Thought you knew everything there is to know about the vegetarian diet? These few facts may surprise you:
1. Vegetarianism has traditionally been linked to the people of ancient India.
Even today, Indians make up more than 70 percent of the world's vegetarian population.
2. The first Vegetarian Society was formed in 1847 in England.
The main aim of the members was to dispel the common belief
that it's not possible to lead a healthy life without eating meat.
3. There are varying degrees of vegetarianism. The strictest of
vegetarians not only steer clear of all forms of meat, they also
avoid all animal products, including honey (bees are often killed
in the production of honey), and foods which might contain traces
of animal products, such as bread baked in buttered tins and sugar
to which bone charcoal has been added (to make it white).
4. You might recall the scene in Notting Hill where William Thacker
(Hugh Grant) goes on a blind date with a slightly off-the-wall "fruitarian".
Fruitarianism is a very real form of vegetarianism, where the diet consists
of fruit, nuts, seeds and other plant material that can be gathered without
killing the plant (e.g. pears can be picked without killing the plant, carrots cannot).
5. Many vegetarians follow a meat-free diet in an attempt to lower the
pressure meat production places on the environment. According to
Wikipedia.org, growing crops for farm animals requires nearly half of
the United States' water supply and 80% of its agricultural land.
6. Other people go the vegetarian route for religious reasons. Some
of the denominations that actively advocate vegetarianism include
the Hare Krishna and Rastafarian movements.
7. British research shows that a child's IQ predicts his likelihood of
becoming a vegetarian as a young adult. You guessed it: the smarter
the child, the more likely he'll eventually shun meat.
8. While veggie eating holds many health benefits, it also has other
interesting effects on the body: research shows that avoiding red
meat improves the sex appeal of male body odor.
9. The list of famous vegetarians includes Sir Paul McCartney,
Ozzy Osborne, Sinead O'Connor, Brad Pitt, Albert Einstein,
Henry Ford and Leonardo da Vinci, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Silverstone,
Russell Simmons, Pamela Anderson, Billy Idol, Moby, Prince,
Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Williams, Paula Abdul,
Ziggy Marley, Natalie Portman, and Kevin Eubanks.
The list goes on...
10. Variations on a vegetarian theme
Different types of vegetarian diets are characterized by the
degree to which they exclude animal foods. Below are some
diets most commonly thought of as vegetarian yet some people
today call themselves vegetarian if they eat meat just occasionally.
Pesco-vegetarian -include fish, dairy products and eggs.
Lacto-ovo vegetarian -includes eggs and dairy products.
Ovo-vegetarian -includes eggs.
Vegan -excludes animal-derived foods of all types.
"Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life?" ~Martin Luther King, Jr.