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Encyclopedia > Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes all animal flesh, including poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, and slaughter by-products[1] [2]. The reasons for choosing vegetarianism may be related to morality, religion, culture, ethics, aesthetics, environment, society, economy, politics, taste, or health. For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Ducks amongst other poultry The Poultry-dealer, after Cesare Vecellio Poultry is the category of domesticated birds kept for meat, eggs, and feathers. ... Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated (such as venison). ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... Classes Remipedia Cephalocarida Branchiopoda Ostracoda Maxillopoda Malacostraca The crustaceans (Crustacea) are a large group of arthropods (55,000 species), usually treated as a subphylum. ...

There are several variants of the diet,some of which also exclude eggs and/or some products produced from animal labor such as dairy products and honey. Veganism, for example, excludes all animal products from diet. By some strict definitions, animal products are not used for attire either, whether or not the production of clothing or items has directly involved the actual death of an animal (dairy, eggs, honey, wool, silk, down feathers, etc.) [3] A generic term for both vegetarianism and veganism, as well as for similar diets, is "Plant-based diets".[4] Chicken egg (left) and quail eggs (right), the types of egg commonly used as food An egg is a body consisting of an ovum surrounded by layers of membranes and an outer casing of some type, which acts to nourish and protect a developing embryo. ... Dairy products are generally defined as foodstuffs produced from milk. ... For other uses, see Honey (disambiguation). ... Vegan redirects here. ... Animal products are either produced by an animal or taken from the body of an animal. ... A dairy farm near Oxford, New York in the United States. ... Chicken egg (left) and quail eggs (right), the types of egg commonly used as food An egg is a body consisting of an ovum surrounded by layers of membranes and an outer casing of some type, which acts to nourish and protect a developing embryo. ... For other uses, see Honey (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Wool (disambiguation). ... For other uses of this word, see Silk (disambiguation). ... The down of birds is a layer of fine feathers found under the tougher exterior feathers. ...

Properly planned vegetarian diets have been found to satisfy the nutritional needs for all stages of life, and large-scale studies have shown vegetarianism to significantly lower risks of cancer, ischemic heart disease, and other diseases.[5][6][7][8] Ischaemic (or ischemic) heart disease is a disease characterized by reduced blood supply to the heart. ...


Terminology and varieties of vegetarianism

Foods in the main vegetarian diets
Diet Name Meat, Poultry, Fish Eggs Dairy Honey
Lacto-ovo vegetarianism
Yes Yes Yes
Lacto vegetarianism
No Yes Yes
Ovo vegetarianism
Yes No Yes
No No No[9][10][11]

For other uses, see Meat (disambiguation). ... Ducks amongst other poultry The Poultry-dealer, after Cesare Vecellio Poultry is the category of domesticated birds kept for meat, eggs, and feathers. ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... Chicken egg (left) and quail eggs (right), the types of egg commonly used as food An egg is a body consisting of an ovum surrounded by layers of membranes and an outer casing of some type, which acts to nourish and protect a developing embryo. ... A dairy farm near Oxford, New York in the United States. ... For other uses, see Honey (disambiguation). ... A lacto-ovo vegetarian is a vegetarian who is willing to consume dairy products (i. ... A lacto vegetarian diet is a vegetarian diet that includes dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, and kefir. ... Ovo vegetarians are vegetarians who eat eggs but not meat or dairy products. ... Vegan redirects here. ...

Other dietary practices commonly associated with vegetarianism

  • Fruitarianism is a diet of only fruit, nuts, seeds, and other plant matter that can be gathered without harming the plant.
  • Su vegetarianism originating in Hinduism, excludes all animal products as well as the fetid vegetables: onion, garlic, scallions, leeks, or shallots.
  • Macrobiotic diet is a diet of mostly whole grains and beans. Not all macrobiotics are vegetarians as some consume fish.
  • Natural hygiene, in its classic form, recommends a diet principally of raw vegan foods.[citation needed]
  • Raw veganism is a diet of fresh and uncooked fruit, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
  • Dietary veganism: whereas vegans don't use animal products of any kind, dietary vegans restrict their veganism to their diet[12]
  • Freeganism argues that all commodities produced under capitalism, not only those from animal sources, contribute to exploitation and avoid buying anything, including food. While many freegans are vegans or vegetarians, others will eat animal products that would otherwise go to waste under the justification that doing this does not encourage further animal exploitation.

It should be noted that most vegetarians also are aware of avoiding products that may use animal ingredients not included in their labels or which use animal products in their manufacturing i.e. cheeses that use animal rennet, gelatin (from animal skin, bones, and connective tissue), some sugars that are whitened with bone char (e.g. cane sugar, but not beet sugar) and alcohol clarified with gelatin or crushed shellfish and sturgeon. Vegetarians often eat free-range as opposed to battery eggs on moral grounds. A fruit stall in Barcelona, Spain. ... Macrobiotics, from the Greek macro (large, long) and bios (life), is a dietary regimen that involves eating grains as a staple food supplemented with other local foodstuffs such as vegetables and beans. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Green beans Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae) used for food or feed. ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... Natural Hygiene is a branch of alternative medicine that claims that the human body can and will heal itself if the causes of disease are removed. ... Raw veganism is a variation of veganism but consists of consuming only plant-based foods that are in their natural uncooked state, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, sprouts, and superfoods. ... Raw veganism is a variation of veganism but consists of consuming only plant-based foods that are in their natural uncooked state, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, sprouts, and superfoods. ... Vegan redirects here. ... Freeganism is an anti-consumerism lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. ... Rennet (IPA pronunciation: ) is a natural complex of enzymes produced in any mammalian stomach to digest the mothers milk. ... For the art collective, see Gelitin. ... Connective tissue is one of the four types of tissue in traditional classifications (the others being epithelial, muscle, and nervous tissue. ... Bone char, also known as bone black or animal charcoal, is a granular black material produced by calcinating animal bones: the bones are heated to high temperatures in the absence of air to drive off volatile substances. ... Species Saccharum arundinaceum Saccharum bengalense Saccharum edule Saccharum officinarum Saccharum procerum Saccharum ravennae Saccharum robustum Saccharum sinense Saccharum spontaneum Sugarcane or Sugar cane (Saccharum) is a genus of 6 to 37 species (depending on taxonomic interpretation) of tall perennial grasses (family Poaceae, tribe Andropogoneae), native to warm temperate to tropical... Two sugar beets - the one on the left has been cultivated to be smoother than the traditional beet, so that it traps less soil. ... Alcoholic beverages An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol, although in chemistry the definition of an alcohol includes many other compounds. ... For the art collective, see Gelitin. ... Cooked mussels Shellfish is a term used to describe shelled molluscs and crustaceans used as food. ... For other uses, see Sturgeon (disambiguation). ...

Semi-vegetarian diets

Semi-vegetarian diets are diets that primarily consist of vegetarian foods, but make exceptions for some non-vegetarian foods. These diets may be followed by those who choose to reduce the amount of animal flesh consumed, or sometimes as a way of transitioning to a vegetarian diet. These terms are neologisms based on the word "vegetarian". They may be regarded with contention by some strict vegetarians, as they combine terms for vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets. A neologism is a word, term, or phrase which has been recently created (or coined), often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts, or to make older terminology sound more contemporary. ...

Additionally, many individuals describe themselves as simply "vegetarian" while actually practicing a semi-vegetarian diet.[13]

  • Lessetarianism - A diet which focuses on reducing, but not eliminating, the proportion of animal flesh consumed.
  • Semi-vegetarianism — A diet in which the only animal flesh consumed is seafood and/or poultry, in limited amounts.
  • Flexitarianism — A diet that consists primarily of vegetarian food, but that allows occasional exceptions.

Pesco/pollo vegetarianism, pescetarianism, and semi-vegetarianism are neologisms coined to describe certain lifestyles of restricted diet. ... Spaghetti with seafood (Spaghetti allo scoglio). ... Ducks amongst other poultry The Poultry-dealer, after Cesare Vecellio Poultry is the category of domesticated birds kept for meat, eggs, and feathers. ... Pescetarianism is a dietary choice, in which a person — known as a pescetarian — will not eat the flesh of any animals other than fish or other types of seafood. ... Pollotarianism is a neologism to denote a dietary choice, in which a person does not consume mammalian meat such as beef, pork, and lamb, but does consume chicken. ... For other uses, see Fowl (disambiguation). ... Ducks amongst other poultry The Poultry-dealer, after Cesare Vecellio Poultry is the category of domesticated birds kept for meat, eggs, and feathers. ... Flexitarianism is a term used in the United States to describe the practice of eating mainly vegetarian food, but making occasional exceptions for social, pragmatic, cultural, or nutritional reasons. ...


The first Vegetarian Society founded in 1847 claims to have "created the word vegetarian from the Latin 'vegetus' meaning 'lively' (which is how these early vegetarians claimed their diet made them feel) ..."[14] However, the Oxford English Dictionary and other standard dictionaries state that the word was formed from the term "vegetable" and the suffix "-arian".[15] The Vegetarian Society is a British registered charity established on 30 September 1847 with the aim of promoting understanding and respect for vegetarian lifestyles. ... The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of...

The Oxford English Dictionary also gives evidence that the word was already in use before the foundation of the Vegetarian Society:

  • 1839 - "If I had had to be my own cook, I should inevitably become a vegetarian." (F. A. Kemble, Jrnl. Residence on Georgian Plantation (1863) 251)
  • 1842 - "To tell a healthy vegetarian that his diet is very uncongenial with the wants of his nature." (Healthian, Apr. 34)

But it also notes that "The general use of the word appears to have been largely due to the formation of the Vegetarian Society at Ramsgate in 1847."


Main article: History of vegetarianism

The earliest records of vegetarianism as a concept and practice amongst a significant number of people concern ancient India[16] and the ancient Greek civilization in Southern Italy and in Greece in the 6th century BCE.[17] In both instances the diet was closely connected with the idea of nonviolence towards animals (called ahimsa in India) and was promoted by religious groups and philosophers.[18] Following the Christianization of the Roman Empire in late antiquity, vegetarianism practically disappeared from Europe.[19] Several orders of monks in medieval Europe restricted or banned the consumption of meat for ascetic reasons, but none of them eschewed fish.[20] Vegetarianism was to reemerge somewhat in Europe during the Renaissance.[21] It became a more widespread practice in the 19th and 20th centuries. Vegetarianism is the theory and practice of voluntarily never consuming the flesh of any animal (including sea animals) with or without also eschewing other animal derivatives, such as dairy products or eggs[1]. The earliest records of vegetarianism as a concept and practice amongst a significant amount of people concern... Nonviolence (or non-violence), whether held as a moral philosophy or only employed as an action strategy, rejects the use of physical violence in efforts to attain social, economic or political change. ... Ahimsa (Devanagari: ; IAST ) is a Sanskrit term meaning non-violence (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa). ... A Roman Catholic monk A monk is a person who practices monasticism, adopting a strict religious and ascetic lifestyle, usually in community with others following the same path. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the European Renaissance of the 14th-17th centuries. ...

In 1847 the first Vegetarian Society was founded in England;[22] Germany, the Netherlands and other countries followed. The International Vegetarian Union, a union of the national societies, was founded in 1908. In the Western world, the popularity of vegetarianism grew during the 20th century as a result of nutritional, ethical, and more recently, environmental and economic concerns. Today, Indian vegetarians, primarily lacto vegetarians, are estimated to make up more than 70% of the world's vegetarians. They make up 20–42% of the population in India, while less than 30% are regular meat-eaters.[23][24][25] Surveys in the U.S. have found that roughly 1–2.8% of adults eat no meat (including poultry or fish).[26][27][28][29] For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... The International Vegetarian Union (IVU) was founded in 1908 when the first World Vegetarian Congress was held in Dresden, Germany. ... Occident redirects here. ... The environmental movement (a term that sometimes includes the conservation and green movements) is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement. ... Economics (deriving from the Greek words οίκω [okos], house, and νέμω [nemo], rules hence household management) is the social science that studies the allocation of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants. ... A lacto vegetarian diet is a vegetarian diet that includes dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, and kefir. ...

Health issues

Vegetarianism is considered a healthy, viable diet. The American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Canada have found a properly-planned vegetarian diet to satisfy the nutritional needs for all stages of life, and large-scale studies have shown vegetarianism to significantly lower risks of cancer, ischemic heart disease, and other fatal diseases.[5][6][30] Necessary nutrients, proteins, and amino acids for the body's sustenance can be found in green leafy vegetables, grains, nuts, and fortified juices or soymilk.[31]

Vegetarian diets can aid in keeping body weight under control[32][33] and substantially reduce risks of heart disease and osteoporosis.[34][35][36][37] Non-lean red meat, in particular, has been found to be directly associated with dramatically increased risk of cancers of the lung, esophagus, liver, and colon.[8][38] Other studies have shown that there were no significant differences between vegetarians and nonvegetarians in mortality from cerebrovascular disease, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, or prostate cancer.[4] Osteoporosis is a disease of bone - leading to an increased risk of fracture. ... Lung cancer is a disease of uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. ... Diagram of the stomach, colon, and rectum Colorectal cancer includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix. ...

The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada have stated: "Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals."[39] American vegetarians tend to have lower body mass index, lower levels of cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and less incidence of heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, renal disease, osteoporosis, dementias such as Alzheimer’s Disease and other disorders.[40] The American Dietetic Association (ADA) is the United States largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, with nearly 65,000 members. ... Saturated fat is fat that consists of triglycerides containing only saturated fatty acids. ... Cholesterol is a sterol (a combination steroid and alcohol). ... Fiber or fibre[1] is a class o f materials that are continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to lengths of thread. ... General Name, symbol, number magnesium, Mg, 12 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, period, block 2, 3, s Appearance silvery white solid at room temp Standard atomic weight 24. ... General Name, symbol, number potassium, K, 19 Chemical series alkali metals Group, period, block 1, 4, s Appearance silvery white Standard atomic weight 39. ... Folic acid (the anion form is called folate) is a B-complex vitamin (once called vitamin M) that is important in preventing neural tube defects (NTDs) in the developing human fetus. ... An antioxidant is a chemical that prevents the oxidation of other chemicals. ... Retinol (Vitamin A) Vitamins are nutrients required in very small amounts for essential metabolic reactions in the body [1]. The term vitamin does not encompass other essential nutrients such as dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, or essential amino acids. ... Phytochemicals are sometimes referred to as phytonutrients and these terms are often used interchangeably. ... Look up body mass index in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Cholesterol is a sterol (a combination steroid and alcohol). ... A sphygmomanometer, a device used for measuring arterial pressure. ... Heart disease is an umbrella term for a number of different diseases which affect the heart and as of 2007 it is the leading cause of death in the United States,[1] and England and Wales. ... For other forms of hypertension, see Hypertension (disambiguation). ... This article is about the disease that features high blood sugar. ... Kidneys viewed from behind with spine removed The kidneys are bean-shaped excretory organs in vertebrates. ... Osteoporosis is a disease of bone - leading to an increased risk of fracture. ... For other uses, see Dementia (disambiguation). ... Alzheimers disease (AD) or primary dementia of Alzheimers type is an incurable, degenerative neuropsychiatric disease which results in a pervasive loss of first mental, then physical functioning due to the deterioration of brain tissue. ...


Main article: Vegetarian nutrition
A fruit stall in Barcelona
A fruit stall in Barcelona

Western vegetarian diets are typically high in carotenoids, but relatively low in long-chain n-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. High levels of dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, and magnesium, and low consumption of saturated fat could all be beneficial aspects of a vegetarian diet.[41][42] A variety of vegetarian ingredients Vegetarian nutrition is the set of health-related challenges and advantages of vegetarian diets. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2555x1697, 2673 KB)a nice picture of a woman looking at a selection of fruits in barcelona This photograph was taken by me, Daderot, and I have tagged it with Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2555x1697, 2673 KB)a nice picture of a woman looking at a selection of fruits in barcelona This photograph was taken by me, Daderot, and I have tagged it with Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document... Location Coordinates : Time Zone : CET (GMT +1) - summer: CEST (GMT +2) General information Native name Barcelona (Catalan) Spanish name Barcelona Nickname Ciutat Comtal (City of Counts) Postal code 08001–08080 Area code 34 (Spain) + 93 (Barcelona) Website http://www. ... Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids found in certain fish tissues, and in vegetable sources such as flax seeds, walnuts, and canola oil. ... Cobalamin or vitamin B12 is a chemical compound that is also known as cyanocobalamine. ... For other uses, see Calcium (disambiguation). ...


Protein intake in vegetarian and vegan diets is only slightly lower than in meat diets and can meet daily requirements for any person, including athletes and bodybuilders.[43] Studies by Harvard University as well as other studies conducted in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and various European countries, have confirmed that vegetarian diets provide more than sufficient protein intake as long as a variety of plant sources are available and consumed.[44] 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 synthesized by the human body. While dairy and egg products provide complete sources for lacto-ovo vegetarians, the only vegetable sources with significant amounts of all eight types of essential amino acids are soy, hempseed, chia seed, amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa. It is not necessary, however, to obtain protein from these sources — 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 (eg. rice and beans, or hummus, pita, and vegetables, though protein combining in the same meal is not necessary). A varied intake of such sources can be adequate.[45] In chemistry, an amino acid is any molecule that contains both amino and carboxylic acid functional groups. ... First, what is an amino acid? Amino Acids are chemical substances that make up protein. ... An ovo-lacto vegetarian is a vegetarian who consumes eggs and dairy products. ... Binomial name Glycine max Soybeans (US) or soya beans (UK) (Glycine max) are a high-protein legume (Family Fabaceae) grown as food for both humans and livestock. ... U.S. Marihuana production permit, from the film Hemp for Victory. ... Species Salvia hispanica L Salvia columbariae Benth Chia (Salvia hispanica) is one of several plants of the genus Salvia of the mint family. ... Amaranth has been cultivated as a grain for 8,000 years, dating back to the Maya culture of South and Central America. ... Binomial name Fagopyrum esculentum Moench Common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a plant in the genus Fagopyrum (sometimes merged into genus Polygonum) in the family Polygonaceae. ... Binomial name Willd. ... Protein combining (also protein complementing) is the theory, now largely discredited (citation needed), that vegetarians must eat foods such as beans and rice together, or at least on the same day, so the different amino acids in the foods combine to form a complete protein, containing all eight essential amino...


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 be inhibited by other dietary constituents. Vegetarian foods rich in iron include black beans , cashews , kidney beans , lentils , oatmeal , raisins , black-eyed peas , soybeans , many breakfast cereals , sunflower seeds , chickpeas , veggie burgers , tomato juice , tempeh , molasses , and whole-wheat bread. [46] Vegan diets are usually higher in iron than vegetarian diets because dairy products are low in iron.[42] Iron stores are lower in vegetarians than non-vegetarians and iron deficiency is thus more common in vegetarian and vegan women and children (adult males are rarely iron deficient), but iron deficiency anaemia is rare.[47][48] Black bean can mean: The black turtle bean, a small, black variety of the common bean especially popular in Latin American cuisine Douchi, a kind of fermented soybean especially popular in the cuisine of China The black gram Any black-colored variety of bean; beans which include black-colored varieties... Binomial name Anacardium occidentale L. The Cashew Anacardium occidentale is a tree in the flowering plant family, Brazil, where it is called by its Portuguese name Cajú (the fruit) or Cajueiro (the tree). ... Binomial name Phaseolus vulgaris L. The common bean is an herbaceous annual plant domesticated independently in ancient Mesoamerica and the Andes, and now grown worldwide for its edible bean, popular both dry and as a green bean. ... Binomial name Lens culinaris Medikus Red lentils Lentils (Lens culinaris, Fabaceae) are lens-shaped pulses that grow on an annual, bushlike plant. ... In the United States and Canada, oatmeal means any crushed oats, rolled oats, or cut oats used in recipes such as oatmeal cookies. ... Alternate uses: Raisin (disambiguation) A Raisin is a sun-dried or artificially dried grape, used in cooking and baking. ... The Black Eyed Peas are an American hip hop crew from Los Angeles, who have lately enjoyed massive international pop success. ... Binomial name Glycine max Soybeans (US) or soya beans (UK) (Glycine max) are a high-protein legume (Family Fabaceae) grown as food for both humans and livestock. ... Breakfast cereal Breakfast cereal is a food product designed especially to be marketed to consumers as a breakfast food. ... The sunflower seed is the seed of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus). ... Binomial name Cicer arietinum L. The chickpea, garbanzo bean or bengal gram (Cicer arietinum) is an edible pulse of the Leguminosae or Fabaceae family, subfamily India. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Tomato juice is a juice made from squeezed tomatoes. ... Fresh tempeh at the market, Jakarta, Indonesia. ... Molasses or treacle is a thick syrup by-product from the processing of the sugarcane or sugar beet into sugar. ... Whole grains are cereal grains which retain the bran and germ as well as the endosperm, in contrast to refined grains which retain only the endosperm. ... This article discusses the medical condition. ...

Vitamin B12

Plants are not generally significant sources of Vitamin B12,[49] and even nori (seaweed) does not contain it in significant amounts[citation needed]. However, vegetarians can obtain it through dairy products, eggs, fortified foods and dietary supplements.[50][51] Since the human body preserves B12 and reuses it without destroying the substance, clinical evidence of B12 deficiency is uncommon.[52][53] The body can preserve stores of the vitamin for up to 30 years without needing its supplies to be replenished.[49] For other uses, see Nori (disambiguation). ...

The recommendation of taking supplements has been recently challenged by studies indicating that exogenous B12 may actually interfere with the proper absorption of this vitamin in its natural form.[54] The research on vitamin B12 sources has increased in the latest years [5] and researchers at Hiroshima University have developed methods for growing plants rich in vitamin B12. [6]

Fatty acids

A vegetarian diet does not include fish — a major source of Omega 3 fatty acids, although some plant-based sources exist such as soy, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, canola oil and, especially, hempseed, chia seed, and flaxseed. Plant foods can provide alpha-linolenic acid but not the long-chain n-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are found in low levels in eggs and dairy products. 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.[55] For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids found in certain fish tissues, and in vegetable sources such as flax seeds, walnuts, and canola oil. ... Binomial name Glycine max Soybeans (US) or soya beans (UK) (Glycine max) are a high-protein legume (Family Fabaceae) grown as food for both humans and livestock. ... For other uses, see Walnut (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Pumpkin (disambiguation). ... For the figure in Celtic mythology see agriculture, canola are certain varieties of plants from which we get rapeseed oil, or the oil produced from those varieties. ... U.S. Marihuana production permit, from the film Hemp for Victory. ... Species Salvia hispanica L Salvia columbariae Benth Chia (Salvia hispanica) is one of several plants of the genus Salvia of the mint family. ... Binomial name Linum usitatissimum L. Linnaeus, 17?? Common flax (also known as linseed) is a member of the Linaceae family, which includes about 150 plant species widely distributed around the world. ... Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid. ... Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA or also icosapentaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid. ... Docosahexaenoic acid (commonly known as DHA; 22:6(ω-3), all-cis-docosa-4,7,10,13,16,19-hexaenoic acid; trivial name cervonic acid) is an omega-3 essential fatty acid. ...


Calcium intake in vegetarians is similar to non-vegetarians. Some impaired bone mineralisation has been attached to Vegans who don't consume enough leafy greens, which are sources of abundant calcium.[56] However, this is not found in vegetarians.[57]

Vitamin D

Vitamin D levels do not appear to be lower in vegetarians (although studies have shown that much of the general population is deficient[58][59]). Vitamin D needs can be met via the human body's own generation upon sufficient and sensible UV sun exposure[60]. Products including milk, soy milk and cereal grains may be fortified to provide a good source of Vitamin D[61] and mushrooms provide over 2700 IU per serving (approx. 3 oz or 1/2 cup) of vitamin D2, if exposed to just 5 minutes of UV light after being harvested;[62]. For those who don't get adequate sun exposure and/or food sources, Vitamin D supplementation may be necessary. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that contributes to the maintenance of normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the bloodstream. ... A glass of cows milk. ... A can of Yeos soy milk, poured into a glass Greek Café Frappé prepared with soy milk, topped with additional cinnamon 1 l (2. ... Cereal crops are mostly grasses cultivated for their edible seeds (actually a fruit called a grain, technically a caryopsis). ... Formed in December of 2004, Fortified began creating and shaping their destiny to becoming what it is now. ... Basidiocarps (mushrooms) of the fungus Leucocoprinus sp. ... This article is about Ounce (unit of mass). ... Ergosterol (ergosta-5,7,22-trien-3β-ol), a sterol, is the biological precursor to Vitamin D2. ...


A 1999 metastudy[5] compared six major studies from western countries. The study found that the mortality ratio was the lowest in fish eaters (0.82) followed by vegetarians (0.84) and occasional meat eaters (0.84), and was then followed by regular meat eaters (1.0) and vegan (1.0) [7]. When the study made its best estimate of mortality ratio with confounding factors considered, the mortality ratio for vegetarians was found to be (0.94)[8]. Hens kept in cramped conditions — the avoidance of animal suffering is the primary motivation of people who become vegans A vegan is a person who avoids the ingestion or use of animal products. ...

In "Mortality in British vegetarians",[6] it was concluded that "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."

The Adventist Health Study is an ongoing study of 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 California Adventists surviving to age 30 was 83.3 years for men and 85.7 years for women.[63] The Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA), colloquially referred to as the Adventists, is an evangelical Protestant Christian denomination that grew out of the prophetic Millerite movement in the United States during the middle part of the 19th century. ... This article is about the measure of remaining life. ...

However, Adventist health study is again incorporated into meta studies titled "Does low meat consumption increase life expectancy in humans?" published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which made the conclusion that occasional/low meat eating and other life style choices significantly increase the life expectancy.[64] 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. [65] This article is about the measure of remaining life. ... For cuisine, see Cuisine of the Mediterranean. ...

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 vegetarians (lacto-ovo) have a significantly higher amount of plasma carboxymethyllysine and advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) compared to omnivores [66]. Carboxymethyllysine is a glycation product which represents "a general marker of oxidative stress and long-term damage of proteins in aging, atherosclerosis and diabetes." "Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) may play an important adverse role in process of atherosclerosis, diabetes, aging and chronic renal failure." The researchers theorized that it may be the higher fructose intake of vegetarians (from higher fruit and vegetable intake) that increased their AGEs levels. Some nutritional experts, such as low carb advocate Michael R. Eades, M.D., have said that this study suggests that vegetarians age faster than those eating an omnivorous diet[67]. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Glycation#Exogenous. ... Glycation is the result of a sugar-reducing molecule, such as fructose or glucose, bonding to a protein or lipid molecule without the controlling action of an enzyme. ... Fructose (also levulose or laevulose) is a simple reducing sugar (monosaccharide) found in many foods and is one of the three most important blood sugars along with glucose and galactose. ...

Food safety

E. coli

Vegetarianism is believed to reduce E. coli infections,[68] and proponents point to the link between E.coli contaminations in food and industrial scale meat and dairy farms. The most recent E. coli outbreak in North America has once again demonstrated this link because the source of this E. coli was traced back to "a large ranch in the Salinas Valley that has a beef cattle operation" about a half-mile from the spinach fields where spinach became contaminated.[69] E. coli redirects here. ... Warning: Wikipedia does not give medical advice. ...

There are several variants of E. coli and they can be found in a healthy human gut, but the deadly strain, O157:H7 was virtually unheard of until the 1980s. It is believed that this strain evolved in the digestive system of grain fed cattle on large industrial farms.[70] On these farms, grain is used as cattle feed because it is nutrient-packed and increases efficiency. A side effect of feeding grain to cattle is that it increases the acidity of their stomach — and it is in this acidic gut that the deadly O157:H7 thrives. Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an emerging cause of foodborne illness. ...

In 2003, an article in the Journal of Dairy Science found that between 30 and 80 percent of cattle carry E. coli O157:H7.[71] In that same journal article, a quick fix was pointed out: Cows that are switched from a grain diet to a forage diet saw, within 5 days, a 1,000 fold decrease in the abundance of strain O157. But until changes like this are made, the source of many E. coli outbreaks will continue to be high-yield (industrial) meat and dairy farms.[72]

More likely, rather than change the way cattle are fed or raised on industrial farms there will instead be pressure to find technological solutions like food irradiation, plans for HACCP, or simply cooking burgers longer. Suggestions like this have led some experts, like Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley, Michael Pollan, to suggest that "All of these solutions treat E. coli O157:H7 as an unavoidable fact of life rather than what it is: a fact of industrial agriculture."[73] Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a systematic method used in the food industry to identify potential food safety hazards, so that key actions, known as Critical Control Points (CCPs), can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk of the hazards being realised. ... Michael Pollan (b. ...

E. Coli can be still acquired from any excrement-contaminated food or human commensal bacteria. The recent case of spinach and onions with E. Coli contamination in the U.S. shows that vegetarian foods are also susceptible to food safety concerns.[74][75] In 2005, some people who had consumed branded triple-washed, pre-packaged lettuce were infected with E.Coli,[76] and in 2007, branded lettuce salad were recalled after they were found to be contaminated by E.Coli[77]In fact E. coli outbreaks have also involved unpasteurized apple[78] and orange juice, milk, alfalfa sprouts,[79] and even water.[80] Binomial name L. Lettuce and chicory output in 2005 Vit. ... For the Our Gang (Little Rascals) character, see Carl Switzer. ... Sprouts may refer to: Sprouting, the practice of germinating seeds, often for food purposes Sprouts, a game Brussels sprouts This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

Other food scares

Various animal food safety scares over recent years have led to increased numbers of people choosing a semi-vegetarian or vegetarian diet.[9] These scares have included Avian influenza in poultry, foot-and-mouth in sheep, PCBs in farmed salmon, mercury in fish, generally high dioxin concentrations in animal products, and artificial growth hormones, antibiotics or BSE, also known as Mad Cow Disease, in cows. According to various organisations, vCJD in humans is strongly linked with exposure to the BSE agent that has been found in beef.[81] Toxins such as lead and mercury can bioaccumulate in animal products in higher concentrations than what is considered safe. [82] Vegetables and fruits have a risk of being contaminated by pesticide residue or by banned chemicals being used to ripen fruits.[83] [84] Recent cases of several widespread outbreaks of salmonella infection, including outbreaks from contaminated peanut butter, frozen pot pies & puffed vegetable snacks also indicate that vegetarian foodstuff is succeptible to contamination.[85] For the H5N1 subtype of Avian influenza see H5N1. ... Not to be confused with hand, foot and mouth disease. ... Labelling transformers containing PCBs. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Mercury_poisoning. ... Dioxin is the common name for the group of compounds classified as polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs). ... Growth hormone (GH) or somatotropin (STH) is a protein hormone which stimulates growth and cell reproduction in humans and other animals. ... Staphylococcus aureus - Antibiotics test plate. ... Classic image of a cow with BSE. A notable feature of such disease is the inability (of the infected animal) to stand. ... Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) is a lethal brain disorder characterized by memory loss, personality changes, hallucinations, speech impairment, jerky movements, changes in gait, rigid posture, and seizures due to a rapid loss of neural cells caused by transmissible proteins called prions. ... For other uses, see Beef (disambiguation). ... To bioaccumulate literally means to accumulate in a biological system. ...

Medical use

In Western medicine, patients are sometimes advised to adhere to a vegetarian diet.[86] Certain alternative medicines, such as Ayurveda and Siddha, prescribe a vegetarian diet as a normal procedure.[87] See drugs, medication, and pharmacology for substances that are used to treat patients. ... Alternative medicine has been described as any of various systems of healing or treating disease (as chiropractic, homeopathy, or faith healing) not included in the traditional medical curricula taught in the United States and Britain.[1] Alternative medicine practices are often based in belief systems not derived from modern science. ... Ayurveda (Devanagari: ) or Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient system of health care that is native to the Indian subcontinent. ... A Siddha in Sanskrit means One who is accomplished and refers to perfected masters who have transcended the Ahamkara (Ego or I-maker), have subdued their minds to be subservient to their Awareness, and have transformed their bodies composed of dense Rajo-tama Gunas into pure Satvic light. ...


The mainstream scientific consensus is that humans are physiologically best suited to an omnivore diet. The Vegetarian Resource Group, among others, has concluded that humans are naturally omnivores based on the human ability to digest meat as well as plant foods.[10][11] Other arguments, pushed by a small but vocal minority, hold that humans are more anatomically similar to herbivores, with long intestinal tracts and blunt teeth, unlike omnivores and carnivores. Human teeth, including relatively blunt canines, are more similar to those found in animals with herbivore diets than in carnivores and most omnivores.[88] 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.[89][88] Human Physiology is the science of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of humans in good health, their organs, and the cells of which they are composed. ... Crows are omnivores. ... A deer and two fawns feeding on some foliage A herbivore is often defined as any organism that eats only plants[1]. By that definition, many fungi, some bacteria, many animals, about 1% of flowering plants and some protists can be considered herbivores. ... Genera Subfamily Ponginae Pongo - Orangutans Gigantopithecus (extinct) Sivapithecus (extinct) Subfamily Homininae Gorilla - Gorillas Pan - Chimpanzees Homo - Humans Paranthropus (extinct) Australopithecus (extinct) Sahelanthropus (extinct) Ardipithecus (extinct) Kenyanthropus (extinct) Pierolapithecus (extinct) (tentative) The Hominids (Hominidae) are a biological family which includes humans, extinct species of humanlike creatures and the other great apes...

Motivations for Vegetarianism


Various ethical reasons have been suggested for choosing vegetarianism. It has been argued, for example, that the production, slaughtering, and consumption of meat or animal products is unethical. Reasons for this include a belief in animal rights, an aversion to inflicting pain or harm on other sentient beings, or a belief that the unnecessary killing of other animals is inherently wrong. Many vegetarians consider the production, subsequent slaughtering and consumption of meat or animal products as unethical. ... Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... For the Batman villain, see Abattoir (comics). ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... A man holds a monkey with a limb missing by a rope around her neck, a scene epitomizing the idea of animal ownership. ... Sentience is the capacity for basic consciousness -- the ability to feel or perceive, not necessarily including the faculty of self-awareness. ...

It has also been argued that although production and consumption of meat may be acceptable on its own terms, the methods by which animals are reared in the commercial industry are unethical. The book Animal Liberation by Peter Singer has been very influential on the animal rights movement and specifically ethical vegetarianism and veganism. In developed countries, ethical vegetarianism has become popular particularly after the spread of factory farming,a system of livestock farming where animals are kept indoors throughout the greater part of their lives in conditions of very restricted mobility. Pigs, laying hens, broiler chickens, and veal calves are the animals most often kept under these conditions. [90] Factory farming has reduced the sense of husbandry that used to exist in farming and which has led to animals being treated as commodities. Many believe that the treatment that animals undergo in the production of meat and animal products obliges them to never eat meat or use animal products. Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals is a book by Australian philosopher Peter Singer. ... For other persons named Peter Singer, see Peter Singer (disambiguation). ... The factual accuracy of part of this article is disputed. ... In general stewardship is responsibility for taking good care of resources entrusted to one. ...


Hinduism and Jainism teach vegetarianism as moral conduct whilst Christianity and Islam generally do not. Buddhism in general does not prohibit meat eating, while Mahayana Buddhism encourages vegetarianism as beneficial for developing compassion. Other denominations that advocate a fully vegetarian diet include the Seventh-day Adventists, the Rastafari movement and the Hare Krishnas. Many religions, including Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, and especially Jainism, teach that ideally life should always be valued and not willfully destroyed for unnecessary human gratification. ... Hinduism is a religious tradition[1] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Jain and Jaina redirect here. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Relief image of the bodhisattva Kuan Yin from Mt. ... The Seventh-day Adventist (abbreviated Adventist[3]) Church is a Protestant Christian denomination which is distinguished mainly by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath. ... Haile Selassie I The Rastafari movement (also known as Rastafari, or simply Rasta) is a new religious movement[1] that accepts Haile Selassie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopia, as God incarnate, called Jah[2] or Jah Rastafari. ... The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is a new religious movement based on Bengali, or more specifically Gaudiya, Vaishnavism founded by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, referred to by followers as His Divine Grace, in New York in 1966. ...


Main article: Hindu vegetarianism

Most major paths of Hinduism hold vegetarianism as an ideal. There are three main reasons for this: the principle of nonviolence (ahimsa) applied to animals;[91] the intention to offer only "pure" (vegetarian) food to a deity and then to receive it back as prasad;[92] and the conviction that non-vegetarian food is detrimental for the mind and for spiritual development. Nonviolence is a common concern of all the vegetarian traditions in Hinduism; the other two aspects are relevant for those who follow special spiritual paths. Hinduism is a religious tradition[1] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Ahimsa (Devanagari: ; IAST ) is a Sanskrit term meaning non-violence (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa). ... Prasāda (Sanskrit: प्रसाद), prasād/prashad (Hindi), Prasāda in (Kannada) or prasādam (Tamil) Prasadam (Telugu) is both a mental condition of generosity, as well as a material substance that is first offered to a deity (in Hinduism) and then consumed (Hinduism and Sikhism). ...

However, the food habits of Hindus vary according to their community and according to regional traditions. Hindu vegetarians usually eschew eggs but consume milk and dairy products, so they are lacto-vegetarians. Milk and milk products are vital in the traditional food habits of India. Many coastal habitants of India are also fish eaters.


Main article: Jain vegetarianism

Followers of Jainism are most commonly lacto-vegetarians. No products obtained from dead animals are allowed. Jains hold vegetarianism as the ideal diet in a similar fashion to Hindu traditions but with emphasis on their principle of all-round non-violence (ahimsa). This is for them an indispensable condition for spiritual progress.[93][94] Some particularly dedicated individuals are fruitarians.[95] Honey is forbidden, because its collection is seen as violence against the 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.[96] Jain vegetarianism is the diet of the Jains, the followers of Jainism. ... Jain and Jaina redirect here. ... Ahimsa (Devanagari: ; IAST ) is a Sanskrit term meaning non-violence (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa). ... A fruit stall in Barcelona, Spain. ...


Japanese temple vegetarian dinner
Japanese temple vegetarian dinner

In the Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism, the Buddha himself ate meat and he did not prohibit it for his followers. Theravadins make the distinction between the direct taking of life and eating meat which is already killed. Thus, they consider the careers of being a butcher or hunter to be unethical and would not promote it by purchasing meat, but monks also could not refuse meat if it was offered. For laypeople, there is no such prohibition on buying meat. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2592 × 1944 pixel, file size: 987 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Vegetarian dinner at a Japanese temple in Nagano I want to use the image. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2592 × 1944 pixel, file size: 987 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Vegetarian dinner at a Japanese temple in Nagano I want to use the image. ... In Buddhism, the views on vegetarianism vary from school to school. ... The Tripitaka (Sanskrit, lit. ... Theravada (Pali; Sanskrit: Sthaviravada) is one of the eighteen (or twenty) Nikāya schools that formed early in the history of Buddhism. ... Siddhartha and Gautama redirect here. ...

In Mahayana Buddhism, there are several Sanskrit texts where the Buddha instructs his followers to avoid meat. Mahayana Buddhism advises monks to be strictly vegetarian and is recommended for laypeople, but not required. Relief image of the bodhisattva Guan Yin from Mt. ... Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ...


Followers of the Sikh religion are divided in their opinion on whether their religion opposes meat consumption for Sikhs.[97] Although many Sikhs do eat meat, the majority of initiated Sikhs or "amritdharis" abstain from the consumption of meat and eggs.[98] Sikhism (IPA: or ; Punjabi: , , IPA: ), founded on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and nine successive gurus in fifteenth century Northern India, is the fifth-largest religion in the world. ...

In the case of meat, the Sikh Gurus have indicated their preference for a simple diet and depending on what one sees as a simple diet could be meat or vegetarian. Passages from the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of Sikhs, also known as the Adi Granth) says that fools argue over this issue. Guru Nanak said that any consumption of food involves a drain on the Earth's resources and thus on life.[99] The tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, prohibited the Sikhs from the consumption of halal or Kutha (any ritually slaughtered meat) meat because of the Sikh belief that sacrificing an animal in the name of God is mere ritualism (something to be avoided).[97] Sikhism was established by ten Gurus, teachers or masters, over the period 1469 to 1708. ... The Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Punjabi: , ), or Guru Granth Sahib, is the holy book, or scriptures, of the Sikhs. ... Guru Nanak (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ, Devanagari: गुरु नानक) (20 October 1469 - 7 May 1539), the founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten Gurus of the Sikhs, was born in the village of Talwandi, now called Nankana Sahib, near Lahore in present-day Pakistan. ... Guru Gobind Singh (Punjabi: ) (22 December 1666 – 7 October 1708) He was born in Patna in India in 1666 and became the tenth Guru of the Sikhs on 11 November 1675, succeeding his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur who was killed by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. ...


In the Jewish religion people are permitted to consume meat, with some restrictions. Kashrut (dietary law according to halakha, Jewish religious law) forbids the eating of meat and dairy products together. It also specifies which animals may be eaten: mammals with split hooves that chew their cud, fish with fins and scales, and certain bird species. Animals are also required to be slaughtered in a manner that minimizes their suffering. Some Jewish people are vegetarian because a vegetarian diet makes it easier to abide by kashrut principles. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The circled U indicates that this product is certified as kosher by the Orthodox Union (OU). ... Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה ; alternate transliterations include Halocho and Halacha), is the collective corpus of Jewish religious law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvot) and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions. ... A cloven-hoof is a type of hoof that is found on some animals. ... Cud is a portion of food that returns from a ruminants stomach in the mouth to be chewed for the second time. ...

A number of medieval scholars (e.g. Joseph Albo) regard vegetarianism as a moral ideal, not because of a concern for the welfare of animals, but because of the fact that the slaughter of animals might cause the individual who performs such acts to develop negative character traits, viz., meanness and cruelty. Therefore, their concern was with regard to possible harmful effects upon human character rather than with animal welfare. Indeed, Rabbi Joseph Albo maintains that renunciation of the consumption of meat for reasons of concern for animal welfare is not only morally erroneous but even repugnant.[100] Joseph Albo was a Spanish rabbi, and theologian of the fifteenth century, known chiefly as the author of the work on the Jewish principles of faith, Ikkarim. ...

One modern-day scholar who is often cited as looking upon vegetarianism with extreme favor is the late Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. It is indeed the case that 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. In context, however, Rabbi Kook makes those comments in his portrayal of the eschatological (messianic) era. He regards man's moral state in that period as being akin to that of Adam before his sin and does indeed view renunciation of enjoyment of animal flesh as part of the heightened moral awareness which will be manifest at that time. Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935) was the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate for Palestine, the founder of the Religious Zionist Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav, Jewish thinker, statesman, diplomat, mediator and a renowned Torah scholar. ...

Rabbi Kook is emphatic in admonishing that vegetarianism not be adopted as a norm of human conduct prior to the advent of the eschatological era.[101]

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.[102] This article is about traditional Jewish Kabbalah. ... Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה ; alternate transliterations include Halocho and Halacha), is the collective corpus of Jewish religious law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvot) and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions. ...

Having ties with both ancient Judaism and Christianity members of the ancient Essene religious group practiced strict vegetarianism sharing a similar belief with the Hindus'/Jains' idea of Ahimsa or "harmlessness". [103] This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... The Essenes (Issiim) were a Jewish religious sect of Zadokites that flourished from the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD. The name Essene, itself, is either a version of the Greek word for Holy, or various Aramaic dialect words for pious, and is probably not what the... Ahimsa (Devanagari: ; IAST ) is a Sanskrit term meaning non-violence (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa). ...

Translation of the Torah's Ten Commandments state "thou shall not murder."[104][105] Many argue that this can also be taken as meaning not to kill at all, animals nor humans, or at least "that one shall not kill unnecessarily," in the same manner that onerous restrictions on slavery in the bible have been interpreted by modern theologians as to suggest banning the practice.[106]. Template:Jews and Jewdaism Template:The Holy Book Named TorRah The Torah () is the most valuable Holy Doctrine within Judaism,(and for muslims) revered as the first relenting Word of Ulllah, traditionally thought to have been revealed to Blessed Moosah, An Apostle of Ulllah. ...


While vegetarianism is not common in Christian thought, the concept appears periodically. According to the Bible, in the beginning, humans and animals were vegetarian.[107] Immediately after the Flood, God permitted the eating of meat.[108] Creationists say this is because the antediluvian ecology allowed edible plants to flourish worldwide, and since the Flood altered the Earth's environment so drastically, in order for Man to survive, animals would have to be eaten. Some Christians believe that the Bible explains that, in the future, humans and animals will return to vegetarianism.[109]Most vegetarians believe that there is no sin in vegetarianism, that when God gave humans control over the earth (Genesis 1:27-31), that they had the choice to eat as they please. Christian vegetarianism is based on extending the compassionate teachings of Jesus, the twelve apostles and the early church to all living beings through vegetarianism or veganism. ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ...

Some Christian leaders, such as the Reverend Andrew Linzey, have supported the view that Jesus was a vegetarian. Some people believe that the Book of Daniel specifically promotes vegetarianism as beneficial.[110] However, common theology argues that in this instance Daniel is rejecting food that is considered to be unholy by his faith (eating food that had been sacrificed to pagan gods), not strictly meat. The Bible's New Testament says that a person's dietary choice is of small consequence and should not be a point of confrontation (see Romans 14:1-3). Therefore, some modern Christians consider vegetarianism as a perfectly acceptable personal choice that has many of the same implications as fasting. The Reverend Professor Andrew Linzey, PhD, DD, is an Anglican priest, a theologian, a writer, and is internationally known as an authority on Christianity and animals. ... For other uses, see Book of Daniel (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Christian scriptures. ...

All Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic monastics abstain from meat year-round, and many abstain from dairy and seafood as well. Laity generally abstain from animal products on Wednesdays (due to a traditional belief that it was a Wednesday on which Judas arranged to betray Jesus Christ) and Fridays (because Jesus was crucified on a Friday), as well as during the four major fasting periods of the year: Great Lent, the Apostles' Fast, the Dormition Fast and the Nativity Fast. This is not for environmental or animal welfare reasons, but for spiritual reasons. Fasting is seen as purification and the regaining of innocence. Through obedience to the Orthodox Church and its ascetic practices, the Orthodox Christian seeks to rid himself or herself of the passions, or the disposition to sin. The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the churches of Eastern Christian traditions that keeps the faith of only the first three ecumenical councils of the undivided Church - the councils of Nicea, Constantinople and Ephesus. ... Orthodox icon of Pentecost. ... The term Eastern Rites may refer to the liturgical rites used by many ancient Christian Churches of Eastern Europe and the Middle East that, while being part of the Roman Catholic Church, are distinct from the Latin Rite or Western Church. ... For other uses, see Monk (disambiguation). ... In religious organizations, the laity comprises all lay persons collectively. ... For other uses, see Crucifixion (disambiguation). ... Great Lent is the greatest fasting period in the church year in Eastern Christianity, which prepares Christians for the greatest feast of the church year, Easter (or Holy Pascha). Although it is in many ways similar to Lent in Western Christianity, there are important differences in the timing of Lent... Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... Dormition of the Virgin redirects here. ... The Nativity Fast, practiced by the Eastern Orthodox Church, is believed to enable participants to draw closer to God by denying the body of worldly pleasure in preparation for celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which is held on December 25th (Julian Calendar). ... Animal welfare is the viewpoint that animals, especially those under human care, should not suffer. ...

The Seventh-day Adventist church is a Christian denomination that recommends the vegetarian diet as a holistic lifestyle choice within its teachings.[111] A number of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist church, including Joseph Bates and Ellen White adopted the vegetarian diet during the nineteenth century, and Ellen White reportedly received visions regarding the health benefits of the vegetarian diet.[112] More recently, members of the Seventh-day Adventist church in California have been involved in research into longevity due to their healthy lifestyle, which includes maintaining a vegetarian diet.[113] This research has been included within a National Geographic article.[114] The Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA), colloquially referred to as the Adventists, is an evangelical Protestant Christian denomination that grew out of the prophetic Millerite movement in the United States during the middle part of the 19th century. ... Holism (from holon, a Greek word meaning entity) is the idea that the properties of a system cannot be determined or explained by the sum of its components alone. ... Joseph Bates (July 8, 1792 - March 19, 1872) American seaman and revivalist minister. ... Ellen Gould Harmon White (November 26, 1827 - July 16, 1915) was co-founder of Seventh-day Adventism. ...


See also: Islam and animals

Islam allows the consumption of meat, if the meat is "halal", however, the option of vegetarianism is also available. This is a personal decision only, supported by a general religious philosophy stressing kind treatment of animals. Vegetarianism has been practiced by some influential Muslems including the Indian 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.[115] This article is about the attitudes of Islam regarding animals. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Halal (حلال, alāl, halaal) is an Arabic term meaning permissible. In the English language it most frequently refers to food that is permissible according to Islamic law. ... Image:Bawa-peace. ...

Muslims have the freedom of choice to be vegetarian for medical reasons or if they do not personally like the taste of meat. However, the choice to eat vegetarian can be controversial. According to Hâfiz Nazr Ahmad, although the number of Muslim vegetarians today is increasing, individual adherents tend to keep quiet about it.[116]

In January 1996, The International Vegetarian Union announced the formation of the Muslim Vegetarian/Vegan Society.[117] They noted that the Quran states that "There is not an animal on earth, nor a bird that flies on its wings - but they are communities like you." (The Quran, 6:38)


Many who practice a faith that falls under the Neopagan umbrella also practice vegetarianism. Since Neopaganism generally emphasizes the sanctity of Earth and Nature, a vegetarian diet is sometimes adopted out of concern for the environment and/or animal welfare[118].[citation needed] Conversely, some Neopagans view the consumption of meat as natural and a part of the cycles of life.[citation needed]. Neopaganism (sometimes Neo-Paganism, meaning New Paganism) is a heterogeneous group of religions which attempt to revive ancient, mainly European pre-Christian religions. ... Environmental vegetarianism is the practice of vegetarianism based on the belief that the production of meat by intensive agriculture is environmentally unsustainable. ... Many vegetarians consider the production, subsequent slaughtering and consumption of meat or animal products as unethical. ...


Environmental vegetarianism is based on the belief that the production of meat and animal products for mass consumption, especially through factory farming, is environmentally unsustainable or otherwise harmful. Recent research strongly supports these concerns. 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 contributes 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."[119] Environmental vegetarianism is the practice of vegetarianism based on the belief that the production of meat by intensive agriculture is environmentally unsustainable. ... The factual accuracy of part of this article is disputed. ... The historic Blue Marble photograph, which helped bring environmentalism to the public eye. ... Sustainable development is a socio-ecological process characterized by the fulfilment of human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment indefinitely. ... UN redirects here. ...

In addition, animal agriculture has been pointed out as one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases — responsible for 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalents. By comparison, all transportation emits 13.5 percent of the CO2. Animal farming produces 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide (which has 296 times the global warming potential of CO2) and 37 percent of all human-induced methane (which is 23 times as warming as CO2). It is also accused of generating 64 percent of the ammonia, which contributes to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems[citation needed] The habitat for wildlife provided by large industrial monoculture farms is very poor, and modern industrial agriculture has been considered a threat to biodiversity compared with farming practices such as organic farming, permaculture, arable, pastoral, and rainfed agriculture. Monoculture describes systems that have very low diversity. ... Rainforests are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth Biodiversity is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. ... Organic farming is a form of agriculture which excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically modified organisms. ... Permaculture Mandala summarising the ethics and principles of permaculture design. ... In geography, arable land is a form of agricultural land use, meaning land that can be (and is) used for growing crops. ... For other uses, see Pastoral (disambiguation). ...

Animals fed on grain, and those that rely on grazing need far more water than grain crops.[120] According to the USDA, growing the crops necessary to feed farmed animals requires nearly half of the United States' water supply and 80 percent of its agricultural land. Additionally, animals raised for food in the U.S. consume 90 percent of the soy crop, 80 percent of the corn crop, and a total of 70 percent of its grain.[121] USDA redirects here. ... Binomial name Glycine max Soybeans (US) or soya beans (UK) (Glycine max) are a high-protein legume (Family Fabaceae) grown as food for both humans and livestock. ...

When tracking food animal production from the feed trough to consumption, the inefficiencies of meat, milk and egg production range from 4:1 up to 54:1 energy input to protein output ratio. As it was published, "U.S. could feed 800 million people with grain that livestock eat, Cornell ecologist advises animal scientists; Future water and energy shortages predicted to change face of American agriculture."[122] To produce animal based food seems to be, according to these studies, typically much less efficient than the harvesting of grains, vegetables, legumes, seeds and fruits. Exception is made of animals that are grazed rather than fed, especially those grazed on land that could not be used for other purposes.

According to the theory of trophic dynamics, it requires 10 times as many crops to feed animals being bred for meat production as it would to feed the same number of people on a vegetarian diet. Currently, 70 percent of all the wheat, corn, and other grain produced is fed to farmed animals.[123] This has led many proponents of vegetarianism to believe that it is ecologically irresponsible to consume meat. It must also be noted that the benefits of rearing grazing animals is often beneficial, as observed Food Climate Research Network at Surrey University, which reports that 'A little bit of livestock production is probably a good thing for the environment'[124] It also noted that "no amount of vegetarian or vegan eating" will reduce the impact as much as "Flying time, petrol spend and energy bills". In ecology, trophic dynamics is the system of trophic levels (Greek trophē, food) that describe the position that an organism occupies in a food chain - what it eats and what eats it. ...

Labour conditions

Some groups[who?] 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 industrialized settings, and argue that the meat industry violates its labourers' human rights by delegating difficult and distressing tasks without adequate counselling, training and debriefing.[125][126][127][128]

However, it must be noted that the working conditions of agricultural workers, particularly non-permanent ones, remain poor and well below conditions prevailing in other economic sectors.[129] Accidents, including pesticide poisoning, among the farmers and plantation workers contribute to increased health risks including mortality.[130] In fact, according to the International Labour Organization, agriculture is one of the three most dangerous jobs in the world.[131] The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that deals with labour issues. ...


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 to the 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."[132] Economic vegetarians also may include people from third world countries who follow a de facto vegetarian diet due to the high price of meat. An economic vegetarian is a person who practices vegetarianism from either the philosophical viewpoint that the consumption of meat is expensive, part of a conscious simple living strategy or just because of necessity. ... Simple living (or voluntary simplicity) is a lifestyle individuals choose to minimize the more-is-better pursuit of wealth and consumption. ... For the Jamaican reggae band, see Third World (band). ...


Some vegetarians choose to be so in part because they find meat and meat products aesthetically unappetizing. The Whole Earth Vegetarian Catalogue's '49 good reasons for being a vegetarian' says that one reason for being a vegetarian is that "Decaying animal parts, whether in a freezer case or served in restaurants, can never be as aesthetically pleasing to the senses as the same foods made from wholesome vegetable sources. Only habit can allow one not to perceive this: a change in diet makes this self evident."

The metaphor by Douglas Dunn is that if one gives a young child an apple and a live chicken, the child would instinctively play with the chicken and eat the apple, whereas if a cat were presented with the same choices, its natural impulse would be the opposite.[133] Douglas Eaglesham Dunn, OBE, (born October 23, 1942) is a Scottish poet, academic and critic. ...

Though this may be considered a flawed comparison, as cats are carnivores and not omnivores, it has been noted that comparatively omnivorous human-like species such as chimpanzees' offspring may not instinctively kill such hunted prey as Senegal Bushbabys when presented with one and banana or other fruit either, despite hunting and eating them[134]. The comparison may also suffer from the "Appeal to nature" logical fallacy. Binomial name Galago senegalensis É. Geoffroy, 1796 The Senegal Bushbaby (Galago senegalensis), also known as the Senegal Galago, the Lesser Galago or the Lesser Bush Baby, is a small, nocturnal primate, a member of the galago family Galagidae (sometimes called Galagonidae). ... Appeal to nature is a simplified type of naturalistic fallacy in argument form. ...

In a similar assertion, Scott Adams, who is also a vegetarian, once wrote humorously: "I point out that a live cow makes a lion salivate, whereas a human just wants to say "moo" and see if the cow responds" [12]. Scott Raymond Adams (born June 8, 1957) is the creator of the Dilbert comic strip and the author of several business commentaries, social satires, and experimental philosophy books. ...

Moreover, research on the psychology of meat consumption suggests that consumers of meat may need to use defense mechanisms such as psychological numbing to distance themselves from the notion that they are eating animals.[135] This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

In the therapy of some health disorders and/or food intolerances vegetarian diets are considered a necessary element.[86]


Taiwan buddhist cuisine
Taiwan buddhist cuisine

Some people may choose vegetarianism because they were raised in a vegetarian household or because of a vegetarian partner, family member, or friend. A predominantly and traditionally vegetarian society also facilitates the continuance of such a tradition. Chinese Buddhist Cuisine. ... Chinese Buddhist Cuisine. ...

In countries where religious belief have become inherent to society and daily life, vegetarianism is more easily seen.[citation needed]

Limited vegetarianism appears to be an appealing alternative for young people in Western societies. In 2007 an experiment, originating at the University of Michigan Medical School, intending to study how memes spread led to an included attempt to encourage limited vegetarianism. It has been the meme itself that has brought life to the concept of "Vegetarian Wednesday." The idea is that those choosing to adopt this limited vegetarian diet would consume their normal daily food except for Wednesday of each week when they would maintain a vegetarian diet.


One observational study in British Medical Journal found that high childhood IQ was associated with vegetarianism in later life. According to the study, "Higher IQ at age 10 years was associated with an increased likelihood of being vegetarian at age 30 [...] IQ remained a statistically significant predictor of being vegetarian as an adult after adjustment for social class (both in childhood and currently), academic or vocational qualifications, and sex." [13][136][137] The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is a medical journal published weekly in the United Kingdom by the British Medical Association (BMA)which published its first issue in 1845. ...


A 1992 market research study conducted by the Yankelovich research organisation claimed that "of the 12.4 million people who call themselves vegetarian, 68 percent are female while only 32 percent are male." [138]

Some studies show that vegetarian women are much 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."[139] This research was dismissed by Catherine Collins, of the British Dietetic Association, as a "statistical fluke".[139]

There is some speculation that diets high in soy, due to high isoflavone content, can have a feminizing effect on humans due to the phytoestrogens contained. Proponents of this theory claim that diets high in isoflavones promote earlier onset of female puberty and delayed male puberty.[140] These effects, however, are not observed in populations of the Far East, where soy-rich diets are traditional.[citation needed] The chemical structure of the isoflavone backbone (3-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyr-4-one) Isoflavones are a class of organic compounds and biomolecules related to the flavonoids [1]. They act as phytoestrogens in mammals. ... Phytoestrogens are chemicals produced by plants that act like estrogens in animal/+human cells and bodies. ...

Country-specific information

Labeling used in India to distinguish vegetarian products from non-vegetarian ones.
Labeling used in India to distinguish vegetarian products from non-vegetarian ones.

Vegetarianism is viewed in different ways around the world. In some areas there is cultural and even legal support, but in others the diet is poorly understood or even frowned upon. In many countries food labeling is in place that makes it easier for vegetarians to identify foods compatible with their diets. Vegetarian restaurant buffet, Taipei, Taiwan. ...

In India, not only is there food labeling, but many restaurants are marketed and signed as being either "Vegetarian" or "Non-Vegetarian". People who are vegetarian in India are usually Lacto-vegetarians, and therefore, to cater for this market, the majority of vegetarian restaurants in India do serve dairy products while eschewing egg products. Most Western vegetarian restaurants, in comparison, do serve eggs and egg-based products. A colloquial term for a vegetarian who eats eggs is "Eggitarian". A lacto vegetarian diet is a vegetarian diet that includes dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, and kefir. ... A lacto-ovo vegetarian is a vegetarian who is willing to consume dairy products (i. ...

Vegetarian textiles


Vegetarian Chelsea boots
Vegetarian Chelsea boots

Some vegetarians will choose not to wear leather. Because leather footwear and other accessories are expected in some workplaces, there are many specialist suppliers that sell belts, shoes, safety boots, jackets and briefcases that share the appearance of leather but are in fact made of synthetic materials generically known as Vegan leather. High-end fashion designer Stella McCartney is famed for her refusal to use leather, fur or other animal products in her range of clothes and accessories. Image File history File linksMetadata VeggieChelseaBoots. ... Image File history File linksMetadata VeggieChelseaBoots. ... For other uses, see Leather (disambiguation). ... Vegetarian Chelsea boots Vegan Leather is a artificial alternative to traditional leather, this material may be chosen for ethical reasons or because as a designed material it may have properties designed into it that out-performs a natural material. ... Stella Nina McCartney (born 13 September 1971) is an English fashion designer. ...


Many vegetarians refuse to wear silk because of the large number of silkworms that are killed in the harvest. Alternatives have begun appearing lately, such as silk that is harvested from abandoned cocoons, called "Peace Silk"[141][142], and plant based sources, such as finely woven bamboo cloth, or soy ("Azalon") cloth. For other uses of this word, see Silk (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Bombyx mori Linnaeus, 1758 For the band named Silkworm, see Silkworm (band). ... For other uses, see Bamboo (disambiguation). ...


Although shearing sheep for wool does not usually involve the death of the animal, many vegetarians, especially vegans, do not wear or use wool. A common alternative for cold-weather wear is polar fleece, which has the added benefit of being available in versions that are made from recycled plastic. This article is about the dietary lifestyle, Vegan can also mean relating to vega, especially the star Vega, as in astronomical references to the Vegan system, or Science Fiction references to aliens from that system. ... Polar fleece, more often called just fleece, is a soft napped insulating synthetic wool fabric made from PET or other synthetic fibers. ...

See also

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ... A variety of vegetarian food ingredients. ... Well-known nutritional diets: Abs Diet Atkins diet Banta Diet Best Bet Diet Blood Type diet Body for Life Breatharian diet Buddhist diet Cabbage soup diet Calorie restriction The Cambridge Diet Candida control diet Diabetic diet Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or the DASH Diet Dr. Hay diet Detox diet... This article is being considered for deletion for the second time in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... Vegan redirects here. ...


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  Results from FactBites:
Vegetarianism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (6184 words)
Vegetarianism in the 19th century was associated with many cultural reform movements, such as temperance and anti-vivisection.
Vegetarian restaurants (almost always lacto vegetarian) abound, and usually many vegetarian (Shakahari (~plant-eater) in Hindi) options available in all restaurants ('hidden' meat ingredients such as lard, gelatin, meat stock are not used in the traditional cuisine).
Vegetarianism amongst Brahmins stood at the highest at 55%, while it was lowest among Muslims and Christians at 3% and 8% respectively.
  More results at FactBites »



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