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  1. Acorn Community
  2. All-Bran
  3. Almond milk
  4. Alpen
  5. American Vegetarian Party
  6. Amirim
  7. Amy's Kitchen
  8. Animal liberation movement
  9. Animal rights
  10. Animal welfare
  11. Arkangel
  12. Artificial cream
  13. Ayyavazhi
  14. Buddhist cuisine
  15. Catharism
  16. Catholic Vegetarian Society
  17. Cereal
  18. Chreese
  19. Christian Vegetarian Association
  20. Christian vegetarianism
  21. Christmas Without Cruelty Fayre
  22. Coconut milk powder
  23. Cool Whip
  24. Donald Watson
  25. Economic vegetarianism
  26. Environmental benefits of Vegetarianism
  27. Environmental ethics
  28. Ethics of eating meat
  29. Flexitarianism
  30. Food for Life
  31. Free range
  32. Fruit
  33. Fruitarianism
  34. Hardline
  35. Herb
  36. Horchata
  37. Hummus
  38. Indian Vegetarian
  39. International Vegetarian Union
  40. In vitro meat
  41. Jainism
  42. Kokkoh
  43. Korean vegetarian cuisine
  44. Lacto-ovo vegetarianism
  45. List of vegans
  46. Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition
  47. Meat analogue
  48. Movement for Compassionate Living
  49. Natural hygiene
  50. Non-dairy creamer
  51. Nut
  52. Nutritional yeast
  53. Permaculture
  54. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
  55. Plant milk
  56. Poi
  57. Raw veganism
  58. Rice milk
  59. Salad bar
  60. Seventh-day Adventist Church
  61. Shahmai Network
  62. Simple living
  63. Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians
  64. Soy milk
  65. Soy protein
  66. Spice
  67. Spiritual practice
  68. Sustainable living
  69. Textured vegetable protein
  70. The Celestine Prophecy
  71. The China Study
  72. The Pitman Vegetarian Hotel
  73. The Vegan Sourcebook
  74. Tofu
  75. Toronto Vegetarian Association
  76. Vegan
  77. Vegan organic gardening
  78. Vegan Society
  79. Vegetable
  80. Vegetarian cuisine
  81. Vegetarian diet
  82. Vegetarianism
  83. Vegetarianism and religion
  84. Vegetarianism in Buddhism
  85. Vegetarianism in specific countries
  86. Vegetarian nutrition
  87. Vegetarian Society
  88. Veggie burger
  89. VegNews
  90. Weetabix
  91. Wheat gluten
  92. World Vegan Day
  93. World Vegetarian Day

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Vegetarianism in specific countries

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vegetarian restaurant buffet, Taipei, Taiwan.
Vegetarian restaurant buffet, Taipei, Taiwan.

Around the world vegetarianism is viewed in different lights. In some areas there is cultural and even legal support, where in others the diet is poorly understood or even frowned upon. In many countries (such as India) food labeling is in place which makes it easier for vegetarians to identify foods compatible with their diets. In others such as Spain a request for a vegetarian meal may result in one being served tuna or a vegetable soup made with meat stock.


In Australia some manufacturers who target the vegetarian market will label their foods, with the statement 'suitable for vegetarians' however except for foods intended for export to the UK, this labelling can be inconsistent. Flavourings in ingredients lists do not need to specify if they come from animal origin. As such, natural flavour could be derived from either plant or animal sources.


Labeling used in India to distinguish vegetarian products from non-vegetarian ones.
Labeling used in India to distinguish vegetarian products from non-vegetarian ones.

In India vegetarianism is usually synonymous with lacto vegetarianism, although lacto-ovo vegetarianism is practiced as well. Most restaurants in India clearly distinguish and market themselves as being either "Non-Vegetarian", "Vegetarian" or "Pure Vegetarian" (Vegan). Vegetarian restaurants abound, and usually many vegetarian (Shakahari: plant-eater, in Hindi) options are available. Animal based ingredients (other than milk and honey) such as lard, gelatin and meat stock are not used in the traditional cuisine.

According to the 2006 Hindu-CNN-IBN State of the Nation Survey, 31% of Indians are vegetarians, while another 9% consumes eggs. Among the various communities, vegetarianism was most common among Brahmins at 55%, and less frequent among Muslims (3%), Christians (8%) and residents of coastal states respectively. Other surveys cited by FAO [1], and USDA [2][3] estimate 20%-42% of the Indian population as being vegetarian. These surveys indicate that even Indians who do eat meat, do so infrequently, with less than 30% consuming it regularly; although the reasons are partially economical.

India has devised a system of marking edible products made from only vegetarian ingredients, with a green dot in a green square. A mark of a red dot in a red square conveys that some animal based ingredients were used. [citation needed] Even medicines are similarly marked similarly: a well-known Omega-3 capsule made from flax seeds is marked with a red dot as the capsule uses non-vegetarian ingredients. [citation needed]

In China, although still a fairly rare practice, Vegetarianism has been around since at least the 7th Century and has been practised by devout Buddhists. In recent years, it has seen a new resurgence in the cities as middle class Chinese pay new attention to issues of health and diet [4].

In Israel, practicing ovo-lacto-vegetarianism is relatively easy, due to Jewish dietary laws, or kosher laws. Kosher food cannot contain pork or shellfish, and meat and dairy cannot be combined in any way. As a result, most kosher restaurants serve either only dairy or only meat, along with bread, vegetables, fruits, etc. Please note that fish is not considered to be meat under Jewish laws, so it may be served in "dairy" restaurants. Nonetheless, the "dairy" restaurants are usually a very safe bet for ovo-lacto-vegetarians. For vegans, falafel, hummus, and other plant-based Mediterranean foods are a good option. They can be easily found almost anywhere in Israel, and are very popular among Israelis.


In the United States, vegetarianism is usually synonymous with ovo-lacto vegetarianism. However, vegetarians are sometimes wrongly assumed to be pesco/pollo vegetarians who will tolerate some meat. Many restaurants and caterers provide vegetarian options to patrons, often explicitly indicated as such. It is also possible to order a vegetarian meal and be served meat. Polls find that 2.8% of Americans are vegetarian as of 2004 [1]. In addition, vegetarianism in the United States generally reflects regional cultural differences. It is more difficult to find vegetarian options in rural restaurants than in urban ones. The same applies to Midwestern city restaurants compared to West Coast restaurants. This seems to be slowly changing as vegetarian market innovations (such as veggie burgers) attain wider acceptance, demand, and distribution.

A 2002 poll of American adults[2] found the following reasons for choosing a vegetarian lifestyle:


In the United Kingdom, voluntary labelling of vegetarian foods is widespread, but far from universal. Many manufacturers will label food as "suitable for vegetarians", but until recently, no universally agreed definition existed. The Food Standards Agency issued guidance on the labeling of foods as suitable for vegetarians in 2006, which includes the following definition "The term "vegetarian" should not be applied to foods that are, or are made from or with the aid of products derived from animals that have died, have been slaughtered, or animals that die as a result of being eaten. Animals means farmed, wild or domestic animals, including for example, livestock poultry, game, fish, shellfish, crustacea, amphibians, tunicates, echinoderms, mollusks and insects." [3]

In addition, the Vegetarian Society operates a scheme where foods that meet its strict criteria can be labelled as "Vegetarian Society-approved". Cheese is often labelled as well, making it possible to identify cheeses that have been made with non-animal rennet. Flavourings in ingredients lists do not need to specify if they come from animal origin, which can make identifying vegetarian foods difficult if they are not otherwise labelled as such. The British Vegetarian Society regards a product as vegetarian if it is free of meat, fowl, fish, shellfish, meat or bone stock, animal or carcass fats, gelatin, aspic, or any other ingredient resulting from slaughter, such as rennet.[4]

In Ireland, food labelling is in place.

In Spain, most vegetarian meals will be served with egg, or even tuna. Stock is normally used in vegetable soups and many sauces.

In France the situation is similar to that in Spain, but is slightly less unfavourable.

In Germany, the confusion of vegetarianism with pesco/pollo vegetarianism is also common. There is no food labelling in place, and buying only vegetarian foods can involve having to read the fine printed ingredients list ("Zutaten") on many food products. However widespread Wholefood emporia provide sources for vegetarian foods in even remote areas.

In Norway, conditions are similar to Germany, except pollo-vegetarianism is largely unknown and organic foods stores are less wide spread. Ovo-lacto-vegetarians make out 1-2% of the population, and food targeted for vegetarians is sold mainly in health food stores and supermarkets that focus on selection. Most restaurants will have one or two vegetarian entries on the menu, or at least produce something on request.

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