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This article is about the deliberate diet for human beings. Many people object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life.For types of vegetarian foods, see vegetarian cuisine. Such ethical motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs, as well as animal rights advocacy.For example, while some vegetarians may be unaware of animal-derived rennet's role in the production of cheese, and may therefore unknowingly consume the product, Semi-vegetarian diets consist largely of vegetarian foods but may include fish or poultry, or sometimes other meats, on an infrequent basis.Those with diets containing fish or poultry may define meat only as mammalian flesh and may identify with vegetarianism.The International Vegetarian Union, an association 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.The study found that the 350 committed vegetarians studied had a higher average depression score compared to others.A vegetarian diet may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, as the most important dietary link to Alzheimer's disease appears to be meat consumption, with eggs and high-fat dairy also contributing.
According to John Davis, "vegetarian" probably did not directly derive from the Latin word From 1841, it was known as A Concordium, or Industry Harmony College, from which time the institution began to publish its own pamphlet entitled The Healthian, which provides some of the earliest appearances of the term "vegetarian".
Within the "ovo-" groups, there are many who refuse to consume fertilized eggs (with balut being an extreme example); however, such distinction is typically not specifically addressed.
Some vegetarians also avoid products that may use animal ingredients not included in their labels or which use animal products in their manufacturing.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Dietitians of Canada have stated that at all stages of life, a properly planned vegetarian diet is "healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provides health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases".
Vegetarian diets offer lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein, and higher levels of carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals.
These characteristics and other lifestyle factors associated with a vegetarian diet may contribute to the positive health outcomes that have been identified among vegetarians.