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Category : Vegetarianism

Jain vegetarianism – Wikipedia

Set of religion-based dietary rules

Jain vegetarianism is practiced by the followers of Jain culture and philosophy. It is one of the most rigorous forms of spiritually motivated diet on the Indian subcontinent and beyond. The Jain cuisine is completely lacto-vegetarian and also excludes root and underground vegetables such as potato, garlic, onion etc, to prevent injuring small insects and microorganisms; and also to prevent the entire plant getting uprooted and killed. It is practised by Jain ascetics and lay Jains.

Jain objections to the eating of meat, fish and eggs are based on the principle of non-violence (ahimsa, figuratively "non-injuring"). Every act by which a person directly or indirectly supports killing or injury is seen as act of violence (himsa), which creates harmful reaction karma. The aim of ahimsa is to prevent the accumulation of such karma. The extent to which this intention is put into effect varies greatly among Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Jains believe nonviolence is the most essential religious duty for everyone (ahins paramo dharma, a statement often inscribed on Jain temples). It is an indispensable condition for liberation from the cycle of reincarnation,[7] which is the ultimate goal of all Jain activities. Jains share this goal with Hindus and Buddhists, but their approach is particularly rigorous and comprehensive. Their scrupulous and thorough way of applying nonviolence to everyday activities, and especially to food, shapes their entire lives and is the most significant hallmark of Jain identity. A side effect of this strict discipline is the exercise of asceticism, which is strongly encouraged in Jainism for lay people as well as for monks and nuns. Out of the five types of living beings, a householder is forbidden to kill, or destroy, intentionally, all except the lowest (the one sensed, such as vegetables, herbs, cereals, etc., which are endowed with only the sense of touch).

For Jains, vegetarianism is mandatory. In the Jain context, Vegetarianism excludes all animal products except dairy products. Food is restricted to that originating from plants, since plants have only one sense ('ekindriya') and are the least developed form of life, and dairy products. Food that contains even the smallest particles of the bodies of dead animals or eggs is unacceptable. Some Jain scholars and activists support veganism, as they believe the modern commercialised production of dairy products involves violence against farm animals.[18][19][20] In ancient times, dairy animals were well cared for and not killed.[21] According to Jain texts, a rvaka (householder) should not consume the four maha-vigai (the four perversions) - wine, flesh, butter and honey; and the five udumbara fruits (the five udumbara trees are Gular, Anjeera, Banyan, Peepal, and Pakar, all belonging to the fig class). Lastly, Jains should not consume any foods or drinks that have animal products or animal flesh. A common misconception is that Jains cannot eat animal-shaped foods or products. As long as the foods do not contain animal products or animal flesh, animal shaped foods can be consumed without the fear of committing a sin.[23]

Jains go out of their way so as not to hurt even small insects and other tiny animals, because they believe that harm caused by carelessness is as reprehensible as harm caused by deliberate action.[28][29][30] Hence they take great pains to make sure that no minuscule animals are injured by the preparation of their meals and in the process of eating and drinking.

Traditionally Jains have been prohibited from drinking unfiltered water. In the past, when stepwells were used for the water source, the cloth used for filtering was reversed, and some filtered water poured over it to return the organisms to the original body of water. This practice of jivani or bilchavani is no longer possible because of the use of pipes for water supply. Modern Jains may also filter tap water in the traditional fashion and a few continue to follow the filtering process even with commercial mineral or bottled drinking water.

Jains make considerable efforts not to injure plants in everyday life as far as possible. Jains only accept such violence in as much as it is indispensable for human survival, and there are special instructions for preventing unnecessary violence against plants. Strict Jains do not eat root vegetables such as potatoes, onions, roots and tubers as they are considered ananthkay.[23] Ananthkay means one body, but containing infinite lives. A root vegetable such as potato, though from the looks of it is one article, is said to contain infinite lives in it. Also, tiny life forms are injured when the plant is pulled up and because the bulb is seen as a living being, as it is able to sprout. Also, consumption of most root vegetables involves uprooting and killing the entire plant, whereas consumption of most terrestrial vegetables does not kill the plant (it lives on after plucking the vegetables or it was seasonally supposed to wither away anyway). Green vegetables and fruits contain uncountable, but not infinite, lives. Dry beans, lentils, cereals, nuts and seeds contain a countable number of lives and their consumption results in the least destruction of life.

Mushrooms, fungi and yeasts are forbidden because they grow in unhygienic environments and may harbour other life forms.[citation needed]

Honey is forbidden, as its collection would amount to violence against the bees.[41]

Jain texts declare that a rvaka (householder) should not cook or eat at night. According to Acharya Amritchandra's Purushartha Siddhyupaya:

And, how can one who eats food without the light of the sun, albeit a lamp may have been lighted, avoid his of minute beings which get into food?

Strict Jains do not consume food that has been stored overnight, as it possesses a higher concentration of micro-organisms (for example, bacteria, yeast etc.) as compared to food prepared and consumed the same day. Hence, they do not consume yoghurt or dhokla and idli batter unless they have been freshly set on the same day.

During certain days of the month and on important religious days such as Paryushana and 'Ayambil', strict Jains avoid eating green leafy vegetables along with the usual restrictions on root vegetables.

Jains do not consume fermented foods (beer, wine and other alcohols) to avoid killing of a large number of microorganisms associated with the fermenting process.[44] According to Pururthasiddhyupya:

Wine deludes the mind and a deluded person tends to forget piety; the person who forgets piety commits his without hesitation.

The vegetarian cuisines of some regions of the Indian subcontinent have been strongly influenced by Jainism. These include

In India, vegetarian food is considered appropriate for everyone for all occasions. This makes vegetarian restaurants quite popular. Many vegetarian restaurants and Mishtanna sweet-shops for example, the Ghantewala sweets of Delhi[47] and Jamna Mithya in Sagar are run by Jains.

Some restaurants in India serve Jain versions of vegetarian dishes that leave out carrots, potatoes, onions and garlic. A few airlines serve Jain vegetarian dishes[48][49] upon prior request.

When Mahavira revived and reorganized the Jain community in the 6th century BCE, ahimsa was already an established, strictly observed rule. Parshvanatha, a tirthankara whom modern Western historians consider a historical figure, lived in about the 8th century BCE and founded a community to which Mahaviras parents belonged.[56] Parshvanathas followers vowed to observe ahimsa; this obligation was part of their caujjama dhamma (Fourfold Restraint).[58]

In the times of Mahavira and in the following centuries, Jains criticized Buddhists and followers of the Vedic religion or Hindus for negligence and inconsistency in the implementation of ahimsa. In particular, they strongly objected to the Vedic tradition of animal sacrifice with subsequent meat-eating, and to hunting.

According to the famous Tamil classic, Tirukkua, which is also considered a Jain work by some scholars:

If the world did not purchase and consume meat, no one would slaughter and offer meat for sale. (Kural 256)

Some BrahminsKashmiri Pandits and Bengali Brahminshave traditionally eaten meat (primarily seafood). However, in regions with strong Jain influence such as Rajasthan and Gujarat, or strong Jain influence in the past such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Brahmins are strict vegetarians. Bal Gangadhar Tilak has described Jainism as the originator of ahimsa. He wrote in a letter:

In ancient times, innumerable animals were butchered in sacrifices. Evidence in support of this is found in various poetic compositions such as the Meghaduta. But the credit for the disappearance of this terrible massacre from the Brahminical religion goes to Jainism.[67]

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9 Reasons To Reject Vegetarianism – Listverse

Lets be honest: eating meat is an objectively bad idea. Its expensive, has been linked to cancer and causes devastating crises in the developing world.

SEE ALSO: 10 Surprising Facts About Vegetarians

Yet, for all the rational arguments against it, some of us just cant give our carnivorous habits up. Show us a cross-section of our disease-ridden gut and well show you a juicy steak just begging to be eaten. Show us a slaughterhouse and well ask for a knife and fork. It may sound callous, but well only give up our bacon when you pry it from our cold, dead handsand heres why:

Our Bodies Are Designed For Meat

Thanks to the miracles of evolution, we humans can survive just fine on a meat-free diet. But that doesnt mean were natural vegetarians. Far from it: as far back as 2003, scientists had established our ancestors were eating meat up to 2.5 million years ago. In other words, that juicy slab of barbecue isnt some icon of modern decadence; its part of our traditional diet, and there are plenty of other clues too. First, our bodies lack most of the equipment youd associate with herbivores. For instance, we dont have four stomachs, any ability to break down cellulose, or the sort of complex intestinal tracts most leaf-eaters possess. Second, our teeth are obviously designed to handle both meat and non-meat diets. And a good job too, because

From a strictly logical perspective, there are a number of oddities about us humans. For starters, our brains seemingly shouldnt be this big. If you look across most primate species, brain size increases with body size: humans are noticeable outliers. Then theres the added complexity of our brains, which are so stuffed full of neurons theyre likely capable of holding more individual thoughts than there are stars in the universe. So what makes us so special? Well, according to one 2011 study, its our appetite for meat.

Seriously: researchers from Spain identified signs of malnutrition in a childs skull dating from 1.5 million years ago, consistent with a meat-deficient diet. Whats interesting about this is it suggests we were so used to eating meat back then our brains couldnt develop without ita theory supported by other evidence that links primate brain complexity to the number of calories consumed per day. Since we didnt begin cooking our food until long after our brains went supernova, the only likely candidate for our calorific diets is meat. Meaning were only capable of making logical choices like vegetarianism because we originally ate other animals.

Other Primates Eat Meat

One argument often put forward for going vegetarian is that humans are the only primates to eat meat. Ergo, it must be unnatural: like using the internet to moan about steakhouses. But guess what? Its not just untrue; its about as scientific as punching biology in the face.

Back in 1960, Jane Goodall observed chimps hunting and eating other animals in the wild. In the years since, its been shown that certain chimp communities eat as much as one ton of meat annually. In other words, theyre less indulging occasional cravings than they are taking part in the chimpanzee equivalent of Man V. Food. Not only that, but they apparently use the slaughtered meat to gain a reproductive and political advantage over one another. So, to recap: our evolutionary cousins love a good steak so much; theyll literally whore themselves out to get it.

Meat Can Be Sustainable

One of the big reasons for giving up meat is the devastating environmental impact of shipping, say, a chunk of dead cow halfway across the world. So if youre into environmentalism, dropping meat should be a no-brainer, right?

Not quite. While our current model of shipping is about as environmentally-friendly as a forest fire, it doesnt have to be this way. See, livestockmanaged properlycan be used to do a lot of stuff that would otherwise require a heck-load of fossil fuel. For example, grazing animals can help cycle nutrients and aid in land management: while also requiring little in the way of chemicals and pesticides to grow to an edible size. Not only that, but a lone cow slaughtered on a small farm can feed its owners for ages, which is why we got into agriculture in the first place. So its not meat itself which is the issue, so much as our current supply chain.

Damage to the Environment

In our modern age, its taken as read that eating meat is a bigger planet killer than chowing down on tofu. But thats not always the case. For example, compare organically reared animals with industrially produced tofu. The quantities of land needed are greater, the treatment and harvesting of the soya involves more fossil fuels, and the end product often has to be shipped great distances if you live somewhere like Britainwhere the climate is really, really bad for growing meat substitutes. Simply put: that tasteless tofu burger youre forcing down to preserve our planets future may actually be more atmosphere-frying than the delicious hunk of beef being eaten by that smug bastard across the table from you.

It May Reduce Aggression

There are certain psychological traits among humans that seem so obvious we shouldnt need a study to prove them. One is that exposure to weapons triggers violence. Another is that meat-eaters are more aggressive than vegetarians. However, a group of scientists decided to look into the meat/aggression issue anywayand what they found turns common sense on its head.

By exposing men to pictures of red meat then placing them in a position of power over another subject, researchers discovered that thinking about steak might actually reduce aggression in humans. No-ones really got any idea whybeyond hazily linking it to evolutionbut the conclusion seems valid. So, while we may imagine a rabid steak-eater to be more violence-prone than a guy who lives off soy beans and lentils; the opposite may well be true.

It Doesnt Have to Harm Animals

Of course, one of the big arguments against eating meat is that its cruel. However you look at it, cramming a bunch of chickens together in a cage and feeding them until theyre too fat to stand isnt a particularly pleasant thing to do. Even if you give the animal the best life possible, theres no getting around the fact youre killing a sentient creature for no better reason than dinner. So its easy to see why some people just flat-out refuse to eat meat.

Only thats about to change. Thanks to Dutch scientist Willem van Eelen, were now at the stage where we can grow burgers in a lab. Slow down and read that again: were now so advanced as a species we can grow a hunk of cow in a lab without ever actually involving a living cow. Currently, the technology is too expensive for mass-productionthe first lab-grown burger cost $300,000 to make and tasted only reasonably good. But were conceivably only a decade or two away from a world where steak, sausages, bacon and even veal cutlets can be created without harming a single animal.

It Could Save the Planet

Go for a walk in the countryside and chances areunless you live near a National Parkthat the natural landscape youre seeing is nothing like how nature intended it. For thousands of years, animals belonging to our ancestors grazed dense natural forests to destruction, resulting in the great big open spaces we now associate with being outdoors. And while it may seem kinda sad, this slow-motion deforestation is actually just what we need. See, if the country ever gets its act together and decides to go green, were gonna need as much open space for wind farms and solar panels as we can get. Know the most eco-friendly way for maintaining such places? Yep: grazing livestock. This isnt just me speculating either, British eco warrior Simon Fairlie famously argued that rearing livestock is essential for increasing biodiversity and creating a truly-sustainable world. And what do we ultimately do with all this necessary livestock? Thats right: we eat it.

OKI admit this isnt much of a point. But lets be honest: a huge amount of the vegetarian v. carnivore internet war comes down to this simple fact. For all we talk about protein and write long list articles defending our choices, most of us meat-eaters just basically like the taste. Does that make us callous, immoral people? Well, maybe kinda. But we live in a world thats an ethical minefieldevery single day we log onto computers manufactured by tax-dodging multinationals using sweatshop labor; wear clothes made by virtual slaves in third world countries; give a big chunk of our paychecks to a sociopathic government; and generally reap the rewards of living in a nation subsidized by the unethical treatment of most of the rest of the planet. If eating a hunk of bacon each day is what it takes to get me through this headache-inducing liberal guilt-trip, then so be it.

Morris M. is Listverse's official news human, trawling the depths of the media so you don't have to. He avoids Facebook and Twitter like the plague.

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9 Reasons To Reject Vegetarianism - Listverse

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Opinion: Gujarat is a vegetarian state only in the minds of its self-chosen custodians –

Ane ardho dozen eenda aapjo, (and half a dozen eggs please), I say to the owner of a provision store near my house in Ahmedabad. I am given six eggs packed discretely in a newspaper bag. It feels like buying sanitary napkins, the exchange is so minimal in words. A fast-food joint right next to this provision store sells mock chicken lollipops. Okay, let me explain. They are made of potatoes but look like chicken lollipops, and ditto the case with kebabs and other items that provide to a vegetarian foodie some comfortable alternative to non-vegetarian food. I mean theres no dearth of such surrogate food in India, is there?

In my community of Sindhis, those who begin to follow the Radhaswami satsang eat a specific version of nutria-nugget subzi that is meant to taste like mutton but is called Radaswami baadji. This kind of proxy-fulfilment is evident even in mocktails and fruit beer and wine bars that are not wine bars.

My point is that we (from the state) and others (not from the state) may continue to be surprised, mortified even by how the topic of vegetarianism and the prohibitive rules against meat sales and consumption keeps coming up in Gujarat. However, this matter is not comprehensible through contexts of citizenship and freedom of choice. It can be contested in courts on those grounds, but in order to understand the nature of this pathology, we need to see what happens in Gujarat, ordinarily.

The two examples I began with involve two different forms of visuality. The sight of real eggs is an anathema to most customers who are not there to buy eggs, hence the eggs must be hidden from their view lest they stop coming to that store. The sight of mock lollipops and kebabs is a visual reminder of the prohibited items without the guilt of having eaten them. These negotiations characterise everyday life in Gujarat.

The sight of meat would be a reminder to the upper-caste Hindu and Jain Gujarati of the prohibited parts in the psyche which they have managed to cleanse out through a range of strategies. Among the first is not to give a home to a meat-eating family in a colony or neighbourhood. In the 1980s my family had a tough time finding a house because Sindhis are known as non-vegetarian, ergo, Muslim-like.

It is a different matter that many Sindhis in Gujarat have now taken to vegetarianism. The second strategy has been to keep communities (read Muslims) away from sight so that neither their presence nor their lifestyle reminds the Hindu Gujaratis of what and who they do not want to see. And this collapsing between the what and who also needs to be understood.

Gujarat takes the principle of you are what you eat quite literally. The third strategy is to make the life of non-vegetarian restaurants precarious so that while some survive, a large number become suddenly vegetarian and South Indian or Punjabi restaurants doing paneer dishes. The fourth strategy is not even to socialise with, or visit homes of families that eat meat, and should you do visit, do not accept any food from them.

Now some of these forms of abstinence may be common across vegetarian communities in India. However, in Gujarat, they all exist without resistance from within. All this may lead us to assume Gujarat is a vegetarian state and while figures of meat-eating population vary from 40% to 60 % the truth is that it is not a fully vegetarian state except in the mind of its self-chosen custodians.

Amrita Shah has persuasively argued in her recent piece for Moneycontrol that vegetarianism is Gujarats commonsense or mythicised face and not its lived reality. There is certain rhetoric by which this myth-making has taken place. The Gujarat State Gazetteer of 1989 generalises vegetarianism by outsourcing it to western style.

Non-vegetarianism in Gujarat is common but made to feel illegitimate. Meat selling and consumption happens in Gujarat, but it must be away from the sight and sensory world of the upper-castes. To ask for a restriction on displaying meat is to go just one step further in the existing scheme of things.

It is to say not only that I must not see, but I must also avoid that rare and accidental occasion of stumbling upon its sight if I am in that part of the city. In other words, should Ahmedabad or Vadodara be my city, it must be on my terms and whom I represent. The recent ban on non-veg food stalls is not only a violation of freedom to eat but also the prerogative to see and smell only what I wish to as a Hindu or Jain citizen of the state.

Rita Kothari is the author of several books, most notable among which are The Burden of Refuge and Unbordered Memories. She teaches at Ashoka University.

Opinion: Gujarat is a vegetarian state only in the minds of its self-chosen custodians -

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A Heartfelt Ode to Indias Love Affair with Vegetarian and Vegan Cuisine – The Hindu BusinessLine

While the trajectory of vegetarianism and veganism the world over has been a mercurial one, over the last few decades or so, it is undoubtedly at its zenith today. It is no great surprise that it took a pandemic to put the two intimately related concepts into greater focus and scrutiny. Thus, giving them a certain gravitas and staying power like never before. Healthy, clean, plant-basedall buzzwords that smack us in the solar plexus almost everywhere we look today.

A perfectly timed cookbook,Tarkariby RohitGhai takes full advantage of the zeitgeist. Having grown up in a vegetarian family in Punjab, the Michelin-starred chefwho has to his credit the opening of super successful restaurants like Kutir and KoolCha in Londonchannels his vegetarian roots very effectively. All this to come up with an almost seminal ode to vegetarianism in all itsdesiglory. A well-curated collection of recipes that revels in its simplistic, yet often experimental take on Indian vegetarian and vegan dishes. Almost each one of them reflect some much-needed heart and soul.

Vegging Out

Never mind Wikipedias rather pithy and wildly erroneous take on what a tarkari is by calling it,a spicy vegetable curry, originally from the Indian subcontinent. This eponymous cookbook celebrates the Bengali word (torkari) or any vegetable dish, the way it was intended to be. Plain and simple.

Keeping simplicity at the fore (and core!) of this book, chef Rohit Ghai's easy recipes seem to stem from something he remembers his mother often saying... If you can cook with your heart and soul, you dont need special ingredients. With this, his first cookbook, Ghai managers to dispel the myth that Indian food is overly complicated with lengthy recipes. He harnesses his love for simple, home-style dishes with recipes for a rusticPindi chana(pg. 142), an ubiquitouspalak paneer(pg. 134)where he recommends using a 50-50 blend of pured and chopped spinach for a unique textureand a fool proof butter naan recipe (pg. 157) to mop it all up with.

Vegan Vows

With a sizable chunk of his recipes paying obeisance at the altar of vegan cuisine, Ghai pulls it off with aplomb. He does this by showing us his very apparent reverence...nay, obsession with rapeseed oil. One that finds itself as the fat component in almost every second recipe in this book. Replacing the much-loved butter andgheein a few traditional recipes likebaingan ka bharta(pg. 102) andpaneer makhani(pg. 116).

The book also does its best to hero a rapidly emerging 'superstar' in the vegetarian, mock meatworldjackfruit. This truly versatile, fibrous vegetable (or, is a fruit!?),finds itself in both a jackfruit masala (pg. 88) and in a jackfruit biryani (pg. 148). The latter being a somewhat complex preparation to navigate around, but worth the stress. Trust me, I tried it out and lived and loved to tell the tale!

Exotic Bites

Extending his repertoire beyond Indias borders, by paying homage to a fewtarkaridishes from around the Indian subcontinentand Nepal in particularare a few exotic (to me, at least!) recipes. Ghai speaks of his time in the Himalayan country, where he was based for his regional cuisines qualifications as a chef-in-training, with nostalgia.

Recipes liketareko aloo(pg. 56), the beans and pulses-richkwati (pg. 127), the leafy, greenpalungo ko saag(pg. 141) and the yummy rice-basedbhute ko bhat(pg. 146) put the spotlight on Nepali cuisine like never before. A cuisine that is robust and flavourful. And a perfect blend of Indian and Tibetan influences.

Ghai continues to flirt with the exotic via an array of jazzed up, fusion style dishes.We see seaweed making an appearance in the vegan chickpea and samphire salad (pg. 61) a riff on a South Indiansundal. This one jostles for space with a Brussels sprouts poriyal (pg. 128). Kashmiri morels make an appearance in hisbharwan guchhi(pg. 81), while the super trendy avocado finds itself in a chutney form (pg. 178).

The book even features an 'elevated' version (not that it needs any elevation) of a vegan mushroom and trufflekhichdi(pg. 99) that has become one of Ghais signature dishes at Kutir. Teaching us an important lesson that simple and boring are very much at opposing ends of the spectrum.

Meh! Moments

As much as I relished this book with almost manic gusto, it isnt a perfect one. A few red herrings seemed to surface every now and again. One of the fundamental issues I had with the book is that the pictures and styling of the dishes werent very evocative of what they sought to highlight. Indian food, for me, is all about colour and abundance. The colour-saturated visuals lack that much-needed vibrancy and zest. As does the styling which leans towards a more western aesthetic and sensibility in its austere and almost stark display.

At the risk of being accused of nit-picking, I also found the addition of a sole, French dessert (from Lyon and Burgundy) la poached pears (pg. 182) at great odds with the others in a section named meetha. One that is otherwise laden with gems of the Indian dessert table likemalpua(pg. 187), carrot halwa (pg. 193) andphirni(pg. 194) to name an illustrious, yet humble few.


Hachette India


208 pages; Rs. 999

Check the book out on Amazon

(A wearer of many hats in the food and travel space, Mumbai-based Raul Dias is a food-travel writer, a restaurant reviewer, and a food consultant)

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A Heartfelt Ode to Indias Love Affair with Vegetarian and Vegan Cuisine - The Hindu BusinessLine

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Texas First: Killing and Cooking My Own Thanksgiving Turkey – Texas Monthly

In the Texas Firsts series, old and new residents alike experience linchpins of Lone Star State life and culture.

Whatever you do, dont let go of the legs. These words of warning, delivered sternly by a seasoned rancher, didnt seem necessary at first. I was standing in a sunny patch of pasture at Roam Ranch, a nine-hundred-acre paradise along the Pedernales River just east of Fredericksburg, holding a very calm and quiet turkey. A twelve-pound tom with ample black-and-gray plumage, the bird emitted the occasional soft gobble but did not move. I looked into its beady black eyes and said, feeling foolish and more than a little nervous, Thanks for your life, turkey. And, uh, Im really sorry for what Im about to do. Then I lifted it into the air, tail first, and immediately understood the advice about the legs. The turkey flapped its wings wildly, yelping and thrashing its body against mine in a flurry of feathers and dust. I held on, but barely. Youve got a live one! my instructor laughed. Together we hoisted the animal upside down into a metal cone, mounted on the side of a livestock trailer, where it would meet its end. The bird became suddenly still again, with only its head and neck protruding from the narrow bottom of the cone.

As instructed, I pointed a bolt gun directly between the eyes and fired it, killing the turkey instantly. Next came the most intense part: slitting the throat with a paring knife, then draining the blood. As an impressive quantity of hot, steaming red liquid poured over my bare hands and splattered my Chuck Taylors (this would later take quite a bit of scrubbing to remove), I watched a little girl, maybe four years old, a few feet away. She was playing in a puddle of congealed gore from the other turkeys that had already been dispatched. Look at all dis blood! she squealed happily. This is one of the weirder things Ive ever done for a story, I thought. How did I, a strict vegetarian for most of my life, end up here?

I felt less befuddled when Taylor Collins, a lifelong Texan who co-owns Roam Ranch with his wife, Katie Forrest, admitted hed come a long way too. We used to be vegans, he said, so its been a journey. The pair competed in triathlons and endurance cycling races, but they eventually found that their bodies couldnt recover without more protein. They switched to a paleo-influenced diet, emphasizing lean meats, and found it so transformative that they started a company, Epic Provisions, to make jerky bars and other protein snacks. After selling Epic to General Mills in 2016, they used some of the money for their next adventure: starting a ranch in the Hill Country. At Roam Ranch, they raise free-range bison, turkey, deer, ducks, pigs, goats, and more and sell the high-quality meat under the brand Force of Nature. The couple also welcomes about two thousand guests per year to the property for an array of workshops. This years turkey harvest was the fourth-annual Thanksgiving event to sell out; you can also stop by to learn the art of tanning deer hides or watch baby bison take their first steps. We have a reverence for animals and the land, Collins says, and a respect for nature and wanting to do the right thing.

That much was obvious when I visited the sprawling pasture where the familys flock of about four hundred heritage-breed turkeys roam free, eating bugs and seeds. As an inquisitive hen pecked at my shoelaces, Force of Natures community manager, Morgan Weeks, explained the basics of regenerative agriculture, the sustainable philosophy that the company embraces. Most big commercial farms focus on one crop or animal at a time, which depletes the soil of nutrients and otherwise throws the ecosystem out of whack. Its amazing how balanced Mother Nature is, Weeks said. We try to do it her way, not the conventional way. That brings challenges not present at factory farms, where turkeys spend their lives crowded into indoor pens. This year, the Roam team lost sixty or so of their turkeys to great horned owls. (They placed strobe lights to scare off the predators at night, with mixed success.) Pitfalls like these must be factored into the high price tag of sustainable meat; a family ticket to the Roam turkey harvest, which includes instruction and a tour, is $150. But there are also benefits to raising animals sustainably: the turkeys share pasture space with the bison, and the birds eat insects from bison dung, which helps keep all the animals and the soil healthy. And, of course, everyone swears the meat tastes better, though I had yet to find that out firsthand.

At times, the experience did feel a lot like a Portlandia episodethough, thank goodness, none of the turkeys had names. Collins and Forrest encouraged us to thank our turkeys for their sacrifice, and each group did this quietly and without much fuss. My husband, Chris (whod come along for the ride), and I joined a group of about thirty families in packing the meat into our Priuses and Teslas to take home to Austin. If youre rolling your eyes, I dont blame you. Most Texans cant afford this lifestyle. But if you can, maybe you should try it. Every time you eat meat, youre indirectly pulling the trigger. Being the one to literally do it, even if just this once, was an experience I will never forget. It was sad and sobering and exhilarating, messy and smelly and fun. Each time I plunged my arm into the turkey to scoop out its still-steaming organs, my hand emerged with a new surprise: There was the gizzard, full of pebbles and grit. There were the liver, the spongy lungs, the coiled intestines, the perfectly shaped heart. I know this sounds gross, and it absolutely was, but it was also extremely cool. Animal bodies are miraculous feats of nature; its easy to forget that if you do most of your hunting at H-E-B.

Back home, the work had just begun. The idea of cooking the turkey was actually much more intimidating than the murdering bit. I grew up in a vegetarian household and still dont quite consider myself a carnivore. Until I met my husband in Houston a decade ago, I ate veggie lasagna at most Thanksgivings with my Bernie-voting, organic-gardening, composting toiletbuilding extended family in Ohio. Sometimes for dessert we had chocolate tofu pie that my vegan cousins had made (dont knock it till you try it). During the years we stayed home in Pennsylvania for the holiday, my English-professor parents would invite their international students, who brought all manner of dishes from their home countries; I was especially fond of the stuffed grape leaves that Motasim, from Jordan, would make.

I abandoned vegetarianism in college, when a semester in Buenos Aires broke meneed I say anything about the succulence of Argentine beef?but Chris and I still eat a mostly plant-based diet at home. His parents usually host Thanksgiving and cook a Costco turkey. I have nothing against Costco, but I must admit that almost every time Ive eaten turkey, Ive been unimpressed. It usually tastes like...well, nothing, a blank slate so bland that one has to smother it in gravy and cranberry sauce in order to stay awake at the table. I had no idea how my heritage turkey would compare. I didnt own any of the right kitchen equipment, and a quick Google search for recipes left me overwhelmed. Should I do a wet or dry brine? How much basting was involved, and would I need to spatchcock?

In the end, I chose an Americas Test Kitchen recipe for a roast heritage bird. (Heritage-breed turkeys are smaller and leaner than their Butterball brethren and thus cook differently.) The only ingredient other than the turkey was salt, which I rubbed all over and under the skin 24 hours before cooking. I was tempted to switch to a more complicated recipe with herbs and onions, but laziness won out. The next day, we roasted the bird at 250 degrees for about four hours, periodically poking it with a meat thermometer. That oven temperature seemed almost alarmingly low, but I know from the work of Texas Monthlys barbecue editor, Daniel Vaughn, that cooking low and slow makes for great barbecue; maybe the same principle applies to turkey. The kitchen filled with a tantalizing aroma as our guests arrived, and Chris whipped up a bowl of Samin Nosrats fried-sage salsa verde to serve alongside the gravy and stuffing. I arranged the turkeys striped feathers, which we had plucked unceremoniously from its still-twitching tail minutes after its demise, in a mason jar on the table as a centerpiece.

Then came the moment of truth. After an assist from my father-in-law, who showed me how to carve the thing, I tried a bite. It tasted like every turkey Id ever had, only significantly more so: The flavor was stronger and meatier, and it lingered on my tongue. The meat was juicy and moist, the skin golden and perfectly crisped. Feedback from around the table was universally positive. I couldnt believe that this turkey had been gobbling in my arms not 48 hours earlier. After Chris and I recounted what the butchering process had been like, everyone asked the same question: Would this bloody experience turn me back into a vegetarian?

The answer, Im proud to report, is no. Meat you prepare yourself does indeed taste better, and the entire experience felt meaningful and memorable. Who knowsmaybe next year Ill even try my hand at actual turkey hunting in the wild. Two things I know for sure, as corny as it sounds: I really am thankful to that turkey for giving its life, and next time Ill wear boots instead of Chuck Taylors.

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Texas First: Killing and Cooking My Own Thanksgiving Turkey - Texas Monthly

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Vegetarianism by country – Wikipedia

Vegetarian and vegan dietary practices vary among countries. Differences include food standards, laws, and general cultural attitudes of vegetarian diets.

Some countries have strong cultural or religious traditions that promote vegetarianism, such as India, while other countries have secular ethical concerns, including animal rights, environmental protection, and health concerns. In many countries, food labelling laws make it easier for vegetarians to identify foods compatible with their diets.[1]

The percentages in the following table are estimates of the prevalence of dietary vegetarianism and dietary veganism. The distinction is important between dietary vegans and other vegans. Dietary vegans may use leather or other non-food animal products, while other vegans (sometimes called lifestyle or ethical vegans) use no animal products of any type.[2][3]


2015[51]2016[52]2017[53] 2019[54]


The Africa/Middle East region has 16% vegetarians and 6% vegans, making it the second-most vegetarian region after Asia.[60]

Vegan dishes are commonplace in Ethiopian cuisine due to mandates by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Egyptian Coptic Christianity that require weekly fasting days (fasting in this context is abstaining from all meat products).[61][62]

Countries in North Africa have a tradition of cooking in a vegetarian style, with Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia being particularly connected with this type of cooking which includes couscous and spiced vegetables.[63]

Hindu and Jain immigrants from India brought vegetarianism with them. This trend has been documented as far back as 1895 in Natal Province.[64]

As the majority of the population of Mauritius is Hindu, vegetarianism is common and vegetarian cuisine is widely available in restaurants.[65]

Of five world regions, the Asia-Pacific region has the highest share of vegetarians (19%) and vegans (9%).[60]

In China, a small but growing number of young people in large cities are vegan.[14] An estimated 4 to 5 percent of Chinese are vegetarian.[14]

Chinese folk religion, which is distinct from Taoism, Chinese salvationist religions, and New Religious Movements is similar to Shintoism in Japan insofar as while the killing and eating of animals is not forbidden, it is considered impure and not ideal for a believer. Tofu, soy milk, and seitan, which are popular among vegetarians in the world, originate in China.

Classical Chinese texts pointed to a period of abstinence from meat before undertaking matters of great importance or of religious significance. People typically abstain from meat periodically, particularly the day before Chinese New Year. Although it's more common among adherents of Chinese folk religions, many secular people also do this.

With the influx of Buddhist influences, vegetarianism became more popular, but there is a distinctionTaoist vegetarianism is based on a perception of purity, while Buddhist vegetarianism is based on the dual bases of refraining from killing and subduing one's own subservience to the senses. Because of this, two types of "vegetarianism" came to beone where one refrained from eating meat, the other being refraining from eating meat as well as garlic, onions, and other such strongly flavored foods. This Buddhism-influenced vegetarianism has been known and practiced by some since at least the 7th century. People who are Buddhist may also avoid eating eggs.

The early 20th century saw some intellectuals espousing vegetarianism as part of their program for reforming China culturally, not just politically. The anarchist thinker Li Shizeng, for instance, argued that tofu and soy products were healthier and could be a profitable export. Liang Shuming, a philosopher and reform activist, adopted a basically vegetarian diet, but did not promote one for others. In recent years, it has seen a resurgence in the cities among the emerging middle class.[66]

India has more vegetarians than the rest of the world put together.[67] In 2007, UN FAO statistics indicated that Indians had the lowest rate of meat consumption in the world.[68] Vegetarians in India have been demanding meat-free supermarkets.[69] In Indian cuisine, vegetarianism is usually synonymous with lacto vegetarianism. Most restaurants in India clearly distinguish and market themselves as being either "non-vegetarian", "vegetarian", or "pure vegetarian". Vegetarian restaurants abound, and many vegetarian options are usually available. Animal-based ingredients (other than milk and honey) such as lard, gelatin, and meat stock are not used in the traditional cuisine. India has devised a system of marking edible products made from only vegetarian ingredients, with a green dot in a green square. A mark of a red dot in a red square conveys that some animal-based ingredients (meat, egg, etc.) were used. Products like honey, milk, or its direct derivatives are categorized under the green mark.[70]

Vegetarianism in ancient India

India is a strange country. People do not killany living creatures, do not keep pigs and fowl,and do not sell live cattle.

Faxian, 4th/5th century CEChinese pilgrim to India[71]

According to the 2006 Hindu-CNN-IBN State of the Nation Survey, 31% of Indians are vegetarian, while another 9% also consume eggs (ovo-vegetarian).[72] Among the various communities, vegetarianism was most common among the Swaminarayan Community, Brahmins, Lingayat, Vaishnav Community, Jain community, Sikhs and, less frequent among Muslims (3%) and residents of coastal states. Other surveys cited by FAO[73] and USDA[74][75] estimate 40% of the Indian population as being vegetarian. These surveys indicate that even Indians who do eat meat, do so infrequently, with less than 30% consuming it regularly, although the reasons are mainly cultural.[75] In states where vegetarianism is more common, milk consumption is higher and is associated with lactase persistence. This allows people to continue consuming milk into adulthood and obtain proteins that are substituted for meat, fish and eggs in other areas.[76][77] An official survey conducted by the Government of India, with a sample size of 8858 and the census frame as 2011, indicated India's vegetarian population to be 28-29% of the total population.[78] Compared to a similar survey done in 2004, India's vegetarian population has increased[clarification needed].[79]These numbers have been questioned as overreported, estimating actual 20% of the population.[25]

According to a 2018 survey released by the registrar general of India, Rajasthan (74.9%), Haryana (69.25%), Punjab (66.75%), and Gujarat (60.95%) have the highest percentage of vegetarians, followed by Madhya Pradesh (50.6%), Uttar Pradesh (47.1%), Maharashtra (40.2%), Delhi (39.5%), Jammu & Kashmir (31.45%), Uttarakhand (27.35%), Karnataka (21.1%), Assam (20.6%), Chhattisgarh (17.95%), Bihar (7.55%), Jharkhand (3.25%), Kerala (3.0%), Orissa (2.65%), Tamil Nadu (2.35%), Andhra Pradesh (1.75%), West Bengal (1.4%), and Telangana (1.3%).[80]

In 2016, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, announced the decision to provide students, at a few of the Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition (IHMCTANs), the option to choose only vegetarian cooking. These IHMCTANs are located at Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Jaipur. In 2018, the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT) announced that all IHMCTANs will be offering a vegetarian option from 2018 onwards.[81][82][83]

Vegetarianism and casteism in modern IndiaThe term non-vegetarian is a good case in point. It signals the social power of vegetarian classes, including their power to classify foods, to create a 'food hierarchy' wherein vegetarian food is the default and is having a higher status than meat. Thus it is akin to the term 'non-whites' coined by 'whites' to capture an incredibly diverse population who they colonised.

Balmurli Natrajan, anthropologist, and Suraj Jacob, economist, 2018[84]

A 2018 study from Economic and Political Weekly by US-based anthropologist Balmurli Natrajan and India-based economist Suraj Jacob suggests that the percentage of vegetarians is about 20%. Percentages vary by household income and caste.[25][85] The study argues that meat-eating behavior is underreported because consumption of meat, especially beef, is "caught in cultural, political, and group identity struggles in India".[25] According to 2015-16 data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), the share of vegetarianism has declined from 2005 to 2006.[86] Vegetarianism is less common amongst non-Hindu Indian religious groups such as Muslims and Christians. Vegetarianism is most common amongst Brahmins, Lingayat, Sikhs and Jains in India. Increases in meat consumption in India have been attributed to urbanisation, increasing disposable income, consumerism and cross-cultural influences.[87]

A study by the Israeli Ministry of Health in 2001 found that 7.2% of men and 9.8% of women were vegetarian. Although vegetarianism is quite common, the actual percentage of vegetarians in Israel may be lower the Israeli food industry estimated it at 5%.[88] In 2010, one study found that 2.6% of Israelis were vegetarians or vegans.[89]

According to a 2015 poll by the newspaper Globes and Channel 2, 8% of the Israeli population were vegetarians and 5% were vegans. 13% consider turning vegan or vegetarian. Tel Aviv beat out Berlin, New York and Chennai as U.S. food website The Daily Meal's top destination for vegan travelers.[89][90]

Vegetarian diets are categorized as lacto vegetarianism, ovo-lacto vegetarianism, and veganism in general. The reasons for being vegetarian include influence from friends and family members, concern about global warming, health issues and weight management, religion and mercy for animals, in descending order of significance.[91]

Rice, mushrooms, vegetables are some of the dietary staples, mixed with a rich variety of spices, coconut, lime and tamarind. Buddhist Chinese monastics are vegetarians or vegans. Singapore is also the headquarters of the world's first international, vegetarian, fast food chain, VeganBurg.[92] The bigger communities of vegetarians and vegans in Singapore are Vegetarian Society (VSS) and SgVeganCommunity. Vegetarian and vegan places have an active role in the gastronomy of Singapore.

According to Korea Vegetarian Union, in between 1 and 1.5 million Korean consumers, or about two to three percent of the population, are estimated to be vegetarians.[93]

There are more than 6,000 vegetarian eating establishments in Taiwan.[94] The region's food labelling laws for vegetarian food are the world's strictest, because around 2 million Taiwanese people eat vegetarian food.[95]A popular movement of "one day vegetarian every week" has been advocated on a national level,[96] and on a local level, even government bodies are involved, such as the Taipei City Board of Education.[97]

There are more than 908 vegetarian eating establishments in Thailand.[citation needed]

The definition of vegetarianism throughout Europe is not uniform, creating the potential for products to be labelled inaccurately.[1] Throughout Europe the use of non-vegetarian ingredients are found in products such as beer (isinglass among others), wine (gelatine and crustacean shells among others) and cheese (rennet).

Since May 2009, Belgium has had the first city in the world (Ghent) with a weekly "veggie day".[98]

A study that surveyed 2436 Belgian individuals found that "21.8% of the respondents believed that meat consumption is unhealthy, and 45.6% of the respondents believed that they should eat less meat." The major reasons persons expressed interest in a more plant-based diet was for taste and health-related reasons. The majority of vegetarians polled think that the meat industry is harmful to the planet, while more than half of the non-vegetarians surveyed disagree with this statement.[99]

In some cities' schools in Finland, the students are offered two options, a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian meal, on four school days a week, and one day a week they have a choice between two vegetarian meals, for grades 1 to 12. In secondary schools and universities, from 10 to 40 percent of the students preferred vegetarian food in 2013.[100][101] Vegetarianism is most popular in secondary art schools where in some schools over half of the students were vegetarians in 2013.[102]

France is not known to be friendly towards vegetarians as lunches at public schools must contain a "minimum of 20% of meals containing meat and 20% containing fish, and the remainder containing egg, cheese, or offal.[citation needed] However, under a law called "loi Egalim", which passed in 2018 and came into effect in November 2019, all French schools are required to serve at least one meat-free meal a week. In September 2020, 73% of French nurseries and elementary schools offer at least one meat-free meal a week, according to a recent investigation by Greenpeace.[103][104]

An Appetite study found that French women were more accepting of vegetarianism than French men.[105]

There has been conflict between vegans and farmers in southern France. A farmers' union known as "Coordination Rurale" advocated for the French to continue eating meat through the slogan "To save a peasant farmer, eat a vegan."[106]

In 1889, the first "International Veg Congress" met in Cologne, Germany.[citation needed]

In 2016, Germany was found to have the highest percentage of vegetarians (7.8 million, 10%) and vegans (900,000, 1.1%) in the modern West. A survey from "Forsa" also revealed that approximately 42 million people in Germany identify as flexitarians aka "part time vegetarians." Professionals at the German Official Agencies estimate that by 2020 over 20% of Germans will eat mostly vegetarian. The reason vegetarianism is so prevalent in Germany is not agreed upon, but the movement seems to have experienced much growth from promotion in media and the offering of more non-meat options.[107]

The recorded history of vegetarianism in the country began with the Hungarian Vegetarian Society (HVS), formed in 1883. During this time, vegetarianism was popular because New Age ideas and counter belief systems were favored. In 1911, the first Hungarian vegetarian restaurant opened up in Vmhz krt. In the 1950s, the HVS ceased operations and vegetarianism in popular culture diminished. Hungarian vegetarianism was later revived in 1989 with the fall of socialism. The "Ahimsa Hungarian Vegetarian Society of Veszprm" was founded in the late 90s.[108]

According to Iceland Monitor in 2016, Iceland had more vegetarian restaurants registered on HappyCow per capita than any other country in Europe.[109]

While meat and dairy products have traditionally featured prominently in the Irish diet, vegetarianism and veganism have experienced rapid growth in recent decades. In 2018, a study by Bord Bia, a state agency which seeks to support and promote the country's agriculture industry, found that as many as 5.1% of the Irish population are now vegetarian, and up to 3.5% are vegan.[110] A further 10% were described as some form of flexitarian, meaning that they still consumed some meat and dairy products but sought to minimize the amount of animal products in their diet. Participants identified a range of motivators for their dietary choices, but personal health and wellness and environmental concerns were among the most common factors cited.[110]

It was reported in 2006 that sales of meat substitutes had an annual growth of around 25%, which made it one of the fastest-growing markets in the Netherlands.[111] In supermarkets and stores, it is sometimes necessary to read the fine print on products in order to make sure that there are no animal-originated ingredients. Increasingly, however, vegetarian products are labeled with the international "V-label," overseen by the Dutch vegetarian association Vegetarisch Keurmerk.[112]

In a late 2019 study published by the environmental organization Stichting Natuur en Milieu ("Stichting Nature and Environment"), 59% of Dutch adults (age 16 and up) described themselves as a "meat eater" while 37% responded that they were flexitarians. 43% of respondents claimed that they ate less meat than they did four years earlier. Furthermore, almost half (47%) agreed with or agreed strongly with the statement that eating meat is an outdated practice. In their surveys, 2% identified as vegetarian, 2% as pescetarian and <1% as vegan.[113]

In a March 2020 factsheet published by the Nederlandse Vegetarirsbond ("Dutch Union of Vegetarians"), calculations were made to document the different types of vegetarians. 4-6% of Dutch people (an average of about 860,000) reported they never ate meat. Of this number, 2% called themselves "vegetarian" while some 1% labeled themselves as vegan. The remaining 1-3% was pescetarian.[114]

In July 2020 the NVV (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Veganisme) estimated the number of vegans in the Netherlands at 150,000. That is approximately 0.9% of the Dutch population.[115]

The capital of Poland, Warsaw, was listed 6th on the list of Top Vegan Cities in the World published by HappyCow in 2019.[116]

In 2007, the number of vegetarians in Portugal was estimated at 30,000; which is equal to less than 0.3% of the population. In 2014, the number was estimated to be 200,000 people.[117] Vegan and vegetarian products like soy milk, soy yogurts, rice milk and tofu are widely available in major retailers, and sold across the country. According to HappyCow, Lisbon is the 6th city in the world for number of vegan restaurants per capita, more than any other European city.[118]

Followers of the Romanian Orthodox Church keep fast during several periods throughout the ecclesiastical calendar amounting to a majority of the year. In the Romanian Orthodox tradition, devotees keep to a diet without any animal products during these times. As a result, vegan foods are abundant in stores and restaurants; however, Romanians may not be familiar with a vegan or vegetarian diet as a full-time lifestyle choice.[119]

Vegetarianism in Russia first gained prominence in 1901 with the opening of the first vegetarian society in St. Petersburg. Vegetarianism began to largely grow after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Russian vegetarians were found to be mainly those who were wealthy and educated.[120]

The number of restaurants and food stores catering exclusively, or partially, to vegetarians and vegans has more than doubled since 2011; with a total of 800 on record by the end of 2016, The Green Revolution claims.[121]

According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Switzerland has the second highest rate of vegetarianism in the European Union (even though Switzerland is not in the EU, it was most likely included with the other EU countries for this study). Older governmental data from 1997 suggest that 2.3% of the population never eat meat and the observed trend seemed to point towards less meat consumption.[122] Newer studies suggest that the percentage of vegetarians has risen to 5% by 2007.[122] According to a 2020 survey by Swissveg, there were 5.1% vegetarians and 1% vegans.[50]

The Vegetarian Society was formed in Britain in 1847. In 1944, a faction split from the group to form The Vegan Society.[123]

A 2018 study by found that approximately 7% of British people were vegan, while 14% were vegetarian.[124] The results of this study however are questioned by the UK Vegan Society who found that the sample was based on only 2,000 people.[125] According to The Vegan Society's larger survey, the number of vegans quadrupled from 2014 to 2018; in 2018 there were approximately 600,000 vegans in the UK, equivalent to 1.16% of the British population as a whole. As well as this, 31% are eating less meat either for health or ethical reasons, and 19% are eating fewer dairy products.

Participation in Veganuary has become increasingly popular, with the number of people signing up rising each year.

In Canada, vegetarianism is on the rise. In 2018, a survey conducted by Dalhousie University, led by Canadian researcher Sylvain Charlebois, found that 9.4% of Canadian adults considered themselves vegetarians.[126] 2.3 million people in Canada are vegetarians which is an increase from 900,000 15 years ago. Another 850,000 people identify themselves as vegan.[127] The majority of Canada's vegetarians are under 35, so the rate of vegetarianism is expected to continue to rise.[126][128] This is up from the 4.0% of adults who were vegetarians as of 2003[update].[129]

In 1971, 1 percent of U.S. citizens described themselves as vegetarians. In 2009 Harris Interactive found that 3.4% are vegetarian and 0.8% vegan.[130] U.S. vegetarian food sales (dairy replacements such as soy milk and meat replacements such as textured vegetable protein) doubled between 1998 and 2003, reaching $1.6 billion in 2003.[131] In 2015, a Harris Poll National Survey of 2,017 adults aged 18 and over found that eight million Americans, or 3.4%, ate a solely vegetarian diet, and that one million, or 0.4%, ate a strictly vegan diet.[132] A 2018 Gallup poll estimated that 5% of U.S. adults consider themselves to be vegetarians.[133][134] Older Americans were less likely to be vegetarian with just 2% of adults aged 55 and older saying they follow a vegetarian diet.[133] Younger generations of Americans are more likely to be vegetarian with 7% of 35- to 54-year-olds and 8% of 18- to 34-year-olds following a vegetarian diet.[133]

Many American children whose parents follow vegetarian diets follow them because of religious, environmental or other reasons.[135] In the government's first estimate[135] of how many children avoid meat, the number is about 1 in 200.[136][137] The CDC survey included children ages 0 to 17 years.

By U.S. law, food packaging is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and generally must be labeled with a list of all its ingredients.[138][139] However, there are exceptions. For example, certain trace ingredients that are "ingredients of ingredients" do not need to be listed.[140]

In Australia, some manufacturers who target the vegetarian market label their foods with the statement "suitable for vegetarians"; however, for foods intended for export to the UK, this labelling can be inconsistent because flavourings in ingredients lists do not need to specify if they come from animal origin. As such, "natural flavour" could be derived from either plant or animal sources.

Animal rights organisations such as Animal Liberation promote vegan and vegetarian diets. "Vegetarian Week" runs from 17 October every year,[141] and food companies are taking advantage of the growing number of vegetarians by producing meat-free alternatives of popular dishes, including sausages and mash and spaghetti Bolognese.[142]

A 2000 Newspoll survey (commissioned by Sanitarium) shows 44% of Australians report eating at least one meat-free evening meal a week, while 18% said they prefer plant-based meals.

Similar to Australia, in New Zealand the term "vegetarian" refers to individuals who eat no animal meat such as pork, chicken, and fish; they may consume animal products such as milk and eggs. In contrast, the term "vegan" is used to describe those who do not eat or use any by-products of animals.[143] In 2002 New Zealand's vegetarians made up a minority of 1-2% of the country's 4.5 million people.[144] By 2011 Roy Morgan Research claimed the number of New Zealanders eating an "all or almost all" vegetarian diet to be 8.1%, growing to 10.3% in 2015 (with men providing the most growth, up 63% from 5.7% to 9.3%).[145] In New Zealand there is a strong enough movement for vegetarianism that it has created significant enough demand for a number of vegetarian and vegan retailers to set up.[146]

As New Zealand and Australia work together to form common food standards (as seen in the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code), there is also a lot of ambiguity surrounding the "natural flavour" ingredients.[147]

According to a Nielsen survey on food preferences from 2016, vegetarians make up 8% and vegans 4% of the population across Latin America, with the highest numbers of both in Mexico.[148] Across the continent there are thousands of vegan and vegetarian restaurants.[149]

In 2004, Marly Winckler, President of the Brazilian Vegetarian Society, claimed that 5% of the population was vegetarian.[150] According to a 2012 survey undertaken by the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics, 8% of the population, or 15.2 million people, identified themselves as vegetarian.[151] The city of So Paulo had the most vegetarians in absolute terms (792,120 people), while Fortaleza had the highest percentage, at 14% of the total population.[152] A new survey undertaken by the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics in 2018 showed that the proportion of the population identifying as vegetarian grew to 14% (a 75% increase relative to 2012), representing 29 million people.[153] According to the New York Times,[154] the number of vegetarians in Brazil, the world's largest meat exporter, has nearly doubled in just six years.

Marly Winckler claims that the central reasons for the deforestation of the Amazon are expansive livestock raising (mainly cattle) and soybean crops, most of it for use as animal feed, and a minor percentage for edible oil processing (being direct human consumption for use as food nearly negligible),[155] claims that are widely known to have a basis.[156][157][158][159]

As in Canada, vegetarianismo (Portuguese pronunciation:[veitajnizmu]) is usually synonymous with lacto-ovo-vegetarianism, and vegetarians are sometimes wrongly assumed to be pescetarians and/or pollotarians who tolerate the flesh of fish or poultry, respectively. Nevertheless, veganism, and freeganism, have now become mainstream in the country, being present in nearly every family.[160] Brazilian vegetarians reportedly tend to be urban, of middle or upper class[150] and live in the Central-Southern half of the country. Since the 1990s, and especially since the 2010s, hundreds of vegan and vegetarian restaurants have appeared in the major cities of the country.[161]

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Vegetarianism by country - Wikipedia

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Lacto vegetarianism – Wikipedia

Vegetarian diet that includes dairy products

A lacto-vegetarian (sometimes referred to as a lactarian; from the Latin root lact-, milk) diet is a diet that abstains from the consumption of meat as well as eggs, while still consuming dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ghee, cream, and kefir. [1]

The concept and practice of lacto-vegetarianism among a significant number of people comes from ancient India.[2]

An early advocate of lacto-vegetarianism was the Scottish physician George Cheyne who promoted a milk and vegetable-based diet to treat obesity and other health problems in the early 18th century.[3][4]

During the 19th century, the diet became associated with naturopathy. German naturopaths Heinrich Lahmann and Theodor Hahn promoted lacto-vegetarian diets of raw vegetables, whole wheat bread, and dairy products such as milk.[5][6][7]

In the 20th century, lacto-vegetarianism was promoted by the American biochemist Elmer McCollum and the Danish physician and nutritionist Mikkel Hindhede.[7][8] In 1918, McCollum commented that "lacto-vegetarianism should not be confused with strict vegetarianism. The former is, when the diet is properly planned, the most highly satisfactory plan which can be adopted in the nutrition of man."[9]

Hindhede became a food advisor to the Danish government during World War I and was influential in introducing a lacto-vegetarian diet to the public.[7][8][10] The system of rationing restricted meat and alcohol so the Danish population were mostly living on a diet of milk and vegetables.[10] During the years of food restriction from 1917 to 1918, both mortality and morbidity decreased;[10] the mortality rate dropped by 34%, the lowest death rate ever reported for Denmark.[8] Hindhede's dieting ideas expressed in his scientific publications, along with those written by other Scandinavian scientists, were translated in German and well received amongst the right-wing political spectrum in post-war Germany.[10] Subsequently, lacto-vegetarianism was strongly supported by German life reformers (Lebensreform) and became influential on some of the leading exponents of the National Socialist movement.[10]

The uric-acid free diet of Alexander Haig was lacto-vegetarian. On this diet only cheese, milk, nuts, certain vegetables, and white bread could be eaten.[11][12][13]

Mahatma Gandhi was a notable lacto-vegetarian, who drank milk daily.[14] In 1931, Gandhi commented that:

I know we must all err. I would give up milk if I could, but I cannot. I have made that experiment times without number. I could not, after a serious illness, regain my strength, unless I went back to milk. That has been the tragedy of my life.[14][15]

In 1936, Narasinh Narayan Godbole authored Milk: The Most Perfect Food, a book defending lacto-vegetarianism and promoting the consumption of dairy products in opposition to meat.[16][17]

Lacto-vegetarian diets are popular with certain followers of the Eastern religious traditions such as Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. The core of their beliefs behind a lacto-vegetarian diet is the law of ahimsa, or non-violence.[citation needed]

According to the Vedas (Hindu holy scriptures), all living beings are equally valued.[18][19] Also, Hindus believe that one's personality is affected by the kind of food one consumes, and eating flesh is considered bad for one's spiritual/mental well-being.[citation needed] It takes many more vegetables or plants to produce an equal amount of meat,[20] many more lives are destroyed, and in this way more suffering is caused when meat is consumed.[21] Although some suffering and pain is inevitably caused to other living beings to satisfy the human need for food, according to ahimsa, every effort should be made to minimize suffering.[21] This is to avoid karmic consequences and show respect for living things, because all living beings are equally valued in these traditions,[19] a vegetarian diet rooted in ahimsa is only one aspect of environmentally conscious living, relating to those beings affected by our need for food.[21] However, this does not apply to all Hindus; some do consume meat, though usually not any form of beef.

In India, lacto vegetarian is considered synonymous to vegetarian, while eating eggs is considered a form of non-vegetarian diet.[citation needed] However, in other parts of the world, vegetarianism generally refers to ovo lacto vegetarianism instead, allowing eggs into the diet.[22]

ISKCON encourages devotees to adopt a lacto-vegetarian diet and gives agriculture as the ideal economic basis of society.

In the case of Jainism, the vegetarian standard is strict. It allows the consumption of only fruit and leaves that can be taken from plants without causing their death. This further excludes from the diet root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, onions, and garlic.[23]

Devout Lingayats do not consume flesh of of any kind including that from fish.

The primary difference between a vegan and a lacto-vegetarian diet is the avoidance of dairy products. Vegans do not consume dairy products, believing that their production causes the animal suffering or a premature death,[25] or otherwise abridges animal rights.

Lacto vegetarianism - Wikipedia

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A Vegetarian Diet –

We all know that vegetables are a great source of nutrients that are vital to maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. But can cutting out meat and animal products and adopting a vegetarian diet increase health benefits and provide you with the proper nutrition you require?

The key to maintaining healthy eating habits is to eat a variety of foods that contain all the essential requirements of good nutrition including fruit, vegetables, and sources of protein and iron, whether vegetarian or not. The following article can provide you with information about the risks and benefits of vegetarianism, and the key to maintaining a healthy diet through balance, variety, and moderation.

What is Vegetarianism?There are several types of vegetarian diets that individuals generally adopt. However, the essence of vegetarianism lies in cutting down the consumption of meat and animal products such as milk or eggs. A healthy vegetarian diet, and healthy vegetarian meals, will ideally derive as much nutrition as possible from plant-based food such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Of course, vegetarians differ in their attitudes as well as the reasons behind their dietary choices. In general, vegetarian diets are defined by the types of animal-derived foods that are incorporated into a diet, and include the following categories:

The Benefits of VegetarianismBecause a vegetarian diet incorporates less meat products as sources of nutrition, vegetarian diets commonly contain less fat and cholesterol as well as higher levels of fiber derived from vegetarian food. According to The American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, National Cholesterol Education Program and Committee on Diet and Health of the National Research Council, reducing fat intake to 30% of calories with no more than 10% of these consisting of saturated fats is recommended to lower the risk of chronic disease.

Some of the health benefits associated with a vegetarian diet include the following:

Vegetarian diets have been linked to decreased risks of developing various types of cancers. Studies have shown that individuals who consume high levels of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may decrease the risk by up to 50%. Regular fruit and vegetable consumption has also been linked to decreased risks of fatal heart disease such as myocardial infarction, angina, cerebrovascular, and ischemic heart disease.

Risks of VegetarianismBalancing vegetarian food and nutrition is vital to maintaining a healthy vegetarian diet. Strict vegetarians may be at risk of several nutrition deficiencies such as vitamin B-12, riboflavin, zinc, calcium, iron, and essential amino acids such as lysine and methionine. Vegans and vegetarians are also at risk of energy deficiency in the form of calories, particularly in children.

Long-term deficiencies in an inadequate vegetarian diet may lead to the following complications:

Another issue facing vegetarians is low protein quality based on protein digestibility and amino acid composition. The risk associated with the protein quality of plant foods is based on a lack of certain essential amino acids that are found in natural combinations in animal protein. Combining different vegetarian nutrition sources of protein can ensure that all essential amino acids are found in a healthy vegetarian diet.

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A Vegetarian Diet -

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Types of Vegetarian Diets | Levels of Vegetarianism

Q: What are the types or levels of vegetarianism?

A: There are several levels of vegetarianism, or types of vegetarian diet, that depend on which foods you choose not to eat. Starting from the most restrictive and working our way down, the types of vegetarian are as follows:

Vegans do not consume any animal products or by-products. So vegans of course do not consume red or white meat, fish or fowl. They also do not consume eggs and dairy. Vegans do not use honey or beeswax, gelatin and any other animal by-product ingredients or products. Vegans typically do not use animal products such as silk, leather and wool, as well.

Lacto-vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish, fowl or eggs. However, lacto-vegetarians do consume dairy products such as cheese, milk and yogurt.

Ovo-vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish, fowl or dairy products. However, ovo-vegetarians do consume egg products.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not consume red meat, white meat, fish or fowl. However, lacto-ovo vegetarians do consume dairy products and egg products. This is the most common type of vegetarian.

While technically not a type of vegetarian, these individuals do restrict their meat consumption to fish and seafood only. Pescatarians do not consume red meat, white meat or fowl. This is considered a semi-vegetarian or flexitarian diet.

Much like the pescatarian, this semi-vegetarian diet restricts meat consumption to poultry and fowl only, and is not officially considered a vegetarian. Pollotarians do not consume red meat or fish and seafood

A plant-based diet with the occasional meat item on the menu. These folks do their best to limit meat intake as much as possible and they have an almost entirely plant-based diet. This is not technically considered a vegetarian diet, but we commend the effort!

There are many different ways to approach vegetarianism, and its up to you to make dietary choices that best fit your lifestyle. Consider your health and fitness goals or needs when choosing. Whether you are becoming a vegetarian yourself, or simply trying to better support your vegetarian friends and family, we hope this list and chart have been helpful!

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Types of Vegetarian Diets | Levels of Vegetarianism

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What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat

ByAmanda Bell/Sept. 15, 2016 6:09 pm EST/Updated: Dec. 17, 2020 1:24 pm EST

Cutting out meat from your diet can be tricky, but luckily there are many products on the market that make it a bit easier these days. That's good news because becoming a vegetarian may yield great results for your physique that make the effort worthwhile. Not only is it more environmentally friendly to skip these animal proteins, but it can reduce your risk factor for certain diseases, have positive effects on your appearance, and potentially increase your lifespan. There are also drawbacks that may require preventative measures on the new vegetarian's part, so here's a breakdown of what will happen to your body, inside and out, if and when you decide to declare yourself a herbivore.

Cutting out meat and switching to a veggie-centric diet may be good news for your waistline. According to research by Dr. Neal Barnard at George Washington University, the average person who turned to a plant-based diet under their project supervision lost about 10 pounds in the span of about 44 weeks. "The take-home message is that a plant-based diet can help you lose weight without counting calories and without ramping up your exercise routine," the physician reported.

The downside? A lot of new vegetarians report experiencing some temporary bloating when making the big change to a meatless lifestyle, especially if the new diet includes an increase in carbohydrates like beans.

Believe it or not, if you stop eating meat your skin might even start to look better, but only if you're eating plenty of nutritious fruits and veggies. The vitamins in fruits and vegetables (including our friends A, C, and E) are known to combat free radicalsin the body, which are common causes of skin blemishes. Some foods that have been shown to have high levels of antioxidant activity include berries, cherries, citrus, prunes, and olives.

Of all the things you can do to prevent cancer, no longer eating meat could be one of the easiest.

According to research, at least 30 percent of cancer cases have been linked to dietary habits, and in a patient study, it was shown that vegetarianism of the milk- and egg-eating variety tended to have a lower risk of contracting cancers than those who ate meat. Vegetarians tend to have a reduced rate of various types of cancer, including that of the colon (since the added fiber helps move carcinogens through the digestive tract more quickly), stomach, bladder, ovaries, breast, and lymphatic and hematopoietic tissues (due to the antioxidants contained in plant-based foods).

Not eating meat has also proven to be a heart-healthy approach to nommage. Researchers have found that those who choose the eliminate meats from their diets enjoyed a significant drop in cholesterol levels (up to 35 percent for those who subbed in other proteins, like soy or nuts), which in turn reduced their risk for cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, and strokes.

Not only that, but it's also been linked to a reduction in blood pressure levels (hypertension), obesity, inflammationthroughout the body, and Type 2 Diabetes. Chronic inflammation is associated with a ton of long-term issues, including arthritis, cancer, heart disease, asthma, and other degenerative disorders, and vegetarian-friendly foods like kale, cauliflower, spinach, and certain fruits, among others, are rich in anti-inflammatory properties, while meat tends to cause an inflammatory reaction.

If you have chronic upset stomach, you may want to stop eating meat (or at least think about it). Several academic studies have shown that there are positive microbial effects associated with ditching the consumption of animal by-products, including a reduction of harmful pathogens and an increase in protective microorganisms. This may be connected to the reduction in inflammation throughout the body that's been associated with vegetarianism, which has other major health benefits (we'll get to that).

Other digestive benefits to vegetarianism include the fact that studies show a reduction in risk for diverticular disease that is, a buildup of pockets or sacs in the walls of your colon associated with the diet, and the increased fibers that'll come with that extra helping of vegetables will help make your bathroom habits more regular.

Experts caution that these benefits are only available to those who engaged in a "well-planned vegetarian diet," which incorporates a high intake of fruits and vegetables. If approached correctly, your tummy will likely thank you for resisting the carnivorous route to sustenance.

The decision to stop eating meat comes with a lot of pros, but it isn't all good news. A vegetarian diet may require the use of certain supplements, which can ensure the requisite amounts of nutrients that might be lost in transition.

One common problem people have when flushing out the flesh foods is a zinc deficiency, since that vitamin is most often found in red meat and shellfish. Plus, vegetarian foods are high in phytic acid which interferes with zinc absorption. The effects of that deficiency may include a weakened immune system, loss of memory, eyesight and tastebuds, an onset of diarrhea, allergic reactions, hair loss, and body rashes.

Other essential vitamins that may become depleted in the process of becoming a meat-free eater include B12, calcium, iron. For those that are careful with their menus, however, this can be addressed without the use of vitamin supplements. Vitamin B12 is found in yeast and certain cereals, while calcium can be derived from foods like almonds, bread, milk, and sesame seeds. Nuts, dried fruit, beans, and broccoli are all high in iron and would be assets to a vegetarian's diet.

Vegetarians should also make sure that they're incorporating enough protein into their daily meals, which can be accomplished by eating eggs, cheeses, lentils, black beans, and tofu.

Studies are mixed on whether a decision to stop eating meat and adopting a vegetarian diet will improve or impair your mental wellbeing. Some doctors have found an increase in lethargy, anxiety, and depression associated with patients who adopted the lifestyle, while others have found that non meat-eaters have no worsening of mood conditions.

Psychologists suggest a supplementation of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 to counter any potential ill effects of going meat-free on mental health (supplementation is particularly important for vegans). Vegetarians who would rather not take supplement pills can find Omega-3s in salmon (if you eat fish, practically any fish will do), walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed and egg yolks.

Giving up eating meat and becoming a vegetarian can be extremely gratifying for your body and mind and not just because you're reducing your carbon footprint. It also has proven health benefits that include certain disease prevention and digestive health increases. However, it requires some attentive planning on the meal front to ensure that you're getting all of the nutrients your body needs.

The best way to avoid the unpleasant effects of nutritional depletion is by formulating a solid plan for your daily diet. Make sure that you consider which nutritional elements you'll lose from excluding meat and adjust your food intake accordingly this is the best way to ensure that your body reaps all the potential rewards from increasing your intake of plant-based goods.

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What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat

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