Vegetarianism is the fastest growing dietary form in the Western world today, and within it veganism is also steadily growing in popularity.
It is estimated that there are over 15 million vegetarians in the United States, and over 9 million in the United Kingdom. In the United States in particular veganism is rapidly growing in popularity as the health benefits of the vegan diet are becoming clearer. In Australia, over one quarter of teenage girls are vegetarian.
Vegans are individuals who refrains from eating all animal products. This means that vegans do not eat meat, fish, poultry, dairy or eggs. Most vegans (particularly those who chose veganism for ethical reasons) do not wear animal products, including leather, fur, silk and wool.
Vegetarians eat animal by- products but not animal flesh. There are a few types of vegetarians:
Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarians eat eggs and dairy products. This is the most commonly found form of vegetarianism in the Western World.
Lacto-Vegetarians are common throughout India in particular. They eat dairy products, but refuse eggs.
Ovo-Vegetarians accept eggs but refuse dairy products. This is a relatively uncommon form of vegetarian.
Other groups include individuals who refuse all red meat but eat poultry and fish/seafood, and those who refuse meat and poultry but eat fish/seafood. Neither group is vegetarian, and vegan and vegetarian societies worldwide consider both dietary forms as subsets of the omnivorous diet.
*Take a look at the who's who of Vegetarians:
Mary Tyler Moore
Louisa May Alcott
Leonardo Da Vinci
Ralph W Emerson
Sir Isaac Newton
George Bernard Shaw
Benjamin Spock MD
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