Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from meat consumption. Somebody who practices vegetarianism is referred to as a vegetarian.
Reasons for Vegetarianism
Vegetarianism is a common theme among the Dharmic religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism 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. 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. Pythagoreanism also required its followers to abstain from meat, fish, and beans. 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. Medical experts know vegetarians generally have lower risks of cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and obesity. Also, 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.
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. "Vegan" can refer both to the diet and the dieter.
- 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.
- Ovo-lactovegetarian (or lacto-ovo-vegetarian) - 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. Since fish are still living animals, stricter vegetarians (especially those who are vegetarians for moral reasons) are likely to feel that pescatarians are not true vegetarians.
Some nutritionists have argued that vegetarianism is an unsustainable diet. It can be difficult to regularly get all of your daily required nutrients without eating animal products every day. Soy, nuts and beans are often used as a substitute for meat and protein, but nonetheless many vegetarians have to take vitamin supplements or eat enriched foods. Nutrionist Dr. Ray Sahelian warns "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" Vegetarians suffer from higher rates of certain diseases, such as osteoporosis, anemia, bulimia, and thyroid problems due to the lack of calcium and other nutrients in their diets. Recently, scientists discovered that a vegetable-heavy diet can actually cause brain shrinkage.
In contrast, the American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Canada have taken the position that properly planned vegetarian diets can be nutritious, healthy, and provide benefits in helping prevent and treat some diseases, possibly with the help of nutritional supplements.
- Albert Einstein - Scientist, famous for Theory of Relativity. He became a vegetarian a year before his death.
- Adolf Hitler
- Shania Twain
- Mohandas K. Gandhi
- Siddhartha Gautama
- Thomas Edison
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Bob Barker - Game Show Host, most notably The Price is Right
- H. G. Wells - Famous Science Fiction author, works include The War of Worlds
- Paul McCartney - singer/bassist for The Beatles
- Henry Heimlich - Inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver
- Henry A. Wallace - Vice President of the U.S. 1941-1945; Presidential candidate 1948
- Adam and Eve, at least while in Eden (Genesis 1:29)
- USDA Dietary Guidelines
- The Vegetarian Society
- 49 good reasons to be a vegetarian
- The Myths of Vegetarianism by Stephen Byrnes
- Andrews University Nutrition Department
- http://www.vegan.org/going_vegan/eating_vegan/index.html Vegan regimen
- According to Olivant, the most useful supplements for the vegetarians contain nutrients that may be limited in their diet, such as omega-3. 
- Dr. Ray Sahelian
- Times of India Eating Veggie Shrinks the Brain
- Vegetarian Diets