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Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from meat consumption. Somebody who practices vegetarianism is referred to as a vegetarian.

Vegetarianism is a common theme among the Dharmic religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. This stems from the belief that all higher animal life is sacred (in Jainism, all life is considered sacred), one of the core concepts of all of these religions. [1] It was also a central tenet of the Essene branch of Judaism.

Many people outside of these religions also choose to be vegetarians because of various other beliefs, such as abstinence from contributing to "inhumane" farming methods practiced by the meat production industry, or to lessen their environmental impact.

Health can be given as another reason. In Daniel 1:4-15, Daniel and his companions declined to eat Babylonian royal food and instead requested fresh water and vegetables. At the end of ten days, they were healthier than those who ate the rich food.

It can be difficult to get all of your daily required nutrients without eating animal products. Soy is often used as a substitute for meat and protein, and many vegetarians take vitamin supplements or eat enriched foods. [2] [3]

Forms of Vegetarianism

  • Vegan - A vegan diet excludes all food and ingredients that comes from animals. This excludes animal meat, animal products such as milk, cheese, eggs or honey, and byproducts such as gelatin. Effort is needed to make a vegan diet healthy. [4]
  • Lactovegetarian - Someone who eats a plant based diet but also eats animal produced foods (that do not result in the death of the animal) such as milk and cheese. Lacto vegetarians can relatively easily remain healthy. They benefit because they are not tempted to eat types of meat with high saturated fat content. Lacto vegetarians masy need to think about what they eat to ensure that they have enough balanced protein. Vegetables and fruit form an important part of a varied and tasty vegetarian diet. Therefore lacto vegetarians and vegans are unlikely to eat too little fruit and vegetables.
  • Ovo-lactovegetarian (or lacto-ovovegetarian) - Similar to the Lactovegetarian but also consumes eggs.
  • Pescatarian - This is considered a form of vegetarianism, which consists of eating fish, but no other varieties of meat. Eggs and dairy may be part of this diet. Fish probably suffer greatly when they are caught and left to suffrocate. Death frequently takes hours. Stricter vegetarians are likely to feel that Peskatarians are not true vegetarians.

Famous Vegetarians

H G Wells

See also

External Links


  1. For more than 130 years Seventh-day Adventists (SDAs) have practiced a vegetarian dietary lifestyle because of their belief in the wholistic nature of people. Andrews University Nutrition Department
  2. "Those who eat very little meat, fish and foul and ... may be missing, or getting very little, crucial nutrients for optimal health such as vitamin B12, iron, creatine, carnitine, and several other nutrients" [1]
  3. According to Olivant, the most useful supplements for the vegetarians contain nutrients that may be limited in their diet, such as omega-3. [2]