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Countries With The Highest Rates Of Vegetarianism

Religious influences contribute to India's very high levels of vegetarianism relative to global norms.

People who do not eat meat or meat-derived food due to respect for sentient life are known as vegetarians. Vegetarianism refers to the act or practice of abstaining from consuming meat from any source. Vegetarians abstain from a meat-inclusive diet due to a number of factors which may be religious, health-related, economic, aesthetic, cultural, personal preference, or political. Vegetarian diet comes in many forms such as lacto-vegetarianism (includes dairy products, not eggs), ovo-vegetarianism (includes eggs, not dairy products), ovo-lacto vegetarianism (includes eggs and dairy products), and vegan (only vegetables).

Top Vegetarian Populated Countries

Religious and cultural influences contribute to India's very high levels of vegetarianism relative to global norms. About 38% of India's population are vegetarians. In the case of Israel, only 13% of its people are vegetarians, influenced by religion-related principles. The traditional Jews obey the kashrut dietary laws which advocate that a six-hour gap must be maintained between the consumption of milk and meat. In Taiwan, 12% of the population are vegetarians. The country has about 6,000 vegetarian restaurants. Culinary, religious, and government influences are apparent factors promoting vegetarianism in Taiwan. In the case of Italy has the highest percentage of vegetarians found in the European Union. Austria counts 9% of its population as vegetarians. Social and culinary influences may have introduced traditional vegetarian food in Austria. In Germany also 9% of the population is vegetarian. Social and culinary influences are the reasons why vegetarianism in Germany has retained a following despite its reputation as a meat-loving country. The United Kingdom has about 9% vegetarians in its population. In Brazil, 8% of the population is vegetarian. Culinary and economic influences may have been a factor on vegetarianism in Brazil. Ireland counts about 6% vegetarians out of its total population. 5% of Australians follow a vegetarian diet.

Health Benefits of Vegetarianism

Reputable diet monitoring institutions and groups are proponents of a well-planned vegetarian diet that should give a nutritionally adequate and healthful benefit to a person at all stages of life. Studies conducted reveal that a vegetarian diet decreases the incidence of death from ischemic heart disease by 30% in vegetarian men and by 20% in vegetarian women. Furthermore, a vegetarian diet could be used as a treatment for diabetes. Although care should be taken because a poorly-planned vegetable only diet could lead to platelet disorders and hyperhomocysteinemia. Countries like India and the United Kingdom have government support when it comes to promoting vegetarianism. In some of the countries, food packaging comes with mandatory labeling that tells consumers green mark is for vegetarians while a brown mark signifies non-vegetarian food.

Countries With The Highest Rates Of Vegetarianism

RankCountries With The Highest Rates Of VegetarianismPrevalence
1India 38%
2Israel13%
3Taiwan12%
4Italy10%
5Austria9%
6Germany9%
7United Kingdom9%
8Brazil8%
9Ireland6%
10Australia5%

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