"A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, or the by-products of slaughter"
Vegetarian Society


What is a vegetarian?
What types of vegetarian are there?
Do vegetarians eat fish or chicken?
Do vegetarians wear Leather?
Why Do People Become Vegetarian?
Is it difficult to be a vegetarian?
How do I know is something is vegetarian?
What is Cochineal/Carmine?
What is Gelatine?
Whats in Wines and Beers?
Whats in Cheese?
What is Tofu?
What is Quorn?

What is a Vegetarian?

Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or by-products of slaughter.

What Types Of Vegetarian Are There

The 3 most commmon types of vegetarian are:-

  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat both dairy products and eggs; this is the most common type of vegetarian diet.
  • Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products but avoid eggs.
  • Vegans do not eat dairy products, eggs, or any other products which are derived from animals.

There are several more variations of vegetarianism, click here to see more.

Do vegetarians eat fish or chicken?

No they do not!!! Anything that has two, four, eight or a thousand legs, tentacles, claws, fins, feathers, fur, a shell or takes a breath, basically anything that has a face, does not get eaten by a vegetarian!

Do Vegetarians Wear Leather

In my opinion no vegetarian should wear leather, however a lot of people see it as a by product of the meat industry, the bit left over, but as this factsheet by Michelle Preston on Viva shows its not always that simple. Read this Leather Factsheet and make up your own mind.

Why Do People Become Vegetarian

There are 4 main reasons why people become vegetarian :- 

Ethical Reasons  

One of the main reasons people become vegetarian is when they learn about how animals raised for food are treated and object to the way animals are treated in factory farms and in the slaughterhouses. 

Dietary Preferences 

Some people become vegetarian simply because they don't like the taste or texture of meat. Some also give up meat for health reasons such as the fact that some meat is high in cholesterol. 

Environmental Reasons 

Some people become vegetarian because of the impact that eating meat has on the environment. they may see the amount of grain fed to produce animals for food. This grain could be used to feed thousands of people. 

Religious Reasons 

Being a vegetarian is also an vital element of religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. For those who hold to these beliefs, living a vegetarian lifestyle is a way of life. There are several other religiosns who also promote vegetarianism.   

Is it Difficult to be a Vegetarian?

Quite simply no its not, its incredibly easy! You can still eat dairy and cheese and eggs (unless you're vegan) and pretty much everything in the world that doesn't have meat in it. 

Being a vegetarian doesn't mean eating just salads, there is such a variety of vegetarian foods and even fake meats available you never feel like you are missing out.

How do I know if something is Vegetarian?  

Most supermarkets, manufacturers and restaurants are pretty good nowadays at marking their products as vegetarian friendly. If in doubt, read the label, look for ingredients such as gelatine, carmine, Parmesan cheese or rennet.  Please have a look at this article for a few more ingredients to look out for - What Isnt Vegetarian.

And of course if it bears the Vegetarian Society Approved stamp, you know its been checked!

What is Cochineal/Carmine? 

Cochineal is made from the cochineal beetle. This are usually labelled as cochineal, carmine, or carminic acid. 

Billions of these insects are raised and destroyed each year for a red colouring that is used in any products that need red colouring such as desserts, clothing, sweets etc. This article has a bit more information What is Cochineal.

What is Gelatine?
Gelatine is a mixture of peptides and proteins extracted from boiling  the skin, boiled crushed bones, connective tissues, organs and some intestines of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, and pigs. See What is Gelatine for more information. 

Whats in Wines and Beers?

Examples of animal products used as finings are gelatin, isinglass, chitosan, casein and egg albumen. Bull's blood is also used in some Mediterranean countries but is not allowed in the U.S. or Europe. Kosher wines use isinglass derived from fish bladders.

If in doubt or the bottle is not marked check out http://www.veggiewines.co.uk/.

Whats in Cheese?

Rennet is most commonly sourced from the stomach of newly born calves. The Enzyme extracted is called Chymosin, adult cows do not have this enzyme. Chymosin is extracted from slaughtered calves by the process of washing then drying the stomach lining, which is cut into small pieces and put in a solution of brine for a few days.

Please read Cheese its got what in it for more information.

What is Tofu?

Tofu, also called bean curd, is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is a component in many East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines. 

There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu, smoked tofu and tofu that has been processed in some way. Tofu has a subtle flavor and can be used in savory and sweet dishes. It is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish.  

What is Quorn?

All Quorn foods are made with Mycoprotein. Mycoprotein is a nutritious quality meat free protein, a member of the fungi family, and naturally low in fat and high in protein and fibre.
Quorn’s main ingredient is Mycoprotein, a nutritious member of the fungi family that is grown by fermentation similar to the process used in the production of bread, yoghurt and beer. Unlike other meat alternatives, there’s no strong aftertaste, and Quorn is great at absorbing the flavours used in cooking, making for great tasting meals.

Please let me know if there are any other FAQ you think should be featured here :)

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