Vegetarian- To quote the vegetarian society a vegetarian is "Someone living on
a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with or without the use
of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game,
fish, shellfish or slaughter by-products"
When looking on the Free Dictionary online the definition of a vegetarian is seen
as a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in
some cases, any food derived from animals.
The oxford dictionary claims a vegetarian to be a person who does not eat meat
or fish, and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious, or
My own definition of a vegetarian would be that of someone who takes up their
right of not eating meat or any kind of meat due to many issues, mainly
concerned the protection of animals.
2% of the Britain's population are
vegetarians. This amount increases
every year as seen on the statistics.
It has risen by about 500 adults and
children each year since 2010. This
is because of the health risks and
alternative options being shown to
children at schools and people
becoming more aware of how the
animals are killed and cooked for the
Each year a person eats 79.3 Kg’s of
meat. This is encouraging a lot of
animals to be killed. When looking at
the American consumption where
animals have no rights or
protection, 31 animals are eaten per
person in a calendar year. As people
are becoming more educated, the
increase in numbers of vegetarians
This chart is from a slightly
earlier date but it shows us
how the population is starting
to understand what they eat at
an earlier age
From this we can see that
there are many types of
vegetarians and meat
alternative diets around that
are taken up by a younger
As seen here a huge 55%
were estimated to be
interested in vegetarian
meals out. This shows that
not all young adults eat so
called ‘Junk food’ and do
look into what they eat.
Saying this since 2008
when that data was
collected, companies such
as McDonalds have started
to offer a meat free meal as
well as more salads made.
The main reasons for being a vegetarian are:
Health concerns- Animal foods have a lot more fat then other foods. Animal produce also contains a larger amount of
agricultural chemicals in then plant foods, chemicals such as pesticides. Bacteria is also a concern when eating meat
due to the uncleanliness of the animals. You can also catch many diseases from the animals such as heart diseases
that are increasing each year with the consumption of meat. The preparation of meat is seen in another aspect to
bacteria and the unclean meat you are seen to be eating. After many meat issues in the media such as the horse
meat scandal this has started to put people off eating meat as they start to doubt the companies.
Environmental concerns- Conservation of fossil fuels and saving the forests (Destruction of habitats for animals can
Ethical concerns- People may see giving meat up only a small sacrifice to what is happening to animals. Ethical
issues concern animals being killed and an example of this is in news where Denmark an their ban on slaughtering
animals, replacing it with stunning the animal to death.
A dislike of meat- It may come down to the simple reason of not liking meat and preferring a vegetarian diet. All meat
is considered to have a healthier alternative.
Non-violent beliefs- Slaughter of the animals is seen as very violent. To Quote Ellen White the founder of the
seventh day Adventist church and vegetarian health reformer "Whatever affects the body has a corresponding effect
on the mind and soul" meaning that participating in a belief of killing animals is wrong would clear your conscience
and not made to feel responsible.
Compassion for animals- Not wanting harm to come to the animals that are killed for the meat. This relates to the
non violent beliefs and here people think that animals should have more rights.
Personal finances- Being a vegetarian can have many benefits financially, such as having to spend less on
healthcare. Also the more obvious fact of having to pay less for meat.
Muslims all over the world
have opposed Denmark’s
move to ban the slaughter of
animals in an Islamic (halal)
way and called upon their
governments to stop
importing Danish meat as
long as the Scandinavian
country refuses to respect
their religious teachings.
The Muslim belief
being that many
sacred, however if
they are slaughtered
from the neck
straight away it is
accepted. This new
method of hurting
the animal more
from stunning is
going against all
beliefs. This shows why so many people turn
vegetarian. The way in which some
animals are killed can totally change
your views and ethical beliefs about
what you are eating. People start to
believe that if they eat the produce
they may be seen as agreeing with
the cruelty. Another reason for
vegetarianism can therefore be fear.
Fear of guilt.
More on Ellen White, this religious side to vegetarianism is yet another reason why people choose not to eat
meat. With the majority of the worlds population being religious this shows that vegetarianism will exist
everywhere else and in some countries it is sacred to eat some animals because of this.
Many companies have started meat free alternatives since the early
21st century however ConAgra stands out for its ‘Light life’ foods
that are made and sold in supermarkets. This replaces meat and
became very popular within the vegetarian market and has
eventually sold the brand of food to another business (Brynwood
Partners) Lightlife is seen as another alternative such as Quorn.
Quorn is the leading brand of mycoprotein food around.
Suma Wholefoods was founded in 1977 and only stock vegetarian
food to sell. The premises in which they work in is 100% meat free.
They are against meat because of it not being able to feed
everyone across the world. With 750 million people suffering from
hunger, it is not possible to feed everyone with animals and it is not
right. However equality can be achieved by giving everyone a plant
based diet. The business cares a lot about animal welfare and does
not approve of any animal testing or suffering.
McDonalds as stated before have started to expand their audience
to those of vegetarians as well due to the increase in meat
alternatives and more healthy lifestyles. However recently the
company has come out and admitted that it only 2 to 3 percent of
overall sales are from non meat produce and salads. In 2012
McDonalds showed plans of opening a vegetarian only restaurant in
2013. This was to open in India, due to their Muslim beliefs over
cows and the animal being sacred it was seen to give an alternative
to those many people populating the country.
A Typical Menu in India is 50% Vegetarian. McAloo Tikki burger (A
spiced potato-based filling) takes up 25% of the businesses sales
over there. If this is a success then the 2nd biggest food outlet in the
world after subway will plan to open 1300 stores.
Non vegetarian products:
The products that cannot be consumed by vegetarians are:
Orange Juice- Surprisingly in many brands the drink contains Fish and lanolin oils. Lanolin being the
natural oil coming from sheep wool that is found in the vitamin D in the juice. Coca-Cola juices also
Enhanced Bread- Like the orange juice, bread that is bought from the supermarket contains omega-3
that comes from the amino acids in fish oil. This is the reason many vegetarians check the labels of
food and drink products, not all brands contain the same. This leads onto Bagels. They are believed to
contain bird feathers. The enzyme L. Cysteine is used as a dough conditioner in the process of making
the bagels. The same enzyme can be found in garlic bread in some restaurants such as pizza hut.
On the link there is several compounds that need to be checked as they have some sort of meat
featured in them. Such as for example Albumen, this can be found In eggs, milk, muscles, blood, many
vegetable tissues and fluids.
Other food that should not be eaten if you are a vegetarian are salad dressing (Contains bacon fat)
Tortillas( Many Mexicans use animal fat in the creation of them) Any form of gelatin in foods you should
not eat, usually found in sweet products such as gummy bears, marshmallows and jelly. Also another
peculiar product that cannot be consumed as it is associated with meat is that of Beer. It is partly made
out of isinglass that is fish bladder. It is not always found but a consideration. Geletin is also found in