The growing interest in people seeking a more healthy diet are increasingly finding a comfortable place amongst the vegetarian community that is in the process of building an infrastructure for the burgeoning vegetarian food network.
Healthy recipes are the backbone of this new emerging trend that accounts for over 23 million Americans who include vegetarians, vegans and those less-than-carnivorous Americans embracing a gluten free diet.
Google and the Internet are highly responsible for this expanding growth industry, paving the way for vegetarian community leaders and leaders of specific variant factions within the greater vegetarian community.
The truth is, whatever your vegetarian passion is, there is likely a group within the network that caters to individuals of the same specific vegetarian persuasion as you; and if for some unforeseen reason you were to discover that your voice was not well represented, it would not be difficult to start your own group and create a following of like-minded vegetarians.
The most popular trending topics amongst vegetarians online appears to be
Portland, Oregon leads the way in the Pacific Northwest for being vegetarian-friendly followed by Seattle, Washington.
Women lead the pack in vegetarianism, while the men trail by 18 percent.
Why this rise in reluctance to eat meat and commit to a vegetable-based diet? The top five reasons cited by vegetarians in the Pacific Northwest are (in order)
- Health and wellness
- Sustainable preservation
- Food source concerns
- Animal protection
- Weight loss / maintenance
Another growing trend among healthy vegetarians include adhering to the 100 Mile Rule: Buying local, fresh foods harvested within 100 miles of your location, further extending the sustainable impact of vegetarianism.
As the number of vegetarians grows every day in the Pacific Northwest, we see a number of opportunities sprouting forth, sprinkling Washington and Oregon states with venues catering to the needs of the vegetarian audience.
On the rise are vegetarian restaurants, health food stores and juice bars, and even the mainstream meat-serving restaurants and various vendors amongst the hospitality industry are offering meat-free selections in an effort to recapture their once-loyal customer base.
The top five varieties of vegetarianism include:
- Semi-vegetarians – eat a vegetarian diet, but choose to eat chicken and fish (may occasionally partake of other animal flesh).
- Ovo-lacto – vegetarians eat no meat, but do consume eggs and milk. Most vegetarians are ovo-lacto, and it is considered the healthiest of the vegetarian diets.
- Lacto – vegetarians eat no meat and no eggs, but do consume milk products.
- Ovo – vegetarians eat no meat or milk products, but they do consume eggs.
- Vegan – Vegans do not eat meat, eggs, milk or milk products.
Deciding where you fit in the vegetarian matrix and finding a support system to assist you on your vegetarian journey will highly increase your chances of having a pleasant and joyful ride along the vegetarian highway.
For those considering a transition from old diet patterns to a more healthy way of eating might find support from The Earth Diet author, Liana Werner-Gray, who says, “The transition needn’t be sudden, it can be very gradual. By making a few buying changes at the market, starting with very minimal adjustments, the health advantages can be huge.”
A slower-paced transition, like Werner-Gray’s, is probably preferred to any cold-turkey approach to diet-change, and it might be an easier way to approach meat-eaters with the idea of making baby-steps toward a more healthy diet that may well take them down the path that leads to vegetarianism. Gentle encouragement may be a more effective way of influencing others to, “try it,” (just a little) “you might like it,” instead of staunch elitism.
Copyright © 2015 David Masters