MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
GUIDELINES FOR SELECTING & PREPARING FOODS
Foods That Heal - An Organic Vegetarian Perspective
& A Nutritional Perspective
"For Informational Use Only"
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.
FOODS THAT HEAL & PROMOTES GOOD HEALTH
4 STEPS TO INCREDIBLE HEALTH
1. ORGANIC FOOD: All foods eaten should be pure; without having been genetically modified or grown with the use of herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, insecticides, etc. These chemicals, carcinogens, and poisons are a significant cause of disease. The nutrients in organic foods have also been found to be much higher than the chemically inferior conventional produce. Organic food not only tastes better, it is better for the land and animals. Check out local farmers markets, Co-ops and natural food markets. Grow your own garden, whether it be a yard, roof top or patio garden.
2. VEGAN or VEGETARIAN DIET: A vegan diet does not contain ANY animal foods at all (all meats including fish, dairy, eggs, milk cheese, etc). Vegan foods contain NO cholesterol, but great care must be taken to combine the right foods carefully for proper nutrition or otherwise nutritional deficiencies develop. This can be a big problem with pregnant and lactating women - when nutritional needs are greater. There are many types of vegetarian diets. Some of these may include animal products such as milk, cheese, and eggs but still do not use any meat products and do not harm animals. Numerous scientific and medical journals have conducted studies that convincingly demonstrate that animal foods are a significant contributing factor to ALL degenerative diseases: cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, arthritis, and other ailments. Vegetarians have the best diet; they have the lowest rates of coronary heart disease of any group in the country. Vegetarians have 40 percent the cancer rate of meat eaters - William Castelli, MD, Framingham Health Study, the longest running study at diet and heart disease in world medical history. For more on this, please read Dr. Klaper's Optimum Nutrition and Vegetarians vs. Meat Eaters (See more about this subject further down on this page).
Nutrition Guide: Vegetarian Food Guide - Pregnancy Client Handout
3. WHOLE FOOD: There are trillions of species on this planet, but only one alters their food supply. That same species experiences a plethora of degenerative disease unknown in other species. Humans eat foods that have been refined, processed, and preserved with chemicals and food additives in order to prolong their shelf life (Whole wheat becomes white flour). Or how about partially hydrogenated oils? Small particles of nickel or copper are added and the mix is heated to very high temperatures under pressure for up to eight hours while hydrogen gas is injected. This process destroys the essential fatty acids in the oil and replaces them with deformed trans fatty acids. This blocks or delays the work of the essential fatty acids, creating deficiencies and imbalance throughout the metabolism, including fatty deposits in the arteries. Prolonging shelf life makes big companies a lot more money and may be a little easier for us, but is it worth the heavy cost of degenerative disease? The body simply cannot digest partial food, refined and partially hydrogenated oils, or anything else not in its natural, whole state. All of the recommended foods below are in their whole state. It is the way nature intended us to eat.
4. RAW FOOD: Food that has been cooked over 118°F has destroyed ALL digestive enzymes in the food. That means your body will have a great deal of difficulty digesting and assimilating the nutrients in the food. The vitamins/minerals and other trace nutrients are also greatly diminished in the cooking process. Low enzyme count leads to low energy, degenerative disease, and aging. Attempt to eat a much higher quantity of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables.
HEALTHFUL FOODS FOR A HEALTHY DIET
Protects your heart. Prevents constipation. Blocks diarrhea. Improves lung capacity. Cushions joints.
Combats cancer. Controls blood pressure. Saves your eyesight. Shields against Alzheimer's. Slows aging process.
Aids digestion. Lowers cholesterol. Protects your heart. Stabilizes blood sugar. Guards against liver disease.
Battles diabetes. Lowers cholesterol. Helps stops strokes. Controls blood pressure. Smoothes skin.
Protects your heart. Quiets a cough. Strengthens bones. Controls blood pressure. Blocks diarrhea.
Prevents constipation. Helps hemorrhoids. Lowers cholesterol. Combats cancer. Stabilizes blood sugar.
Controls blood pressure. Combats cancer. Strengthens bones. Protects your heart. Aids weight loss.
Combats cancer. Protects your heart. Stabilizes blood sugar. Boosts memory. Prevents constipation.
Strengthens bones. Saves eyesight. Combats cancer. Protects your heart. Controls blood pressure.
Combats cancer. Prevents constipation. Promotes weight loss. Protects your heart. Helps hemorrhoids.
Saves eyesight. Controls blood pressure. Lowers cholesterol. Combats cancer. Supports immune system.
Saves eyesight. Protects your heart. Prevents constipation. Combats cancer. Promotes weight loss.
Protects against Prostate Cancer. Combats Breast Cancer. Strengthens bones. Banishes bruises. Guards against heart disease.
Protects your heart. Combats Cancer. Ends insomnia. Slows aging process. Shields against Alzheimer's.
Promotes weight loss. Protects your heart. Lowers cholesterol. Combats Cancer. Controls blood pressure.
Aids digestion. Soothes sore throat. Clears sinuses. Combats Cancer. Boosts immune system.
Promotes weight loss. Helps stops strokes. Lowers cholesterol. Combats Cancer. Controls blood pressure.
Protects your heart. Boosts memory. Protects your heart. Combats Cancer. Supports immune system.
Aids digestion. Battles diabetes. Protects your heart. Improves mental health. Boosts immune system.
Lowers cholesterol. Controls blood pressure. Combats cancer. Kills bacteria. Fights fungus.
Protects against heart attacks. Promotes weight loss. Helps stops strokes. Combats Prostate Cancer. Lowers cholesterol.
Saves eyesight. Conquers kidney stones. Combats cancer. Enhances blood flow. Protects your heart.
Combats cancer. Protects your heart. Helps stops strokes. Promotes Weight loss. Kills bacteria.
Heals wounds. Aids digestion. Guards against ulcers. Increases energy. Fights allergies.
Combats cancer. Protects your heart. Controls blood pressure. Smoothes skin. Stops scurvy.
Combats cancer. Protects your heart. Controls blood pressure. Smoothes skin. Stops scurvy.
Combats cancer. Boosts memory. Regulates thyroid. Aids digestion. Shields against Alzheimer's.
Controls blood pressure. Lowers cholesterol. Kills bacteria. Combats cancer. Strengthens bones.
Lowers cholesterol. Combats cancer. Battles diabetes. Prevents constipation. Smoothes skin.
Protects your heart. Promotes Weight loss. Combats cancer. Battles diabetes. Smoothes skin.
Reduce risk of heart attack. Combats cancer. Kills bacteria. Lowers cholesterol. Fights fungus.
Supports immune systems. Combats cancer. Protects your heart. Straightens respiration.
Prevents constipation. Combats cancer. Helps stops strokes. Aids digestion.
Protects against heart disease. Promotes Weight loss. Combats Prostate Cancer. Lowers cholesterol. Note: Aggravates Diverticulitis.
Strengthens bones. Relieves colds. Aids digestion. Dissolves warts. Blocks diarrhea.
Slows aging process. Prevents constipation. Boosts memory. Lowers cholesterol. Protects against heart disease.
Protects your heart. Battles diabetes. Conquers kidney stones. Combats cancer. Helps stops strokes.
Combats cancer. Protects your heart. Boosts memory. Calms stress.
Saves your eyesight. Lifts mood. Combats cancer. Strengthens bones.
Protects prostate. Combats cancer. Lowers cholesterol. Protects your heart.
Lowers cholesterol. Combats cancer. Boosts memory. Lifts mood. Protects against heart disease.
Promotes Weight loss. Combats cancer. Conquers kidney stones. Smoothes skin.
Protects prostate. Promotes Weight loss. Lowers cholesterol. Helps stops strokes. Controls blood pressure.
Combats Colon Cancer. Prevents constipation. Lowers cholesterol. Helps stops strokes. Improves digestion.
Combats Colon Cancer. Prevents constipation. Lowers cholesterol. Helps stops strokes. Improves digestion.
Guards against ulcers. Strengthens bones. Lowers cholesterol. Supports immune systems. Aids digestion.
REAL HEALTH FOODS
THE SUPERFOODS: So named, because of their incredibly rich nutrient content. These foods are the richest sources of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements on the planet! Spirulina Blue-Green Algae, Chlorella, Cereal Grasses (alfalfa, barley, wheat), Dulse Seaweed, Kelp, Non-Active Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Nutritional Yeast.
GRAINS: Whole wheat, millet, barley, rye, oats, quinoa, corn, buckwheat, bulgur, and brown & wild rice among others. Always soak nuts and seeds before consuming to break down the enzyme inhibitors (nature's defense mechanism of not being eaten before they can sprout and grow) which interfere with digestion. Soak in a bowl of distilled or purified water for about 5 to 8 hours, depending on size. Overnight is usually a good amount of time. Remove and discard the grains that float as they likely have some rancidity. Drain and rinse well and then enjoy.
VEGETABLES: Kale, spinach, potatoes, yams, taro , zucchini, carrot, squash, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, dandelion greens, mustard greens, parsley, beet, beet greens, celery, green / yellow / red bell peppers, cayenne peppers, corn, cabbage, wild lettuce, radishes, mushrooms, asparagus, cucumber, eggplant, artichoke, chives, leeks, green beans, turnip greens, etc.
THE MIRACLE VEGETABLE BROTH: This is a must in any healing, detoxifying program! It will flush out toxins, poisons, and unhealthy salts/acids. It will also give you a concentrated amount of vitamins and minerals. Make a large pot and keep refrigerated for up to one week. Use organic produce only. Fill a large pot with:
- 25% potato peelings.
- 25% carrot peelings and whole chopped beets.
- 25% chopped onions.
- 25% celery and dark greens.
- 50 cloves of garlic (minimum).
- Hot peppers to taste.
- Enough distilled water to cover vegetables.
Simmer on very low temperature for 2 to 4 hours. Strain and refrigerate, drink only the broth. Thus, this broth is incredibly alkalizing which is vitally important to offset the acid imbalance of the pH in the blood.
FRUITS: Olives, avocados, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, mangoes, honeydews, strawberries, apples, blueberries, lemons, limes, pears, apricots, oranges, cherries, bananas, cantaloupes, pineapples, grapefruits, papayas, peaches, prunes, etc.
JUICES: Buy a Juicer. We are not talking about diluted, pasteurized, preserved store bought juice. We are talking about mixing your own assortment of fresh, raw, organic vegetables and fruit and juicing them yourself. Juicing is an excellent means of adding raw fruits and vegetables to your diet. Since more and more healthful substances in fruit and vegetables are being discovered all the time (i.e. phytochemicals- the compounds that have been shown to prevent and combat cancer), it is highly recommended you consume 2-4 glasses of fresh juices daily. You will be getting easy to digest, concentrated nutrients and enzymes which are a must for any healing or preventative health Program. You will be amazed at how delicious they are and will also feel an immediate boost of energy and vitality. Always store left-over juice in tightly sealed glass jars to avoid losing the valuable enzymes to oxidation. Drink within a few hours of preparation.
MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Juicing
LEGUMES: Peas, lentils, and beans (kidney , white, navy beans, garbanzo, pinto, black) etc. Always soak nuts or seeds before consuming to break down the enzyme inhibitors (nature's defense mechanism of not being eaten before they can sprout and grow) which interfere with digestion. Soak in a bowl of distilled or purified water for about 5 to 8 hours, depending on size. Overnight is usually a good amount of time. Remove and discard the legumes that float as they likely have some rancidity. Drain and rinse well and then enjoy.
NUTS & SEEDS: Coconut, almonds, walnuts, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, cashew, peanut, chestnut, etc. Always soak nuts and seeds before consuming to break down the enzyme inhibitors (nature's defense mechanism of not being eaten before they can sprout and grow) which interfere with digestion. Soak in a bowl of distilled or purified water for about 5 to 8 hours, depending on size. Overnight is usually a good amount of time. Remove and discard the nuts and seeds that float as they likely have some rancidity. Drain and rinse well and then enjoy.
SPROUTED SEEDS & BEANS: Alfalfa, broccoli, sunflower, radish, wheat, mung bean, lentil, etc. Sprouting seeds and beans greatly increases nutrient levels (including enzymes), digestibility, and can enhance flavor.
Sprouting is the practice of germinating seeds to be eaten raw or cooked. Sprouted foods are a convenient way to have fresh vegetables for salads, or otherwise, in any season and can be germinated at home or produced industrially. They are a prominent ingredient of the raw food diet and common in Eastern Asian cuisine. Sprouting is also applied on a large scale to barley as a part of the malting process. A potential downside to consuming raw sprouts is that the process of germinating seeds can also be conducive to harmful bacterial growth.
SUITABLE SPROUTING SEEDS
All viable seeds can be sprouted, but some sprouts should not be eaten raw. The most common food sprouts include:
- Pulses (Legumes; Pea Family): Alfalfa, clover, fenugreek, lentil, pea, chickpea, mung bean and soybean (bean sprouts).
- Cereals: Oat, wheat, maize (corn), rice, barley, rye, kamut and then quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat (these last three are used as cereal even if botanically they are not).
- Oilseeds: Sesame, sunflower, almond, hazelnut, linseed, peanut.
- Brassica (Cabbage Family): Broccoli, cabbage, watercress, mustard, mizuna, mustard, radish and daikon (kaiware sprouts), rocket (arugula), tatsoi, turnip, watercress.
- Umbelliferous Vegetables (Parsley Family): These may be used more as microgreens than sprouts. Carrot, celery, fennel, parsley.
- Allium (Onions): Cannot really distinguish between microgreens. Onion, leek, green onion (me-negi in Japanese cuisine).
- Other Vegetables & Herbs: Spinach, lettuce, milk thistle, lemon grass.
Although whole oats can be sprouted, oat groats sold in food stores, which are dehulled and require steaming or roasting to prevent rancidity, will not sprout. Whole oats may have an indigestible hull which makes them difficult or even unfit for human consumption.
All the sprouts of the solanaceae (tomato, potato, paprika, aubergine or eggplant) and rhubarb cannot be eaten as sprouts, either cooked or raw, as they can be poisonous. Some sprouts can be cooked to remove the toxin, while others cannot.
With all seeds, care should be taken that they are intended for sprouting or human consumption rather than sowing. Seeds intended for sowing may be treated with chemical dressings. Several countries, such as New Zealand, also require that some varieties of imported edible seed be heat-treated, thus making them impossible to sprout. Quinoa in its natural state is very easy to sprout but when polished, or pre-cleaned of its saponin coating (becoming whiter), loses its power to germinate.
The germination process takes a few days and can be done at home manually, as a semi-automated process, or industrially on a large scale for commercial use. Typically the seeds are first rinsed to remove soil and dirt and the mucilaginous substances produced by some seeds when they come in contact with water. Then they are soaked for 20 minutes to 12 hours, depending on the type and size of seed. The soaking increases the water content in the seeds and brings them out of quiescence. After draining and then rinsing seeds at regular intervals they germinate, or sprout.
For home sprouting, the seeds are soaked (big seeds) or moistened (small), then left at room temperature (13 to 21°C or 55 to 70°F) in a sprouting vessel. Many different types of vessels can be used. One type is a simple glass jar with a piece of cloth or nylon window screen secured over its rim. "Tiered" clear plastic sprouters are commercially available, allowing a number of "crops" to be grown simultaneously. By staggering sowings, a constant supply of young sprouts can be ensured. Any vessel used for sprouting must allow water to drain from it, because sprouts that sit in water will rot quickly. The seeds swell, may stick to the sides of the jar, and begin germinating within a day or two.
1. First soak as directed above, depending upon the seeds or beans you are using. General sprouting instructions using a sprouting jar is to rinse the seeds well and pour into a jar (fill to 1/4 mark) and then fill the jar at least 3/4 full of water. Soak overnight at room temperature. Pour out the water and seeds and rinse with fresh water.
2. Then put drained seeds nuts, seeds, grains, or legumes in any of the following: a colander, a natural fiber bag with good drainage, a jar with a screen or natural fiber loose weave fabric stretched over the opening, or any other container you can cover loosely. If using a sprouting jar, return the seeds to the jar and cover with cheesecloth, securing the cloth with a rubber band. Note: Do not cover air-tight as the seeds will mold. Briefly turn the jar upside down to drain the remaining water. If using alfalfa seeds, yu can roll the jar on its side and allow the seeds to coat the inside of the jar. Keep the jar with the bottom tipped upward and the mouth pointing downward (helps keep moisture in the jar from evaporating as quickly.
3. Rinse and drain at least 2 to 4 times a day for 1 to 3 days or until they have small sprouts coming out of them. Sprouts will begin to appear within 24 hours (give or take). Make sure the sprouts stay moist so they sprout fully by rinsing them as instructed and draining them properly. This allows the seeds to have moisture from fresh water (prevents souring) and proper drainage helps to prevent mold. Each seed has its own ideal sprouting time and most will be ready to eat after 3 to 5 days. If left longer, the sprouts will develop leaves and are then known as baby greens.
4. Store sprouts in refrigerator and enjoy. Continue to rinse once a day while in the refrigerator (they will sprout at a much slower rate). When they become too "sickly sweet", they have sprouted too long and can be discarded. Rinse your sprouts before eating. Sprouts can be store in the refrigerator uncovered for up to a week.
SPROUTING HINTS & TIPS
Mung beans can be sprouted either in light or dark conditions. Those sprouted in the dark will be crisper in texture and whiter, as in the case of commercially available Chinese Bean Sprouts, but these have less nutritional content than those grown in partial sunlight. Growing in full sunlight is not recommended, because it can cause the beans to overheat or dry out. Subjecting the sprouts to pressure, for example, by placing a weight on top of them in their sprouting container, will result in larger, crunchier sprouts similar to those sold in Polish grocery stores.
A very effective way to sprout beans like lentils or azuki is in colanders. Soak the beans in water for about 8 hours then place in the colander. Wash twice a day. The sprouted beans can be eaten raw or cooked.
Sprouting is also applied on a large scale to barley as a part of the malting process. Malted barley is an important ingredient in beer and is used in huge quantities. Most malted barley is distributed among wide retail sellers in North American regions.
Many varieties of nuts, such as almonds and peanuts, can also be started in their growth cycle by soaking and sprouting, although because the sprouts are generally still very small when eaten, they are usually called "soaks".
COMMON CAUSES FOR SPROUTS TO BECOME INEDIBLE
Seeds are not rinsed well enough before soaking. Seeds are left in standing water after the initial soaking. Seeds are allowed to dry out. Temperature is too high or too low. Insufficient rinsing. Dirty equipment. Insufficient air flow. Contaminated water source. Poor germination rate.
AMAZING NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS
GARLIC (Raw and organic): Garlic is the best, most effective broad spectrum anti-biotic, anti-viral, anti-fungal herb known. In research, it has been diluted to 1 part per 125,000 and still killed bacteria. It is an extremely effective and powerful broad-spectrum antibiotic, which means it kills all types of bacteria on contact, gram negative and gram positive. Garlic's use has been proven to destroy many types of bacteria including Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Typhoid, Diphtheria, Cholera, E. Coli, Bacterial Dysentery (Traveler's Diarrhea), Tuberculosis, Tetanus, Rheumatic bacteria, Bacillus cereus, bacillus subtilis, Mycobacterium smegmatis, Streptomyces griseus, Staphylococcus aureus, health care providers feel it is the cure for the common cold. It destroys various viruses that cause upper respiratory infections and influenza, the ones that antibiotics are useless against. Garlic destroys on contact, the viral infections of Measles, Mumps, Mononucleosis, Chicken Pox, Herpes Simplex #1 and #2, Herpes Zoster, Viral Hepatitis, Scarlet Fever, Rabies, and others. Blend 3 to 6 cloves in a blender with some non-citrus fruit juice.
(R. Naganawa, et al., "Inhibition of Microbial Growth by Ajoene, a Sulfur-containing Compound Derived from Garlic," Applied Environmental Microbiology, 62 (11) November 1996, p.4238-4242.)
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (Organic, raw, unfiltered): Extremely beneficial for many different maladies. Antibacterial/antifungal/antiviral. Extremely good for eliminating mucous from the body. Put 1 to 3 capfuls in a glass of water or mix in with salad dressing instead of vinegar.
ALOE VERA (Organic): Aloe Vera (barbadensis miller) contains over 20 minerals, all of which are essential to the human body. The human body requires 22 amino acids for good health - eight of which are called "essential" because the body cannot fabricate them. Aloe Vera contains all of these eight essential amino acids, and 11 of the 14 "secondary" amino acids. Aloe Vera has Vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, C and E. Taken internally, it is known to aid in healing stomach disorders, ulcers, constipation, hemorrhoids, colitis, and all colon problems. It is also helpful against infections, varicose veins, skin cancer, arthritis, and has even been an effective treatment with AIDS. Take 1/2 cup 1 to 3 times daily.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
- FLAX SEED - Flax Seed and Flax Seed Oil (Organic, Unfiltered, cold-pressed): Flax seed is rich in the omega-3 essential fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Also a good source of fiber, zinc, B vitamins, and protein. Contains No cholesterol, and low in saturated fat.
- WHEAT GERM - Wheat Germ Oil (Unrefined, cold pressed, organic if possible): A very rich source of Vitamin E.
- EVENING PRIMROSE - Evening Primrose Oil (Organic, unrefined, cold-pressed, if possible): Also known as primrose oil; it contains the highest amount of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) of any food substance. This fatty acid is known to help prevent hardening of the arteries, heart disease, PMS, multiple sclerosis, and high blood pressure. It relieves pain and inflammation, enhances the release of sex hormones (including estrogen and testosterone), lowers cholesterol, and is beneficial for cirrhosis of the liver.
Source: Organic Health & Beauty: Foods That Heal
VEGETARIANS VS MEAT EATERS - NUTRITIONAL VIEWPOINT
Both vegetarians and carnivores (meat eaters) can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on their overall diet, and lifestyle. Simply being a vegetarian does not equal healthy. It just means the person does not eat animal products. However, a vegetarian can eat tons of sugar, pastries, fried foods, and other unhealthy non-animal foods and that is certainly not healthy! And a carnivore who eats tons of red meat, hot dogs, fried chicken and other high-fat & cholesterol meats will be more unhealthy than a carnivore who eats fish, lean chicken, egg whites and lean beef. It is not so much whether you eat meat products or not that determines your health, but your overall diet choices, in addition to other lifestyle choices, such as sedentary lifestyle, alcohol and smoking, drug use and abuse, being overweight (yes, vegetarians can be obese!) and other risky behaviors that will contribute to your overall health.
Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes meat (including game and slaughter by-products), fish (including shellfish and other sea animals) and poultry. There are several variants of the diet, some of which also exclude eggs and/or some products produced from animal labor such as dairy products and honey.
The reasons for choosing vegetarianism may be related to morality, religion, culture, ethics, aesthetics, environment, society, economy, politics, taste, or health. A generic term for both vegetarianism and veganism, as well as for similar diets, is "plant-based diets". Properly planned vegetarian diets have been found to satisfy the nutritional needs for all stages of life, and large-scale studies have shown vegetarianism to significantly lower risks of cancer, ischemic heart disease, and other diseases.
The earliest records of vegetarianism as a concept and practice amongst a significant number of people concern ancient India and the ancient Greek civilization in Southern Italy and in Greece in the 6th century BCE. In both instances the diet was closely connected with the idea of non-violence towards animals (called ahimsa in India) and was promoted by religious groups and philosophers. Following the Christianization of the Roman Empire in late antiquity, vegetarianism practically disappeared from Europe. Several orders of monks in medieval Europe restricted or banned the consumption of meat for ascetic reasons, but none of them eschewed fish. Vegetarianism re-emerged somewhat in Europe during the Renaissance. It became a more widespread practice in the 19th and 20th centuries.
In 1847 the first Vegetarian Society was founded in England; Germany, the Netherlands and other countries followed. The International Vegetarian Union, a union of the national societies, was founded in 1908. In the Western world, the popularity of vegetarianism grew during the 20th century as a result of nutritional, ethical, and more recently, environmental and economic concerns. Today, Indian vegetarians, primarily lacto-vegetarians, are estimated to make up more than 70 percent of the world's vegetarians. They make up 20 to 42 percent of the population in India, while less than 30 percent are regular meat-eaters. Surveys in the U.S. have found that roughly 1 to 2.8 percent of adults eat no meat (including poultry or fish).
The Vegetarian Society, claims to have created the word vegetarian from the Latin 'vegetus' meaning 'lively' (which is how these early vegetarians claimed their diet made them feel). However, the Oxford English Dictionary and other standard dictionaries state that the word was formed from the term 'vegetable' and the suffix '-arian'. The Oxford English Dictionary also gives evidence that the word was already in use before the foundation of the Vegetarian Society:
1839 - "If I had to be my own cook, I should inevitably become a vegetarian." (F. A. Kemble, Jrnl. Residence on Georgian Plantation (1863) 251)
1842 - "To tell a healthy vegetarian that his diet is very uncongenial with the wants of his nature." (Healthian, Apr. 34)
But notes that "The general use of the word appears to have been largely due to the formation of the Vegetarian Society at Ramsgate in 1847."
TYPES OF VEGETARIANS
A vegan diet is a form of vegetarianism which excludes all animal products from the diet, such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs and honey. Strict veganism also excludes the use of animal products such as wool, silk, leather, and fur for attire and adornment, even though some of these do not directly involve the death or slaughter of an animal.
Most vegetarians consume dairy products, and many eat eggs. Lacto-vegetarianism includes dairy products but excludes eggs, ovo-vegetarianism includes eggs but not dairy, and lacto-ovo-vegetarianism includes both eggs and dairy products.
Semi-vegetarianism consists of a diet largely of vegetarian foods, but may include fish and sometimes even poultry, as well as dairy products and eggs. The association of semi-vegetarianism with vegetarianism in popular vernacular, particularly pescetarianism (also called pesco-vegetarianism and described as a "vegetarian" diet that includes fish), has led to what vegetarian groups cite as improper categorization of these diets as vegetarian. The Vegetarian Society, which initiated popular usage of the term vegetarian as early as 1847, condemns the association of semi-vegetarian diets as valid vegetarianism; the organization points out that the consumption of fish is not vegetarian.
TERMINOLOGY & VEGETARIAN VARIETIES
FOODS IN THE MAIN VEGETARIAN DIET
DIET NAME MEAT, POULTRY, FISH EGGS DAIRY HONEY Lacto-Ovo Vegetarianism No Yes Yes Yes Lacto Vegetarianism No No Yes Yes Ovo Vegetarianism No Yes No Yes Veganism No No No No
OTHER VEGETARIAN-ASSOCIATED DIETARY PRACTICES
Fruitarianism: Is a diet of only fruit, nuts, seeds, and other plant matter that can be gathered without harming the plant.
Su Vegetarianism: Originating in Buddhism, excludes all animal products as well as the fetid vegetables: onion, garlic, scallions, leeks, or shallots.
Macrobiotic Diet: Is a diet of mostly whole grains and beans. Not all macrobiotics are vegetarians, as some consume fish.
Raw Veganism: Is a diet of fresh and uncooked fruit, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
Dietary Veganism: Whereas vegans do not use animal products of any kind, dietary vegans restrict their veganism to their diet.
Some vegetarians also avoid products that may use animal ingredients not included in their labels or which use animal products in their manufacturing i.e. cheeses that use animal rennet, gelatin (from animal skin, bones, and connective tissue), some sugars that are whitened with bone char (e.g. cane sugar, but not beet sugar) and alcohol clarified with gelatin or crushed shellfish and sturgeon. Vegetarians who eat eggs sometimes prefer free-range eggs (as opposed to battery farmed eggs) on moral grounds.
Semi-vegetarian diets are diets that primarily consist of vegetarian foods, but make exceptions for some non-vegetarian foods. These diets may be followed by those who choose to reduce the amount of animal flesh consumed, or sometimes as a way of transitioning to a vegetarian diet. These terms are neologisms based on the word "vegetarian". They may be regarded with contention by some strict vegetarians, as they combine terms for vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets. Additionally, many individuals describe themselves as simply "vegetarian" while actually practicing a semi-vegetarian diet.
Semi-vegetarianism: A diet that excludes certain meats, particularly red meat, but allows the consumption of others in limited amounts.
Pescetarianism: A diet that excludes all meat except fish, shellfish, and crustacea.
Pollotarianism: A diet that excludes all meat except poultry and fowl.
Flexitarianism: A diet that consists primarily of vegetarian food, but that allows occasional exceptions.
VEGETARIAN HEALTH BENEFITS & CONCERNS
Vegetarianism is considered a healthy, viable diet. The American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Canada have found a properly-planned vegetarian diet to satisfy the nutritional needs for all stages of life, and large-scale studies have shown vegetarianism to significantly lower risks of cancer, ischemic heart disease, and other fatal diseases. Necessary nutrients, proteins, and amino acids for the body's sustenance can be found in green leafy vegetables, grains, nuts, and fortified juices or soy milk.
Vegetarian diets can aid in keeping body weight under control and substantially reduce risks of heart disease and osteoporosis. Non-lean red meat, in particular, has been found to be directly associated with dramatically increased risk of cancers of the lung, esophagus, liver, and colon. Other studies have shown that there were no significant differences between vegetarians and non-vegetarians in mortality from cerebrovascular disease, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, or prostate cancer.
The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada have stated that Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals. Vegetarians tend to have lower body mass index, lower levels of cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and less incidence of heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, renal disease, osteoporosis, dementias such as Alzheimer's Disease and other disorders.
Western vegetarian diets are typically high in carotenoids, but relatively low in long-chain n-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B-12. Vegans can have particularly low intake of vitamin B and calcium if they do not eat enough items such as collard greens, leafy greens, tempeh and tofu. High levels of dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, and magnesium, and low consumption of saturated fat could all be beneficial aspects of a vegetarian diet.
Protein: Protein intake in vegetarian and vegan diets is only slightly lower than in meat diets and can meet daily requirements for any person, including athletes and bodybuilders. Studies by Harvard University as well as other studies conducted in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and various European countries, have confirmed that vegetarian diets provide more than sufficient protein intake as long as a variety of plant sources are available and consumed. Proteins are composed of amino acids, and a common concern with protein acquired from vegetable sources is an adequate intake of the "essential amino acids", which cannot be synthesized by the human body. While dairy and egg products provide complete sources for lacto-ovo vegetarians, the only vegetable sources with significant amounts of all eight types of essential amino acids are lupin, soy, hempseed, chia seed, amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa. It is not necessary, however, to obtain protein from these sources - the essential amino acids can also be obtained by eating a variety of complementary plant sources that, in combination, provide all eight essential amino acids (e.g. brown rice and beans, or hummus and whole wheat pita, though protein combining in the same meal is not necessary). A varied intake of such sources can be adequate.
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Vegetarian Food Guide
Iron: Vegetarian diets typically contain similar levels of iron to non-vegetarian diets, but this has lower bio-availability than iron from meat sources, and its absorption can sometimes be inhibited by other dietary constituents. Vegetarian foods rich in iron include black beans, cashews, kidney beans, lentils, oatmeal, raisins, black-eyed peas, soybeans, many breakfast cereals, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, veggie burgers, tomato juice, tempeh, molasses, and whole-wheat bread. Vegan diets can often be higher in iron than vegetarian diets, because dairy products are low in iron.] Iron stores often tend to be lower in vegetarians than non-vegetarians and iron deficiency is thus more common in vegetarian and vegan women and children (adult males are rarely iron-deficient), however, iron deficiency anemia is rare.
Vitamin B-12: Plants are not generally significant sources of Vitamin B-12. However, vegetarians can obtain B-12 from dairy products, eggs, fortified foods and dietary supplements. Since the human body preserves B-12 and reuses it without destroying the substance, clinical evidence of B-12 deficiency is uncommon. The body can preserve stores of the vitamin for up to 30 years without needing its supplies to be replenished.
The recommendation of taking supplements has been challenged by studies indicating that exogenous B-12 may actually interfere with the proper absorption of this vitamin in its natural form. The research on vitamin B-12 sources has increased in the latest years and researchers at Hiroshima University have developed methods for growing plants rich in vitamin B-12.
Essential Fatty Acids: Fish is a major source of Omega-3 fatty acids, although some plant-based sources exist such as soy, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, canola oil and, especially, hempseed, chia seed, flaxseed, and purslane. Purslane contains more Omega-3 than any other known leafy green. Plant foods can provide alpha-linolenic acid but not the long-chain n-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are found in low levels in eggs and dairy products. Vegetarians, and particularly vegans, have lower levels of EPA and DHA than meat-eaters. While the health effects of low levels of EPA and DHA are unknown, it is unlikely that supplementation with alpha-linolenic acid will significantly increase levels. Recently, some companies have begun to market vegetarian DHA supplements containing seaweed extracts. Similar supplements providing both DHA and EPA have also begun to appear. Whole seaweeds are not suitable for supplementation because their high iodine content limits the amount that may be safely consumed. However, certain algae such as spirulina are good sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), linoleic acid (LA), stearidonic acid (SDA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and arachidonic acid (AA).
Calcium: Calcium intake in vegetarians is similar to non-vegetarians. Some impaired bone mineralization has been found among vegans who do not consume enough leafy greens, which are sources of abundant calcium. However, this is not found in vegetarians.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D levels do not appear to be lower in vegetarians (although studies have shown that much of the general population is deficient). Vitamin D needs can be met via the human body's own generation upon sufficient and sensible UV sun exposure. Products including milk, soy milk and cereal grains may be fortified to provide a good source of dietary Vitamin D and mushrooms provide over 2700 IU per serving (approximately 3 ounces or 1/2 cup) of vitamin D-2, if exposed to just 5 minutes of UV light after being harvested; for those who do not get adequate sun exposure and/or food sources, Vitamin D supplementation may be necessary.
LONGEVITY & MORTALITY STUDIES
A 1999 metastudy compared six major studies from western countries. The study found that the mortality ratio was the lowest in fish eaters (0.82) followed by vegetarians (0.84) and occasional meat eaters (0.84), and was then followed by regular meat eaters (1.0) and vegan (1.0). When the study made its best estimate of mortality ratio with confounding factors considered, the mortality ratio for vegetarians was found to be (0.94).
In "Mortality in British vegetarians", it was concluded that "British vegetarians have low mortality compared with the general population. Their death rates are similar to those of comparable non-vegetarians, suggesting that much of this benefit may be attributed to non-dietary lifestyle factors such as a low prevalence of smoking and a generally high socio-economic status, or to aspects of the diet other than the avoidance of meat and fish."
The Adventist Health Study is an ongoing study of life expectancy in Seventh-day Adventists. This is the only study among others with similar methodology which had favorable indication for vegetarianism. The researchers found that a combination of different lifestyle choices could influence life expectancy by as much as 10 years. Among the lifestyle choices investigated, a vegetarian diet was estimated to confer an extra 1.5 to 2 years of life. The researchers concluded that "the life expectancies of California Adventist men and women are higher than those of any other well-described natural population" at 78.5 years for men and 82.3 years for women. The life expectancy of California Adventists surviving to age 30 was 83.3 years for men and 85.7 years for women.
However, Adventist health study is again incorporated into meta studies titled "Does low meat consumption increase life expectancy in humans?" published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which made the conclusion that occasional/low meat eating and other life style choices significantly increase the life expectancy. The study also concluded that "Some of the variation in the survival advantage in vegetarians may have been due to marked differences between studies in adjustment for confounders, the definition of vegetarian, measurement error, age distribution, the healthy volunteer effect, and intake of specific plant foods by the vegetarians." It further states that "This raises the possibility that a low-meat, high plant-food dietary pattern may be the true causal protective factor rather simply elimination of meat from the diet." In a recent review of studies relating low-meat diet patterns to all-cause mortality, Singh noted that "5 out of 5 studies indicated that adults who followed a low meat, high plant-food diet pattern experienced significant or marginally significant decreases in mortality risk relative to other patterns of intake."
Statistical studies, such as comparing life expectancy with regional areas and local diets in Europe also have found life expectancy considerably greater in southern France, where a low meat, high plant Mediterranean diet is common, than northern France, where a diet with high meat content is more common.
A study by the Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, and Institute of Physiological Chemistry looked at a group of 19 vegetarians (lacto-ovo) and used as a comparison a group of 19 omnivorous subjects recruited from the same region. The study found that this group of vegetarians (lacto-ovo) have a significantly higher amount of plasma carboxymethyllysine and advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) compared to this group of omnivores. Carboxymethyllysine is a glycation product which represents "a general marker of oxidative stress and long-term damage of proteins in aging, atherosclerosis and diabetes." "Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) may play an important adverse role in process of atherosclerosis, diabetes, aging and chronic renal failure." The researchers theorized that it may be the higher fructose intake of these particular vegetarians (from higher fruit and vegetable intake) that increased their AGEs levels.
FOOD SAFETY & VEGETARIANISM
E. Coli: Vegetarianism is believed to reduce E. coli infections, and proponents point to the link between E. coli contaminations in food and industrial scale meat and dairy farms. The most recent E. coli outbreak in North America has once again demonstrated this link because the source of this E. coli was traced back to "a large ranch in the Salinas Valley that has a beef cattle operation" about a half-mile from the spinach fields where spinach became contaminated.
There are several variants of E. coli and they can be found in a healthy human gut, but the deadly strain, O157:H7 was virtually unheard of until the 1980s. It is believed that this strain evolved in the digestive system of grain fed cattle on large industrial farms. On these farms, grain is used as cattle feed because it is nutrient-packed and increases efficiency. A side effect of feeding grain to cattle is that it increases the acidity of their stomach - and it is in this acidic gut that the deadly O157:H7 thrives.
In 2003, an article in the Journal of Dairy Science found that between 30 and 80 percent of cattle carry E. coli O157:H7. In that same journal article, a quick fix was pointed out: Cows that are switched from a grain diet to a forage diet saw, within 5 days, a 1,000 fold decrease in the abundance of strain O157. But until changes like this are made, the source of many E. coli outbreaks will continue to be high-yield (industrial) meat and dairy farms. More likely, rather than change the way cattle are fed or raised on industrial farms there will instead be pressure to find technological solutions like food irradiation, plans for HACCP, or simply cooking burgers longer. Suggestions like this have led some experts, like Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley, Michael Pollan, to suggest that "All of these solutions treat E. coli O157:H7 as an unavoidable fact of life rather than what it is: a fact of industrial agriculture."
E. coli can be still acquired from any excrement-contaminated food or human commensal bacteria. The recent case of spinach and onions with E. coli contamination in the U.S. shows that vegetarian foods are also susceptible to food safety concerns. In 2005, some people who had consumed branded triple-washed, pre-packaged lettuce were infected with E. coli, and in 2007, branded lettuce salad were recalled after they were found to be contaminated by E. coli In fact E. coli outbreaks have also involved unpasteurized apple and orange juice, milk, alfalfa sprouts, and even water.
Other Food Scares: Various animal food safety scares over recent years have led to increased numbers of people choosing a semi-vegetarian or vegetarian diet. These scares have included Avian influenza in poultry, foot-and-mouth in sheep, PCBs in farmed salmon, mercury in fish, generally high dioxin concentrations in animal products, and artificial growth hormones, antibiotics or BSE, also known as Mad Cow Disease, in cows. According to various organizations, vCJD in humans is strongly linked with exposure to the BSE agent that has been found in beef. Toxins such as lead and mercury can bioaccumulate in animal products in higher concentrations than what is considered safe. Vegetables and fruits have a risk of being contaminated by pesticide residue or by banned chemicals being used to ripen fruits. Recent cases of several widespread outbreaks of salmonella infection, including outbreaks from contaminated peanut butter, frozen pot pies & puffed vegetable snacks also indicate that vegetarian foodstuff is susceptible to contamination.
MEDICAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR VEGETARIAN DIET
In Western medicine, patients are sometimes advised to adhere to a vegetarian diet. Certain alternative medicines, such as Ayurveda and Siddha, prescribe a vegetarian diet as a normal procedure.
HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY & DIET
The mainstream scientific consensus is that humans are physiologically best suited to an omnivore diet. The Vegetarian Resource Group, among others, has concluded that humans are naturally omnivores based on the human ability to digest meat, as well as plant foods, with the correspondent metabolic tendency to an adaptation that makes them need both animal and vegetable nourishment. Other arguments hold that humans are more anatomically similar to herbivores, with long intestinal tracts and blunt teeth, unlike omnivores and carnivores. Human teeth, including relatively blunt canines, are more similar to those found in animals with herbivore diets than in carnivores and most omnivores. Nutritional experts believe that early hominids evolved into eating meat as a result of huge climatic changes that took place three to four million years ago, when forests and jungles dried up and became open grasslands and opened hunting and scavenging opportunities. According to one research study, the choice of dietary protein of vegetarians and omnivores is reflected in their hair protein.
REASONS FOR FOLLOWING A VEGETARIAN DIET
Vegetarian Ethics: Various ethical reasons have been suggested for choosing vegetarianism. It has been argued, for example, that the production, slaughtering, and consumption of meat or animal products is unethical. Reasons for this include a belief in animal rights, an aversion to inflicting pain or harm on other sentient beings, or a belief that the unnecessary killing of other animals is inherently wrong. It has also been argued that although production and consumption of meat may be acceptable on its own terms, the methods by which animals are reared in the commercial industry are unethical. The book Animal Liberation by Peter Singer has been very influential on the animal rights movement and specifically ethical vegetarianism and veganism. In developed countries, ethical vegetarianism has become popular particularly after the spread of factory farming, a system of livestock farming where animals are kept indoors throughout the greater part of their lives in conditions of very restricted mobility. Pigs, laying hens, broiler chickens, and veal calves are the animals most often kept under these conditions. Factory farming has reduced the sense of husbandry that used to exist in farming and which has led to animals being treated as commodities. Many believe that the treatment that animals undergo in the production of meat and animal products obliges them to never eat meat or use animal products.
Arguments that do not pertain to animal rights exist in many vegetarian philosophies as well. The advance of global warming is one of these key issues in environmental vegetarians. According to a study done by the University of Chicago and reprinted in Time magazine, switching from a meat-eating diet to vegetarianism reduces one carbon footprint by 1.4 times the amount of switching from a Toyota Camry to a Hybrid car. This is because of the vast amount of methane that is put into the air from over-breeding for consumption, methane being a 32 percent more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Shipment of the grain and the cattle itself also plays a part in this issue, being that it takes 8 pounds of grain to get 1 pound of meat. Many vegetarians feel that eating so high up on the food chain plays too large a part in global starvation to justify meat consumption.
Vegetarianism & Religion: Indian cuisine offers a wide range of vegetarian delicacies because Hinduism, practiced by majority of India's populace, encourages vegetarian diet. Hinduism and Jainism teach vegetarianism as moral conduct whilst Christianity and Islam generally do not. Buddhism in general does not prohibit meat eating, while Mahayana Buddhism encourages vegetarianism as beneficial for developing compassion. Other denominations that advocate a fully vegetarian diet include the Seventh-day Adventists, the Rastafari movement and the Hare Krishnas.
- Hinduism & Hindu Vegetarianism: Some major paths of Hinduism hold vegetarianism as an ideal. There are three main reasons for this: the principle of non-violence (ahimsa) applied to animals; the intention to offer only "pure" (vegetarian) food to a deity and then to receive it back as prasad; and the conviction that non-vegetarian food is detrimental for the mind and for spiritual development. Non-violence is a common concern of all the vegetarian traditions in Hinduism; the other two aspects are relevant for those who follow special spiritual paths. However, the food habits of Hindus vary according to their community and according to regional traditions. Hindu vegetarians usually eschew eggs but consume milk and dairy products, so they are lacto-vegetarians. Milk and milk products are vital in the traditional food habits of India.
- Jainism & Jain Vegetarianism: Followers of Jainism are most commonly lacto-vegetarians. No products obtained from dead animals are allowed. Jains hold vegetarianism as the ideal diet in a similar fashion to Hindu traditions but with emphasis on their principle of all-round non-violence (ahimsa). This is for them an indispensable condition for spiritual progress. Some particularly dedicated individuals are fruitarians. Honey is forbidden, because its collection is seen as violence against the bees. Some Jains do not consume plant parts that grow underground such as roots and bulbs, because tiny animals may be killed when the plants are pulled up.
- Buddhism & Vegetarianism in Buddhism: In the Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism, the Buddha himself ate meat and he did not prohibit it for his followers. Theravadins make the distinction between the direct taking of life and eating meat which is already killed. Thus, they consider the careers of being a butcher or a hunter unethical and ideally do not promote them by purchasing meat. Although they are clearly forbidden to eat specific types of meat (for reasons unrelated to killing) and are dependent on the laity's offerings for food, Theravada monks can pursue vegetarianism if they wish by leaving uneaten any meat that may have been placed in their alms bowl. If monks know a living animal was killed specifically for them, they must refuse it or else incur an offense. For laypeople, there is no such prohibition on buying meat. Most Buddhists in Asian countries consume meat (see Chinese cuisine). In Mahayana Buddhism, there are several Sanskrit texts where the Buddha instructs his followers to avoid meat. Mahayana Buddhism advises monks to be strictly vegetarian and is recommended for laypeople, but not required.
- Sikhism: Followers of the Sikh religion are divided in their opinion on whether their religion opposes meat consumption for Sikhs. Although many Sikhs do eat meat, some initiated Sikhs or "amritdharis" that belong to Sikh Sects (e.g. Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Namdhari, Rarionwalay etc) abstain from the consumption of meat and eggs. Mainstream "amritdhari" Sikh's (e.g. those that follow the Sikh Rehat Maryada), are not compelled to be meat free. In the case of meat, the Sikh Gurus have indicated their preference for a simple diet and depending on what one sees as a simple diet could be meat or vegetarian. Passages from the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of Sikhs, also known as the Adi Granth) says that fools argue over this issue. Guru Nanak said that any consumption of food involves a drain on the Earth's resources and thus on life. The tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, prohibited the Sikhs from the consumption of halal or Kutha (any ritually slaughtered meat) meat because of the Sikh belief that sacrificing an animal in the name of God is mere ritualism (something to be avoided).
- Judaism: A number of medieval scholars of Jewish religion (e.g. Joseph Albo) regard vegetarianism as a moral ideal, not because of a concern for the welfare of animals, but because of the fact that the slaughter of animals might cause the individual who performs such acts to develop negative character traits, viz., meanness and cruelty. Therefore, their concern was with regard to possible harmful effects upon human character rather than with animal welfare. Indeed, Rabbi Joseph Albo maintains that renunciation of the consumption of meat for reasons of concern for animal welfare is not only morally erroneous but even repugnant. One modern-day scholar who is often cited as looking upon vegetarianism with extreme favor is the late Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. It is indeed the case that in his writings, Rabbi Kook speaks of vegetarianism as an ideal, and points to the fact that Adam did not partake of the flesh of animals. In context, however, Rabbi Kook makes those comments in his portrayal of the eschatological (messianic) era. He regards man's moral state in that period as being akin to that of Adam before his sin and does indeed view renunciation of enjoyment of animal flesh as part of the heightened moral awareness which will be manifest at that time. Rabbi Kook is emphatic in admonishing that vegetarianism not be adopted as a norm of human conduct prior to the advent of the eschatological era. According to some Kabbalists, only a mystic, who is able to sense and elevate the reincarnated human souls and "divine sparks", is permitted to consume meat, though eating the flesh of an animal might still cause spiritual damage to the soul. A number of Orthodox Jewish vegetarian groups and activists promote such ideas and believe that the halakhic permission to eat meat is a temporary leniency for those who are not ready yet to accept the vegetarian diet. Having ties with both ancient Judaism and Christianity members of the ancient Essene religious group practiced strict vegetarianism sharing a similar belief with the Hindus'/Jains' idea of Ahimsa or "harmlessness". Translation of the Torah's Ten Commandments state "thou shall not murder." Many argue that this can also be taken as meaning not to kill at all, animals nor humans, or at least "that one shall not kill unnecessarily," in the same manner that onerous restrictions on slavery in the bible have been interpreted by modern theologians as to suggest banning the practice.
- Christianity & Christian Vegetarianism: While vegetarianism is not common in western Christian thought, the concept appears periodically. According to the Bible, in the beginning, humans and animals were vegetarian. Immediately after the Flood, God permitted the eating of meat, however some maintain that God permitted the consumption of meat temporarily because all plants had been destroyed as a result of the flood. Some Christians believe that the Bible explains that, in the future, humans and animals will return to vegetarianism. Some Christian leaders, such as the Reverend Andrew Linzey, have supported the view that Jesus was a vegetarian. Some people believe that the Book of Daniel specifically promotes vegetarianism as beneficial. However, common theology argues that in this instance Daniel is rejecting food that is considered to be unholy by his faith (eating food that had been sacrificed to pagan gods), not strictly meat. The Bible's New Testament says that a person's dietary choice is of small consequence and should not be a point of confrontation (see Romans 14:1-3). Therefore, some modern Christians consider vegetarianism as a perfectly acceptable personal choice that has many of the same implications as fasting.
All Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic monastics abstain from meat year-round, and many abstain from dairy and seafood as well. Laity generally abstain from animal products on Wednesdays (due to a traditional belief that it was a Wednesday on which Judas arranged to betray Jesus Christ) and Fridays (because Jesus was crucified on a Friday), as well as during the four major fasting periods of the year: Great Lent, the Apostles' Fast, the Dormition Fast and the Nativity Fast. This is not for environmental or animal welfare reasons, but for spiritual reasons. Fasting is seen as purification and the regaining of innocence. Through obedience to the Orthodox Church and its ascetic practices, the Orthodox Christian seeks to rid himself or herself of the passions, or the disposition to sin.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Christian denomination that recommends the vegetarian diet as a holistic lifestyle choice within its teachings. A number of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, including Joseph Bates and Ellen White adopted the vegetarian diet during the nineteenth century, and Ellen White reportedly received visions regarding the health benefits of the vegetarian diet. More recently, members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in California have been involved in research into longevity due to their healthy lifestyle, which includes maintaining a vegetarian diet. This research has been included within a National Geographic article.
- Islam & Animals: Islam allows the consumption of meat, if the meat is "halal", however, the option of vegetarianism is also available. This is a personal decision only, supported by a general religious philosophy stressing kind treatment of animals. Vegetarianism has been practiced by some influential Muslims including the Indian theologian, female mystic and poet R‚bi'ah al-'AdawÓyah of Basrah, who died in the year 801, and the Sri Lankan sufi master Bawa Muhaiyaddeen who established The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship of North America in Philadelphia. Muslims have the freedom of choice to be vegetarian for medical reasons or if they do not personally like the taste of meat. However, the choice to eat vegetarian can be controversial. According to Hafiz Nazr Ahmad, although the number of Muslim vegetarians today is increasing, individual adherents tend to keep quiet about it. In January 1996, The International Vegetarian Union announced the formation of the Muslim Vegetarian/Vegan Society. They noted that the Quran states that "There is not an animal on earth, nor a bird that flies on its wings - but they are communities like you." (The Quran, 6:38) Many Muslims who normally eat meat will select vegetarian options when dining in non-halal restaurants. This way they can be certain to observe dietary restrictions.
- Neopaganism: Many who practice a faith that falls under the Neopagan umbrella also practice vegetarianism. Since Neopaganism generally emphasizes the sanctity of Earth and Nature, a vegetarian diet is sometimes adopted out of concern for the environment and/or animal welfare.
Environmental vegetarianism is based on the belief that the production of meat and animal products for mass consumption, especially through factory farming, is environmentally unsustainable or otherwise harmful. Recent research strongly supports these concerns. According to a 2006 United Nations initiative, the livestock industry is one of the largest contributors to environmental degradation worldwide, and modern practices of raising animals for food contributes on a "massive scale" to air and water pollution, land degradation, climate change, and loss of biodiversity. The initiative concluded that "the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." In addition, animal agriculture has been pointed out as one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases - responsible for 18 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalents. By comparison, all of the world's transportation (including all cars, trucks, buses, trains, ships, and planes) emits 13.5 percent of the CO2. Animal farming produces 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide and 37 percent of all human-induced methane. The habitat for wildlife provided by large industrial monoculture farms is very poor, and modern industrial agriculture has been considered a threat to biodiversity compared with farming practices such as organic farming, permaculture, arable, pastoral, and rainfed agriculture.
Animals fed on grain, and those that rely on grazing need far more water than grain crops. According to the USDA, growing the crops necessary to feed farmed animals requires nearly half of the United States' water supply and 80 percent of its agricultural land. Additionally, animals raised for food in the U.S. consume 90 percent of the soy crop, 80 percent of the corn crop, and a total of 70 percent of its grain. When tracking food animal production from the feed trough to consumption, the inefficiencies of meat, milk and egg production range from 4:1 up to 54:1 energy input to protein output ratio. This firstly because the feed first needs to be grown before it is eaten by the cattle, and secondly because warm-blooded vertebrates need to use a lot of calories just to stay warm (unlike plants or insects). An index which can be used as a measure is the efficiency of conversion of ingested food to body substance, which indicates, for example, that only 10 percent is converted to body substance by beef cattle, versus 19 to 31 percent by silkworms and 44 percent by German cockroaches. Ecology professor David Pimentel has claimed, "If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million." To produce animal based food seems to be, according to these studies, typically much less efficient than the harvesting of grains, vegetables, legumes, seeds and fruits. However, this would not apply to animals that are grazed rather than fed, especially those grazed on land that could not be used for other purposes. Nor would it apply to cultivation of insects for food (called entomophagy), which is more environmentally sustainable than eating food coming from cattle farming. Meat produced in a laboratory (called in vitro meat) may be also more environmentally sustainable than regularly produced meat. According to the theory of trophic dynamics, it requires 10 times as many crops to feed animals being bred for meat production as it would to feed the same number of people on a vegetarian diet. Currently, 70 percent of all the wheat, corn, and other grain produced is fed to farmed animals. This has led many proponents of vegetarianism to believe that it is ecologically irresponsible to consume meat. Rearing a relatively small number grazing animals is often beneficial, as observed by the Food Climate Research Network at Surrey University, which reports, "A little bit of livestock production is probably a good thing for the environment". In 2008, Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, stated: "The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that direct emissions from meat production account for about 18 percent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions. So I want to highlight the fact that among options for mitigating climate change, changing diets is something one should consider."
LABOR CONDITIONS & VEGETARIANISM
Some groups promote vegetarianism as a way to offset poor treatment and working conditions of workers in the contemporary meat industry. These groups cite studies showing the psychological damage caused by working in the meat industry, especially in factory and industrialized settings, and argue that the meat industry violates its laborers' human rights by delegating difficult and distressing tasks without adequate counseling, training and debriefing. However, the working conditions of agricultural workers, particularly non-permanent ones, remain poor and well below conditions prevailing in other economic sectors. Accidents, including pesticide poisoning, among the farmers and plantation workers contribute to increased health risks, including mortality. In fact, according to the International Labor Organization, agriculture is one of the three most dangerous jobs in the world.
Similar to environmental vegetarianism is the concept of economic vegetarianism. An economic vegetarian is someone who practices vegetarianism from either the philosophical viewpoint concerning issues such as public health and curbing world starvation, the belief that the consumption of meat is economically unsound, part of a conscious simple living strategy or just out of necessity. According to the World Watch Institute, "Massive reductions in meat consumption in industrial nations will ease their health care burden while improving public health; declining livestock herds will take pressure off rangelands and grainlands, allowing the agricultural resource base to rejuvenate. As populations grow, lowering meat consumption worldwide will allow more efficient use of declining per capita land and water resources, while at the same time making grain more affordable to the world's chronically hungry." Economic vegetarians also may include people from third world countries who follow a de facto vegetarian diet due to the high price of meat.
Some vegetarians choose to be so in part because they find meat and meat products aesthetically unappetizing. The Whole Earth Vegetarian Catalogue's '49 good reasons for being a vegetarian' says that one reason for being a vegetarian is that "Decaying animal parts, whether in a freezer case or served in restaurants, can never be as aesthetically pleasing to the senses as the same foods made from wholesome vegetable sources. Only habit can allow one not to perceive this: a change in diet makes this self evident."
The metaphor by Douglas Dunn is that if one gives a young child an apple and a live chicken, the child would instinctively play with the chicken and eat the apple, whereas if a cat were presented with the same choices, its natural impulse would be the opposite. Though this may be considered a flawed comparison, as cats are carnivores and not omnivores, it has been noted that comparatively omnivorous human-like species such as chimpanzees' offspring may not instinctively kill such hunted prey as Senegal Bushbabies when presented with one and banana or other fruit either, despite hunting and eating them. The comparison may also suffer from the "Appeal to nature" logical fallacy.
In a similar assertion, Scott Adams, who is also a vegetarian, once wrote humorously: "I point out that a live cow makes a lion salivate, whereas a human just wants to say 'moo' and see if the cow responds."
In the therapy of some health disorders and/or food intolerances vegetarian diets are considered a necessary element.
People may choose vegetarianism because they were raised in a vegetarian household or because of a vegetarian partner, family member, or friend. A predominantly and traditionally vegetarian society also facilitates the continuance of such a tradition. Limited vegetarianism appears to be an appealing alternative for young people in Western societies. In 2007 an experiment, originating at the University of Michigan Medical School, intending to study how memes spread led to an included attempt to encourage limited vegetarianism. It has been the meme itself that has brought life to the concept of "Vegetarian Wednesday." The idea is that those choosing to adopt this limited vegetarian diet would consume their normal daily food except for Wednesday of each week when they would maintain a vegetarian diet.
DEMOGRAPHICS & VEGETARIANISM
Gender: A 1992 market research study conducted by the Yankelovich research organization claimed that "of the 12.4 million people who call themselves vegetarian, 68 percent are female while only 32 percent are male." Some studies show that vegetarian women are much more likely to have female babies. A study of 6,000 pregnant women in 1998 "found that while the national average in Britain is 106 boys born to every 100 girls, for vegetarian mothers the ratio was just 85 boys to 100 girls." This research was dismissed by Catherine Collins, of the British Dietetic Association, as a "statistical fluke". There is some speculation that diets high in soy, due to high isoflavone content, can have a feminizing effect on humans due to the phytoestrogens contained. Proponents of this theory claim that diets high in isoflavones promote earlier onset of female puberty and delayed male puberty. However, a 2001 study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found no significant differences in the later onset of puberty between infants raised on soy-based formula and cow milk formula.
Country-Specific Vegetarianism: Labeling used in India to distinguish vegetarian products from non-vegetarian ones. Vegetarianism is viewed in different ways around the world. In some areas there is cultural and even legal support, but in others the diet is poorly understood or even frowned upon. In many countries food labeling is in place that makes it easier for vegetarians to identify foods compatible with their diets. In India, not only is there food labeling, but many restaurants are marketed and signed as being either "Vegetarian" or "Non-Vegetarian". People who are vegetarian in India are usually Lacto-vegetarians, and therefore, to cater for this market, the majority of vegetarian restaurants in India do serve dairy products while eschewing egg products. Most Western vegetarian restaurants, in comparison, do serve eggs and egg-based products.
DIETARY CHOICES & PROPER DIETARY PLANNING
Regardless of which dietary plan you choose to follow, keep in mind to plan your diet carefully and make sure you are getting the benefits from your nutritional plan while preventing nutritional deficiencies and unwanted problems. If you need help in planning a proper dietary plan for your particular situation, consult with your health care provider and/or nutritionist.
KidSource.com: Hazards At The Plate? Children & Food Safety Risk ExtoxNet: Food Additives Safety FDA: Food Additives NutriData: Nutritional Analysis & Food Label Service Nutrition.gov: Food Additives GraceLinks: Additives Artificial Food Additives Linked To Attention Deficit Disorder LabelWatch.com: Dangerous Processed Foods - Compare Additives & Ingredients Food Additives - CSPI's Food Safety
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
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MOONDRAGON'S REALM - WEBSITE DIRECTORY
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