations will ease their health care burden while
improving public health; declining livestock herds will take pressure
off rangelands and grainlands, allowing the agricultural resource base
to rejuvenate. As populations grow, lowering meat consumption
worldwide will allow more efficient use of declining per capita land
and water resources, while at the same time making grain more
affordable to the world's chronically hungry." Taiwanese
Prejudice researcher Gordon Hodson observes that vegetarians and
vegans frequently face discrimination where eating meat is held as a
A 1992 market research study conducted by the Yankelovich research
organisation concluded that "of the 12.4 million people who call
themselves vegetarian, 68% are female, while only 32% are male".
At least one study indicates that vegetarian women are more likely to
have female babies. A study of 6,000 pregnant women in 1998 "found
that while the national average in Britain is 106 boys born to every
100 girls, for vegetarian mothers the ratio was just 85 boys to 100
girls". Catherine Collins of the
British Dietetic Association has
dismissed this as a "statistical fluke" given that it is actually the
male's genetic contribution which determines the sex of a baby.
Vegetarianism by country
* Food portal
* Medicine portal
Adolf Hitler and vegetarianism
Environmental impact of meat production
Food and drink prohibitions
History of vegetarianism
List of diets
List of vegetarian festivals
List of vegetarian restaurants
List of vegetarians
Vegetarianism and religion
Vegetarianism by country
Vegetarian Diet Pyramid
Vegetarianism and Romanticism
* ^ Vesanto Melina, a British Columbian registered dietitian and
author of Becoming Vegetarian, stresses there is no cause and effect
relationship between vegetarianism and eating disorders, although
people who have eating disorders may label themselves as vegetarians
"so that they won't have to eat." Indeed, research indicates that the
large majority of vegetarian or vegan anorexics and bulimics chose
their diets after the onset of their disease. The "restricted" eating
patterns of vegetarianism and veganism can legitimize the removal of
numerous high-fat, energy-dense foods such as meat, eggs, cheese.
However, the eating pattern chosen by those with anorexia or bulimia
nervosa is far more restrictive than a healthful vegetarian diet,
eliminating nuts, seeds, avocados, and limiting overall caloric
* ^ "What is a vegetarian?".
The Vegetarian Society . Retrieved
December 11, 2010.
* ^ "Frequently Asked Questions - Ingredients 1: Gelatine".
International Vegetarian Union (IVU). Retrieved February 7, 2013. ince
the gelatin product is from hides or bones – not real flesh – and
has undergone such significant changes, it is no longer considered
'fleishig' (meat) but 'pareve', and can be eaten with dairy products.
Rennet is like gelatin in the sense that it's a common food
additive but the foods containing it are often considered vegetarian.
* ^ A B C D E "Why Avoid Hidden
Animal Ingredients?". The North
Vegetarian Society. Retrieved February 7, 2013. Surprisingly,
some people who consider themselves vegetarian continue to consume
products that contain remains of slaughtered animals such as gelatin
(made from ground-up skin and bones, found in Jell-O, supplement
capsules, and photographic film) and rennet (made from the lining of
calves 'stomachs, used to coagulate hard cheese). Some of these people
may be unaware that these hidden animal ingredients even exist. Others
know about them but feel that they are just minor components of a
product, and that their presence is therefore not important... Many
people who do not eat meat for ethical reasons do use animal
by-products that are obtained while the animals are still alive. Dairy
is a good example, as many vegetarians who consume it rationalize
their behavior by pointing out that cows are not killed in order to
provide humans with this particular by-product.
* ^ A B C Forrest, Jamie (December 18, 2007). "Is Cheese
Serious Eats . Retrieved July 9, 2010. Some vegetarians
are OK eating cheeses made with animal rennet, but many will seek out
ones made with vegetarian rennet, especially since the latter are
quite prevalent nowadays.
* ^ A B C "Things to look out for if you are a vegetarian/vegan".
The Vegetarian Society . Retrieved December 11, 2010.
* ^ A B Keevican, Michael. "What\'s in Your Cheese?". Vegetarian
Resource Group. Retrieved December 10, 2010. Many vegetarians don't
consider that some of the cheeses they are eating could actually
contain unfamiliar animal ingredients.
* ^ "Frequently Asked Questions — Food Ingredients". Vegetarian
Resource Group. Retrieved July 9, 2010. One of the most frequently
asked questions is: Why are some cheeses labeled as "vegetarian
cheese"? Why wouldn't cheese be vegetarian? What is rennet?
* ^ A B
Shorter Oxford English Dictionary
Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (2002 and 2007) defines
"vegetarian" (noun) as "A person who on principle abstains from animal
food; esp. one who avoids meat but will eat dairy produce and eggs and
sometimes also fish (cf. VEGAN noun)."
* ^ A B Barr SI, Chapman GE (March 2002). "Perceptions and
practices of self-defined current vegetarian and nonvegetarian women".
Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 102 (3): 354–360. PMID
11902368 . doi :10.1016/S0002-8223(02)90083-0 .
* ^ "Pescetarian - Definition and more from the Free
Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Merriam-webster.com. Retrieved
* ^ A B C "Vegetarians don\'t eat fish, shellfish or crustacea, but
they can still enjoy one of the healthiest diets available.".
Vegetarian Society . Retrieved July 28, 2013.
* ^ John Davis (June 1, 2011). "The Vegetus Myth.". Vegsource.com.
VegSource Interactive, Inc. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
* ^ OED vol. 19, second edition (1989), p. 476; Webster’s Third
New International Dictionary p. 2537; The Oxford Dictionary of English
Etymology, Oxford, 1966, p. 972; The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology
(1988), p. 1196; Colin Spencer, The Heretic's Feast. A History of
Vegetarianism, London 1993, p. 252. The OED writes that the word came
into general use after the formation of the
Vegetarian Society at
Ramsgate in 1847, though it offers two examples of usage from 1839 and
* 1839: "If I had had to be my own cook, I should inevitably become
a vegetarian." (F. A. Kemble, Jrnl. Residence on Georgian Plantation
* 1842: "To tell a healthy vegetarian that his diet is very
uncongenial with the wants of his nature." (Healthian, Apr. 34) The
1839 occurrence remains under discussion; the Oxford English
Dictionary's 1839 source is in fact an 1863 publication: Fanny Kemble,
Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation 1838–1839. The
original manuscript has not been located.
* ^ "History of
Vegetarianism - Extracts from some journals
1843-48". Ivu.org. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
* ^ Extracts from some journals 1842-48 - the earliest known uses
of the word 'vegetarian' Compiled by John Davis.
* ^ "History of
Vegetarianism - Extracts from some journals
1843-48". Ivu.org. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
* ^ Olivelle, transl. from the original
Sanskrit by Patrick (1998).
Upaniṣads (Reissued ed.). Oxford : Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN
* ^ Bajpai, Shiva (2011). The History of India - From Ancient to
Modern Times. Himalayan Academy Publications (Hawaii, USA). ISBN
* ^ Spencer, Colin . The Heretic's Feast: A History of
Vegetarianism. Fourth Estate Classic House. pp. 33–68, 69–84. ISBN
* ^ Spencer p. 38-55, 61-63; Haussleiter p. 79-157.
* ^ Encyclopedia of religion (13 ed.).
* ^ Religious
Vegetarianism From Hesiod to the Dalai Lama, ed.
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