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Five Facts About Vegetarians That Will Impress Your Friends



It's always nice to
throw out an interesting fact when you are with friends. Here are some
vegetarian-related snippets for you to use, whether you are vegetarian or not.





1. There are a lot
of vegetarians out there





If you are a
vegetarian you may sometimes feel a little lonely. You scour menus searching
for the veggie option (hoping it isn't mushroom risotto - or worse: vegetable
stack) and most of your friends and family eat meat. Yet in actual fact, there
are many, many vegetarians in the world. Millions! In India it is estimated
that over 350 million people are vegetarian. In Taiwan, around 13% of people
are vegetarian.





If you live in the
UK you may be interested to know that as many as four million of you are
vegetarian. In Brazil 8% of the population (that's 15.2 million people) are
said to be vegetarian. In the United States, 13% of the population regard
themselves as either 
vegetarian or vegan.





So you are not
alone. Someone just needs to tell the restaurants.





2. Vegetarians do
not eat fish (or chicken)





Vegetarians hate
being asked if they eat fish. By definition, a vegetarian does not eat animals
- whether they are from the land or 
the sea. Where the problem lies is you may have
met a fish-eating vegetarian. Or rather, someone who eats fish and no other
animals and then labels themselves vegetarian. They are not vegetarian. Such
people are actually called pescetarians.





The fish-eating
issue can cause problems for vegetarians as all too often they may be served
fish by their host at a dinner party or 'fish' ends up being the vegetarian
option on a menu.





So the next time
you meet a person who eats fish but calls themselves vegetarian, feel free to
correct them.





3. Vegetarians do
get enough protein





There's another
question vegetarians get asked all too often: where do you get your protein
from? People who ordinarily don't care about nutrition feel compelled to worry
about a vegetarian's intake of protein. It's the sort of question that feels
like the one trick 
meat
eaters
 have
up their sleeve and it's not a very good one. Mainly because they are showing
their ignorance of nutrition. Protein is plentiful in a vegetarian's diet.
Here's a list to get you started: nuts, beans, textured vegetable protein,
tofu, cheese, lentils, peas, yogurt, broccoli, spinach, avocado, soy and
quinoa. Furthermore, many people actually eat too much protein (this is the
case in Australia at least). So it makes little sense to be worrying about a
person's protein intake, especially when so many people are unable to meet
their daily fruit and veg requirements.





4. Vegetarians have
a lower risk of developing heart disease





People may be
vegetarian for ethical or religious reasons. However, there is a positive
consequence to your health if you are vegetarian. Vegetarians are less likely
to develop heart disease. This is not the only benefit however. Vegetarianism
can also reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and some
cancers (including breast, colorectal and ovarian). Vegetarians are less likely
to become obese. When you consider how prevalent these diseases are on society,
this is 
good news indeed.





5. Anthony Hopkins
is a vegetarian





In my first point I
stated that there are many vegetarians in the world. It is not surprising then
to learn that there are a whole bunch of celebrities out there who are
vegetarian and vegan. Here's a quick list, but there are many, many more. We
have: Kate Winslet, Corey Feldman, Sarah Silverman, Carrie Underwood, 
Casey
Affleck
, Diane Keaton,
Pamela Anderson, Ian McKellan and Natalie Portman. From the music world we
have: Kelly Clarkson, Billy Idol, Bryan May, Johnny Marr, Moby, Michael Bolton,
Ricky Martin and Nelly.





Julia Barnard is
the author of the cookbooks 
Vegetarian
Tapas
 and
Vegan Tapas. Each book includes 150 quick and delicious snacks and bites for
sharing with friends and family.







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