Vegetarians are people who limit their consumption of animal products. There are many types of vegetarian and the principal ones are as follows.
Ovo-vegetarian: eggs but no dairy products
Lacto-vegetarian: dairy products but no eggs
Ovo-lacto vegetarian: can eat both eggs and dairy products
Pescetarian: fish but no other meat
Fruitarian: only eat fruit, nuts and seeds
Vegan : excludes all animal products, including eggs, dairy, beeswax and honey. Some vegans also avoid animal products such as leather (and possibly silk).
Flexitarian: people who eat meat only occasionally
There are many reasons for being vegetarian.
Some people are vegetarian because they object to modern factory farming which tends to keep animals in crowded living conditions with little regard to the dignity and happiness of the animals. Confinement at high stocking density requires the use of antibiotics and pesticides to stop the spread of disease. There is growing concern that the overuse of antibiotics will lead to resistant strains of bacteria. Some people believe that industrial poultry practices lead to the creation of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu and that factory farming may provide the conditions for the mutation of other diseases which may eventually affect the human population.
The most striking benefit is the decrease in ischaemic heart disease, non-vegetarians have a 24% lower mortality rate for this condition. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians are at lower risk for developing:
Colorectal, ovarian, and breast cancers
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Many studies show that a vegetarian diet increases the metabolism, causing the body to burn calories up to 16% faster than the body would on a meat-based diet for at least the first 3 hours after meals.
Environmental benefits of vegetarianism.
Growing crops to feed to animals is very inefficient. Raising animals for food (including land used for grazing and growing feed crops) now uses around 30% of the land mass on Earth. In the United States, 70% of the grain grown is fed to farmed animals. To produce one kilo of animal protein vs. one kilo of soy protein, it takes about 12 times as much land, 13 times as much fossil fuel, and 15 times as much water. The problem is that farm animals are inefficient converters of food to flesh. Broiler chickens are the best, needing around 3.4kg to produce 1kg of flesh, but pigs need 8.4kg for one kilo.
It has been calculated that if the grain fed to animals in western countries were consumed directly by people instead of animals, we could feed at least twice as many people.
There are hundreds of vegetarian celebrities for example: Albert Einstein, Bill Clinton, Billie Jean King, Boy George, Brad Pitt, Brigitte Bardot, Charlie Watts, Diane Keaton, Gwen Stefani, Chris Evert, Alanis Morissette, Sir Paul McCartney, Ozzy Osborne, Sinead O’Connor, Pamela Anderson, Russell Brand. It is very surprising to discover that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian, he did not eat meat for the last 8 years of his life. It is even more surprising to discover that members of the Nazi party were supporters of animal rights and conservation. Heinrich Himmler made an effort to ban the hunting of animals. Göring was a professed animal lover and conservationist. In 1942, Hitler told Joseph Goebbels that he intended to convert Germany to vegetarianism when he won the war. It is incredible that such evil people had an affinity for animals but no regard for their fellow humans.