25 Surprising Facts About Vegetarianism You Might Not Know

You’ve probably heard in recent years that a vegetarian diet is a much healthier way to feed yourself and that consuming excessive amounts of meat—especially red meat—is quite bad for your heart, your blood vessels, and overall health. From an ethical point of view, you’ve probably heard that eating meat makes you responsible for all the animal cruelty and killing that takes place daily, and such a claim might not be that far from the truth. It’s also possible that you’ve heard about many celebrities who follow a vegetarian diet, with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie being prime examples, which probably makes you think that vegetarianism is cool.

As with most things in life, however, the truth is somewhere in the middle, and there’s no exception to this rule when it comes to vegetarianism as well. Regardless, we won’t examine the pros and cons of being a vegetarian or vegan with this list but instead will highlight 25 Surprising Facts About Vegetarianism You Might Not Know that will inform and enlighten you about a lifestyle that has been around for thousands of years despite becoming “trendy” only recently.

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25

Vegetarianism is based in ancient Indian and Greek philosophy. In India, vegetarianism originates in the philosophy of ahimsa, or nonviolence, toward animals and other living creatures. For the Greeks, to be a vegetarian had ritual and medical purposes.

ancient paintingSource: The Heretic's Feast: A History of Vegetarianism, Image: Wikipedia
24

One of the first and most famous vegetarians was the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras (best known for the Pythagorean theorem), who lived during the sixth century BCE. The term “Pythagorean diet” was commonly used for a plant-based diet until the term “vegetarian” was coined in the nineteenth century.

PythagorasSource: The Heretic's Feast: A History of Vegetarianism, Image: Wikipedia
23

For one to understand better what vegetarianism is all about, one has to understand that there are several types of vegetarians. The strictest type are called vegans. Vegans avoid not only meat but also all products that come from animals.

VegansSource: veg-world.com, Image: Wikipedia
22

The word vegan is derived from vegetarian. It was first used in 1944 when Elsie Shrigley and Donald Watson thought that being vegetarian included too many animal by-products and did not encompass a completely plant-based diet.

donald watsonSource: The Heretic's Feast: A History of Vegetarianism, Image: Wikipedia
21

People become vegetarians for a number of reasons, including health, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic, and even economic reasons. However, the most frequent reason is based on ethical objections to animal cruelty.

animals in cageSource: Vegetarianism in a Nutshell - The Vegetarian Resource Group, Image: Wikipedia


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