October: Vegetarian Awareness Month

By Paula Detwiller

How many vegetarians do you know?

A 2008 study estimated that about 3 percent of U.S. adults follow a vegetarian diet, while an additional 10 percent say they follow a “vegetarian-inclined” diet, which can mean any number of things. In honor of Vegetarian Awareness Month, we offer this primer on vegetarianism and why people choose plant-based eating.

 

Various Kinds of Vegetarians

  • Total Vegetarians eat only plant food. Animal meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and honey are not included in the diet.
  • Vegans (“VEE-guns”) omit all animal products from their diet and their daily lives. For example, true vegans do not wear leather, wool, or silk.
  • Raw vegans eat raw plant food only; nothing can be cooked above 118 degrees Celsius.
  • Ovo Vegetarians include eggs in their plant-based diet; Lacto Vegetarians include dairy; Ovo-Lacto Vegetarians eat eggs and dairy products.
  • Pescetarians eat fish along with plant-based foods.
  • Pollotarians include poultry in their otherwise vegetarian diet.
  • Fruitarians eat only fruit, nuts, seeds, and other plant material that can be gathered without harming the plant.

 

Why Go Veggie?

Some people choose vegetarianism out of compassion for animals (I once heard a vegan say, “If it has eyes, I don’t eat it”), while others are focused on health reasons. A typical vegetarian diet is low in fat and high in fiber, decreasing your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

Of course, you can find a wide variety of vegetarian-friendly foods at the Delray GreenMarket, which re-opens on Saturday, October 15 at 9 a.m. in downtown Delray Beach.  See you there!

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