What Foods Can Vegetarians Not Eat?


Quick Answer

Vegetarians abstain from eating any animal flesh, including meat, poultry and fish, according to the Vegetarian Resource Group. Those who refuse to use or consume any animal products or by-products are known as vegans.

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Full Answer

The Vegetarian Resource Group states that a vegetarian diet consisting of a wide variety of foods can meet all of a human's nutrition needs. This diet should include fruits, vegetables, legumes, leafy greens, seeds, nuts and whole grains. In place of meat, vegetarians generally consume plant-based proteins, such as tempeh, tofu and wheat gluten. To replace the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, they can consume flaxseed, canola oil, soybeans and walnuts, which are high in alpha-linolenic acid that leads to the production of omega-3 fatty acids. Most vegetarian and vegan foods have little or no cholesterol and saturated fats.

People may turn to a vegetarian diet for ethical, religious, environmental or health reasons, according to Wikipedia. A few religions that encourage or mandate vegetarianism include the Bahá'í Faith, Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. Many vegetarians are concerned about the treatment of livestock animals prior to slaughter, particularly in factory farms. Other concerns include the air and water pollution as well as land degradation occurring as a result of the livestock industry.

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