Henry Buckham & Jonah Adshead
A vegetarian is defined as a person who does not eat products of
slaughter, which includes meat and also by-products like rennet. They also do
not eat shellfish, fish, poultry or game.
A vegetarian’s diet consists of mainly fruit and vegetables, nuts, pulses, seeds
and grains. Unlike vegans they can consume products from animals like milk
There are different types of vegetarians. A lacto-ovo-vegetarian eat both dairy
products and eggs, which is the most common diet. Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy
products but do not eat eggs. The last one is vegans, who do not eat anything
that comes from animals.
Lacto-ovo-vegetarians mainly eat free-range eggs because of the welfare
objections that are associated with poultry farming.
The number of total vegetarians in the United Kingdom stood at between 3 and
4 million people in 2003. Studies have also indicated that there are twice as
many vegetarian women than men. In America, 42% of ages 18-34 identify as
vegetarian, but only 17.4% of people over 55 are vegetarian. This is because
over recent years, being a vegetarian has become easier thanks to the
existence of groups that offer support, advice, and tips for newcomers.
The UK is listed with the third highest vegetarian rate in the European Union
according to The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Between 1993 and
2003, the number of vegetarians in the UK doubled. A survey in 2012 recorded
1.2 million vegetarians in the UK, just 2% of the total population of 62 million.
As well as this, Vegans accounted for 0.3% in the UK in 2007, with around
162,000 total. 90% of vegans chose their lifestyle because of ethical or moral
reasons, and just 1% for spiritual or religious reasons.
People are drawn towards vegetarianism for many different reasons and
-Many people believe making the switch will allow them to lead longer, healthier
lives because the low cholesterol and low fat vegetarian diet will prevent or
reverse cardiovascular diseases, obesity and even reduce the risk of cancer.
Michael F. Roizen says that switching to a vegetarian diet can add 13 years to
your life expectancy.
-The majority of toxic chemicals and pesticides come from meat and many
harmful heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic and lead are found in fish. If you
are vegetarian and do not eat these food items you will avoid the toxins.
-A lot of vegetarians decide to not eat meat and fish because of their concern
for animals. The recent publicity surrounding the cruel conditions of factory
farmed animals have seen an increase in the number of vegetarians over past
There are several special companies that are dedicated to serving the niche
vegetarian market. They are either independent or more often a dedicated wing
of a larger established food company, such as Kellogg. They themselves have a
branch called Morningstar, which produces a range of vegetarian products such
as burgers, cakes and breakfast meals. They are the largest vegetarian
producer in the United States.
Another company marketing to vegetarian and vegan markets is Honest to
Goodness, a UK outlet that sells a variety of biodegradable and ethical products
such as beauty products, food and toiletries, all of which are free of slaughter by
products. They also sell soap that does not contain any animal fat.
Veestro is another example of a dedicated vegetarian food supplier operating in
America. They produce a variety of plant based food and drink with all organic
ingredients, with their philosophy tying in with the common problem of
vegetarians not being able to find the time to cook meat free meals.
Bourgeois Bohème is an example of a vegan based clothing company in
London. They sell a range of goods that do not use animal skins and
furs, substituting them for faux fur or leather instead to create fashionable goods
like shoes and clothing.
Non vegetarian products:
-To be vegetarian approved a product must fulfil a list of criteria;
•It must be free from any animal flesh (meat, fowl, fish or shellfish), meat or bone stock, animal or
carcass fats, gelatine, aspic or any other ingredients resulting from animal slaughter.
•If eggs are used they must be free range.
•There must be no genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
•There must be no cross contamination between vegetarian and non-vegetarian produce during the
•No animal testing involved in any of the production processes.
-Because of these criteria not only the obvious meat, fish, poultry and shellfish are banned, vegetarians
have a much wider range of foods they must not eat depending on how strict they are; vegans being
the most restricted.
-Some orange juices are fortified with added omega-3’s that derive from fish.
-Some sauces such as Worcester sauce contain anchovy.
-Jelly, marshmallows, gummy bears and many other sweets are often made using gelatine.
-Some cheddars and hard cheeses may contain rennet, a product that consists of enzymes culled from
the stomachs of sheep and other animals.
-Some alcoholic drinks, particularly beer, wine and cider, as part of the filtration process use isinglass
from the swim bladders of some fish. Guinness and StellaArtois Cidre are two well known brands that