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You may have heard about one of your mates going veggie, and with an estimated 12% of all people aged 11-17 doing it, it's a good idea to check out what vegetarianism is all about.

Basically a vegetarian is someone living on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, and vegetables and fruits, with or without the use of dairy products and eggs.

A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, or fish, or slaughter by-products such as gelatine or animal fats.

In the UK there are almost 4 million vegetarians, and that figure is rising all the time.

Different types of vegetarianism:

  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarian Eats both dairy products and eggs. This is the most common type of vegetarian diet.
  • Lacto-vegetarian Eats dairy products but not eggs.
  • Vegan Eats vegetables, vegetable oils and cereals only, does not eat dairy products, eggs or any other animal product.
  • Partial vegetarians Eat some groups of animal foods but not all, i.e. they may eat chicken or fish but not red meat.

Some wacky types of Vegetarianism:

  • Fruitarian – A type of vegan diet where very few processed or cooked foods are eaten. Consists mainly of raw fruit, grains and nuts. Fruitarians believe only plant foods that can be harvested without killing the plant should be eaten.
  • Macrobiotic – A diet followed for spiritual reasons. It aims to maintain a balance between foods seen as Ying (positive) and Yang (negative). The diet has ten different levels becoming increasingly restrictive. Each level gradually eliminates animal products. The highest level even eliminates fruit and vegetables, eventually reaching the level of a brown rice diet. That would definitely make it difficult when going round your mates for dinner!

Watch Out For Hidden Animal Products In Your Food!

A lot of the foods we eat might not look like they contain meat in them, but many foods have hidden ingredients that contain some form of animal. I am by no means trying to convert people to becoming vegetarians, as I too am a meat eater. However, the important thing to note here is if you were ever thinking about becoming a vegetarian it wouldn't simply be a case of cutting meat out of your diet. There are quite a few other foods that you have to be careful with.


Gelatine is made from animal ligaments, tendons, bones etc. that have been boiled in water…nice! Gelatine can be found in lot of confectionery, ice cream, and other dairy products.

Animal fats

This is another one to look out for as it refers to carcass fats. This is often found in many foods including biscuits, cakes and margarine. Lard and suet are types of animal fats.


Why cheese? I hear you cry…This is because it is generally made with rennet extracted from the stomach lining of slaughtered calves. Hope you haven’t got macaroni cheese for dinner! Vegetarian cheese is different as it is made with rennet from a microbial source.

Vegetarian Foods

A well-balanced vegetarian diet can provide you with all the nutrients your body needs. A vegetarian diet is healthy because it is typically low in saturated and total fat, high in fibre and complex carbohydrate, and high in minerals and vitamins present in fresh fruit and vegetables. Hope your getting all of this down on paper!

Vegetarian food groups are:

  • Cereals/Grains – Bread, pasta, potatoes etc.
  • Pulses – Lentils, baked beans, kidney beans (no, they don’t come from animal’s kidneys!)
  • Nuts & Seeds – Sesame seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts etc.
  • Fruit & Vegetables – Need we say anymore!
  • Vegetable Oils and Fats – Margarine or butter
  • Soya Products – Soya protein etc.

Reasons for becoming a Vegetarian

Most people decide to become a vegetarian because they feel it is wrong to slaughter animals for food. They dislike the idea of the cruelty and suffering inflicted upon the billions of animals reared for food. Other people don’t like the idea that there is poverty and famine in other parts of the world and feel a vegetarian diet is satisfactory for them. Religious reasons can be another factor and some people are vegetarian because they simply don’t like the taste of meat.

To find out more about a veggie diet read Nutrients Vegetarians Need

Click here to Read:

Some Interesting Break-Facts

Diary Of A Cereal Filler

Breakfast Character Guide

Wise Up With Water

How To Get Your Fruit And Veg

10 Tips on Healthy Eating

A Guide To The Essential Elements In Your Diet

You Are Not A Model, You Are A Real Person!

Fad Diets

Eating Disorders

Getting Help With An Eating Disorder

Go to our links page and look at other fascinating sites about the wonderful world of food.

Food Links and Contacts

- Vick

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick