Vegan and Vegetarian Differences
Reasons to Become a Vegetarian
More more people are choosing a vegetarian lifestyle today for many reasons. Many do so because they believe in the rights of animals.
This has become a popular trend in Hollywood with Drew Barrymore, Kim Basinger, actor Kirk Cameron and Ashley Judd joining the vegetarian ranks to name just a few.
In history, there are some very famous vegetarians;
- Leonardo da Vinc
- Leo Tolstoy
- Sir Isaac Newton
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- H. G. Wells
- Upton Sinclair
- Albert Schweitzer
- Charles Darwin.
Some become vegetarians for religious reasons and others for health reasons.. There are 7.3 million vegetarians in the United States and 22.8 million Americans follow a vegetarian inclined diet.
Fruits and Vegetables
Strict Vegan Lifestyle
Many vegetarians will still eat fish and poultry (particularly if it is free range chicken) while others won’t even eat an egg. Some people will not use any product that comes from an animal source, which could be pet food, clothing and other items. These are typically the Vegans, who follow a much more rigid diet.
This means they shouldn’t drink most alcoholic beverages as some of them are clarified by using animal ingredients. They can’t eat anything that is made using lard, like pie crusts, biscuits or many other pastries. Many medicine capsules use an animal based gelatin. They shouldn’t eat off of bone china or use bone handled knives.
Paint brushes and other brushes should be avoided. They must watch out for emulsifiers in chocolate and gelatin. They can’t wear wool or mohair or use any fabric with animal products. There are some chewing gums they can’t use. They can’t use anything with glycerin which limits many creams and makeup.
They can’t use cameras with film, as a film is made with gelatin. Body cleansers often contain animal fat. There are actually hundreds of items. I could add to this list, but I think most of us didn’t realize the number of ways animal waste products are used in a multitude of products. Not all vegans follow a lifestyle this rigid.
Fruits and Vegetables
Reasons to Consider Becoming a Vegetarian
Another reason to become a vegetarian is concern with the chemicals given to livestock, which include steroids, growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and other drugs. From a global perspective, others believe they are preserving conservation of fossil fuels, aiding water conservation, soil conservation, and forests conservation.
Twenty vegetarians can live off the amount of land required by one meat eater. For instance, in the United Kingdom, they feed their livestock enough food to feed 250,000,000 people worldwide and in the world 30,000,000 people die of starvation every year. In American, If we cut meat consumption by 10%, there would be 12,000,000 tons of extra grain which could feed 60,000,000.
Improve Your Health
The other major advantage to becoming a vegetarian is to improve your health. Animal products have saturated fat, and therefore contribute to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, possibly cancer and other diseases.
Other diseases include osteoporosis, kidney stones and gallstones, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, gum disease, acne, obesity, intestinal toxemia, sometimes a fiber deficiency or excess protein. If you are a meat eater, consider a balanced diet and eating everything in moderation.
Variety of Grains
There are several types of Vegetarianism:
- Total vegetarians thrive totally on plant food eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes. They eat no animal products including meat, eggs, poultry, dairy products and honey
- Vegans have an absolute commitment to vegetarianism following the above list, but also from using any products derived from animals
- Lacto-vegetarians include milk and milk products in their diet in addition to the vegetarian food.
- Lacto-ova-vegetarians consume eggs along with milk products and thevegetarian diet.
- Pesco-vegetarians allow fish along with the vegetarian diet which is followed by millions of Asians
- Pollo-vegetarians eat poultry (chicken, game birds), still omitting red meat with the vegetarian diet.
Colorful Fruits Enjoyed by Most Everyone
Cancer Society Recommendations
If you are a vegetarian, you most likely will eat an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables. You are lowering your cholesterol level as well. You have to find adequate protein sources from nuts, seeds, tofu, veggie (soy) burgers, and grains. The less processing of soy products or any other goods, make it healthier for your body, so read your labels.
Flax seed or fish oil capsules are good sources of omega-3 and you can sprinkle the flax seeds over a salad or put them over vegetables in a wrap. It is possible to get all the nutrients and vitamins you need from a vegetarian diet. The one concern is getting adequate vitamin B12, so a vegetarian must supplement their diet with this vitamin or they will have a elevated homocysteine.
Elevated homocysteine levels has been linked to several disease and is a probable cause of early mortality, heart disease, stroke, and recurrent pregnancy loss. It may also be a partial cause of Alzheimer’s disease and some eye disorders. Supplement with amounts of 3 to 100 up per day which will lower your homocystene.
American Cancer Society Reccomendations
The American Cancer Society has recommended the following:
- Cut down on total fat intake
- Eat more high-fiber goods such as whole grain cereals, fruits and vegetables
- Include foods rich in vitamins A and C in your daily diet (Dark green and deep yellow fresh vegetables and fruits such as carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, peaches and apricots as sources of vitamin A; oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, green and red peppers for vitamin C).
- Include cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, Brussell sprouts and cauliflower) in your diet.
These recommendations reflect recent scientific findings that excessive consumption of meat is a major contribution factors in colon and prostate cancer. The importance of fiber in a healthy diet as a preventative measure can’t be over-stressed as a way to prevent disease.
How to Follow a Vegetarian Diet
Food Allergies & Summary
Food allergies are another consideration when making food choices. The most common food allergies are beef, dairy eggs, and wheat, corn, cane and beet sugars. Scientists have found that any food eaten more often than every 4 days can cause a food allergy.
They have also discovered that 7 out of 10 chronic health problems such as arthritis, depression, chronic fatigue, constipation, asthma, ulcers, eczema, colds and sore throats, and even mental illness can be alleviated by avoiding specific foods. Obviously these foods are not all meat products/.
It is important to make sure your vegetarian diet is balanced so you get enough protein, plenty of fiber, eat plenty of fresh foods (preferably organic) and supplement your Vitamin B12 and Omeg-3. There is little doubt that a vegetarian lifestyle is a healthier choice for your body.
Has this hub influenced your choice to become a vegetarian or change your eating habits?
- 46% Yes, definitely.
- 25% No, I like things the way they are.
- 25% I may make some changes.
- 4% I will think about it.
This poll is now closed to voting.
© 2010 Pamela Oglesby