Reasons People Are Vegetarian or Vegan

by wrylilt

Why do some people choose a vegetarian or vegan diet? A common question with many answers but here are the four main ones!

What is a vegetarian?

A vegetarian is someone who maintains a diet that consists of most types of food except meat. Most vegetarians will eat other types of animal products, including eggs, dairy and cheese. Some less strict vegetarians will eat white meat, such as chicken and fish while stricter vegetarians will avoid both red and white meats.

What is a vegan?

A vegan is someone who avoids all types of foods that contain animal products. Usually this means avoiding red and white meat as well as eggs, dairy and cheese. Some stricter vegans will even go so far as to avoid all animal products, including items made of leather or anything else that comes as a result of killing an animal.

Reason 1: Religious Beliefs

Many religions have rules about what foods can be eaten, either throughout the whole diet or on certain days or times of year. Judaism involves strict rules about the draining of blood from meat and unclean animals, while some protestant religions require their members to avoid all forms of meat.

Although rules vary between religions and not all religions strictly enforce their dietary rules. However this is one of the most common reasons for people to follow a vegetarian diet.

Religious beliefs may stop people from eating some animal products.
Religious beliefs may stop people fro...
Reason 2: Health Reasons

Many people choose to avoid eating meat and/or animal products because they believe this diet to be healthier. The medical profession is often divided with this, with some medical professionals endorsing this view while others say that important nutrients and minerals are missing from the vegetarian and vegan diet.

Some people avoid animal products for health reasons.
Some people avoid animal products for...
Reason 3: Animal Cruelty

Another common reason for avoiding animal products is because of animal cruelty issues. Animals kept for eggs, milk or meat are often kept in inhumane conditions - including small cages with no entertainment and often their whole lives confined in one small area. Although some people become vegans for this reason, some people take the not so extreme route of just eating free range animal products.

Some people believe animals are cruelly treated and avoid eating meat so as not to support this treatment.
Some people believe animals are cruel...
Reason 4: Taste

Some people aren't too worried about religion, health or animal cruelty, some people just can't stand the taste of meat. Although this is rare, it does happen. 

Children who were raised as vegetarians, in particular, may find the taste of meat unappealing when they reach adulthood and are able to make their own dietary choices.

Some people don't like the taste of meat.
Some people don't like the taste of m...
So what do vegetarians and vegans eat?

Just because a person doesn't eat meat doesn't mean that they just eat vegetables, fruit and salad. This isn't correct!

There are a wide range of products that vegetarians eat for protein and as added savoury flavour with their meals. Although stricter eaters may only have tofu and other things that sound unappealing, there are other alternatives including a huge range of products made out of beans, lentils and the like. And amazingly, there are some 'fake' meat products that are made to look and taste exactly like meat, even by a meat eater's standards.

Worthington Vegetarian Burger, Low Fa...
Worthington
$71.61  $59.80
Fantastic Foods Vegetarian Sloppy Joe...
Fantastic Foods
$43.89  $36.05
Updated: on 06/11/2011, wrylilt
 
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barbarab on 08/30/2011

I have tried to walk the vegetarian road three times in my adult life...but I do not get enough protein and every time my hair would start to fall out :(
so now I just do the veggie theme twice a week and it works very well :) makes me feel better...meat is very dense isnt it?

spirituality on 07/02/2011

There are also allergies that make people become vegetarians. Otherwise, I think you've listed them all. :)

There is a whole category devoted to vegetarianism btw.

lakeerieartists on 06/12/2011

I am not a vegetarian, but I do appreciate and understand why many people are. I have to admit that I do not think I could follow a vegan lifestyle unless I had no choice, but vegetarian is much more palatable to me.

PeggyHazelwood on 06/11/2011

Thanks for clearing up the terminology. Good to know.

theherbivorehippie on 06/11/2011

Proud vegan here for many many years. Yes, I am one of those strict ones who uses absolutely no products that are derived from animals including beauty products, leather,silk, etc. There are so many alternatives that it's much easier to live a cruelty-free lifestyle today than it was years ago.



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