Vegetarianism: a big missed steak

October 1, 2019
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Cool Facts about Vegetarians

The History

World Vegetarian Day was coined by the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS) in 1977 to promote a Flexitarian (reducing dietary meat consumption) way of life.

Besides advocating the various proposed benefits of eating grass and digesting substances most wildlife refuse to touch, Vegetarian Day’s purpose is to educate potential vegetarians to a new way of life. Controversially, you can go for Bacon Day instead.

The Word

‘Vegetarian’ is a new word, formed in the mid-19th century. Before then, people used ‘Pythagorean’ to refer to a meatless diet.

Why this name? The title was termed after Pythagoras, the same Greek mathematician, and astronomer for whom the Pythagorean theorem is named. Besides haunting the dreams of mathematical students, the ancient Greek philosopher is celebrated as the father of vegetarianism.

Fittingly, legend states that Pythagoras died when in flight from attackers due to his refusal to proceed through a bean field; since doing so would violate his teachings. He came to a halt and met his grisly fate at the hands of a mob. We feel it may have simply been easier to enjoy a bacon sandwich. Just saying.

Famous Vegetarians

Pythagoras wasn’t the only famous public figure from history to pursue a vegetarian diet. The French philosopher Voltaire remains well known for his support in the causes of vegetarianism during his lifetime, publishing various documents damning those who consume meat. Even though he raised animals from slaughter on his land and also ate plenty of them himself.

To be fair to Voltaire, the era during which he lived (1694 – 1779) didn’t provide much for the vegetarian to eat. Certainly not in the world of the posh socialite. However, this was a hurdle that Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) seemed to clear during his tenure as a vegan. Yup, the vegans have claimed da Vinci as one of their own, although evidence of his diet is sketchy.

Perhaps the most famous American Vegetarian remains Benjamin Franklin. Then again, like almost every politician, he u-turned on his promise to himself and ended up devouring meat later in his life. According to various historians, Franklin claimed that ‘eating flesh is unprovoked murder’. Unless he did it, of course.

Don’t Give Up!

A study by the US Humane Research Council revealed that 84 percent of modern-day vegetarians gave up their new diet after less than a year. The participants included 11,000 vegetarians and former vegetarians in the United States.

New Vegetarian Groups

A new group of ‘vegetarian’ has popped up in Australia. Well, sort of. They are Kangatarians, vegetarians who only eat kangaroo meat. Kangatarians usually stop eating meat for ethical reasons. Ethical vegetarians do not like the way that animals are reared and slaughtered on farms. Unless it’s a Kangaroo.

Official: Drunk Vegetarians Enjoy Meat

It seems like many vegetarians have no qualms about consuming meat when drunk. According to a study, one-third will eat meat when intoxicated. It’s not a one-off incident either, because they keep eating meat every time they open the wine. Vegetarian wine, naturally. It’s a thing, yes.

The meat of choice is usually a kebab or beef burger, often served up swimming in oil from the local takeaway. That said, veggies have also confessed to eating chicken, pork sausage, and bacon.

However, 69 percent never told anyone they ate meat and keep it as their secret. Except for when talking to researchers, obviously.

SHMEAT

Scientists are trying to create lab-grown meat products so vegetarians and vegans can enjoy meat again. It’s called SHMEAT. Sounds like something starting with SH, that’s for sure.

Smart People Eat Vegetables

British researchers have found that children’s IQ predicts their likelihood of becoming vegetarians as young adults, lowering their risk for cardiovascular disease in the process. The higher the IQ, the more likely the child will become a vegetarian.

Stats about plant eaters

Types of vegetarians

Finally…

Another type of vegetarianism is Fruitarianism, where the diet consists of fruit, nuts, seeds and other plant material that can be gathered without killing the plant (e.g. pears can be picked without killing the plant, carrots cannot).

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