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Vegetarian recipes

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What is vegetarianism?

The word vegetarian is defined as a person who does not eat meat or fish, and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious, or health reasons. While this is a good broad definition of vegetarianism, the actual practice of vegetarianism is somewhat less clear cut. There are several subcategories of vegetarianism, including ovolactarians, who eat dairy and eggs but avoid meat, and lactarians, who eat dairy but avoid meat and eggs. Some people include fish in their diet but still consider themselves vegetarians - a new name for this lifestyle "pescatarian" has recently emerged. Vegans are the strictest subcategory of the vegetarian movement and abstain from all products of animal origin. Strict adherents of veganism do not eat honey or wear leather or wool. While religion sometimes demands a vegetarian or vegan diet, over the years we have seen more and more people who have chosen not to eat animal products because of their personal beliefs.

Origin of vegetarianism

Some of the first self-proclaimed vegetarians were the Pythagoreans, a title derived from the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, creator of the geometric Pythagorean Theorem. Although Pythagoras lent his name to the meatless diet, it is unclear whether or not he followed a strict vegetarian diet. Some suggest that he may have eaten fish in addition to his usual breakfast of honey and dinner of barley bread with vegetables, which would have made him a pescatarian by today's standards. Followers of Pythagoras adopted his dietary restrictions in the belief that it was conducive to longevity. The teachings of Pythagoras were first published in modern form by Italian writer and physician Antonio Cocchi. The influential historical document contains some of the same arguments that today's vegetarians use when extolling the benefits of a meatless diet.

More information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure that the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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