People are modifying their eating habits; spiritual conviction and health reasons are what motivate some. Giving up meat and meat by-products may seem challenging for many, but necessary for others.
The Vegetarian Resource Group reported that there are four types of vegetarians.
Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian’s eat dairy and egg products, an Ovo- Vegetarian allows egg products in their eating lifestyle, a Lacto Vegetarian eats dairy products and the most restricted of the four is a vegan. A vegan does not eat any animal products including meat, fish, fowl, eggs, dairy, honey, etc. Most vegans do not use any animal products such as silk, leather, wool, etc. as well.
Danielle McKinley, a 22-year-old graduate marketing student at Florida A&M, said after returning from overseas, she began researching American food because the food did not taste the same to her.
“After I returned from Africa, American food made me sick. I did not look at meat the same,” said McKinley.
In her research, the Albany, Ga. native said she found that chemicals were used during processing to preserve the meat before being sold. McKinley said in Africa, the food served was always fresh from the farm.
“I didn’t have to worry about the names of chemicals I could hardly pronounce being in my food,” McKinley said.”The food I ate was fresh. When I came back to America I decided to experiment in the kitchen and it worked out. I’ve been a vegetarian now for five months.”
According to Natural News, a non-profit collection of public education Web sites about health and consumer choices, reported that fats in processed meat are not healthy. Toxic chemicals, heavy metals and environmental pollutants are found inside those fat molecules of processed meat.
Kerline Raymonvil, a third-year elementary education student from Miami, said although she is not completely vegan or vegetarian, she does eat meatless meals about three times a week.
“I was gaining weight fast and I could feel that I was not healthy. I fasted during lent, taking out pork and all red meat from my diet,” said Raymovil.
The 23-year-old said the transition from eating meat daily to just four times a week was quite difficult.
“I come from a Haitian background and meat is necessary with our meals,” Raymonvil said. “Most of our traditional dishes are made with pork or beef ingredients. I thought I could not give it up and that was all the reason I needed to fast from it.”
What began as a fast nearly one year ago, became a lifestyle routine for Raymonvil.
“After my fast, I realized that sleep was better and I had more energy. I found ways to substitute meat in my meals and the turn out was great.”
The Vegetarian Journal reported in 2005 that only four percent of households had at least one person who was vegetarian, and five percent had at least one pescetarian, a person who does not does not eat meat, but eats fish.
In 2006, a Vegetarian Foods Market Assessment Report found that out of one thousand people over the age of 16, 12 percent were vegetarian or had someone in the household who was vegetarian Many companies produce meat substitutes. Such companies include Morningstar Farms and Boca Foods Company.