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Vegetarian food with tofu

Vegetarianism describes a diet and lifestyle that avoids foods that come from killed animals . These are meat , fish (including other aquatic animals), as well as products made from them. By including foods derived from living animals such as eggs , milk and honey , several sub-forms of vegetarianism are distinguished. In veganism , all food and consumer goods of animal origin are avoided.

Vegetarianism is also understood as a worldview . The motives for a vegetarian lifestyle range from ethical-moral, religious-spiritual, health, hygienic-toxic and aesthetic to ecological and social motives. Mostly it is about an increased striving for health or ethical ideals. The percentage of vegetarians in the total population in the western world is typically in the single-digit percentage range.

Etymology, Concept and Concept History

Vegetarianism is derived like "vegetarian", via English vegetarian , and English vegetable from Latin vegetare "animate, keep healthy, live, green".

The words "vegetarianism" and "vegetarian" are attested since the end of the 19th century, now commonly used abbreviated forms of the previously common terms "vegetarianism" and "vegetarian". The latter are translations of the English words vegetarianism and vegetarian . The English word vegetarian is a modern art education from vegetable ("vegetable", "vegetable") and -arian ("have a conviction"). The starting point is the Latin vegetare (" energize physically and mentally"), which in turn refers to vegetus ("animated, vigorous") and vegere ("be lively", "live", "be cheerful").

The word formation vegetarian is dated from the Oxford English Dictionary to "mid-19th century". Common use was vegetarian only through the establishment of the British Vegetarian Society described in the year 1847. With this, the founding members of the society individuals who neither eat nor meat poultry or fish. Until then, there was mostly talk of a vegetable regimen (vegetable system of diet) . There was less talk of a "Pythagorean diet" because the followers of the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras were vegetarians.

Expressions of vegetarianism

Buddha's Delight is a traditional dish in Chinese cuisine
Plant-based foods can imitate meat dishes - here burgers

All forms of vegetarian nutrition are based on plant-based foods, although fungi and products from bacterial cultures are also accepted. There are four different forms:

  1. The ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet also includes bird eggs, egg products, milk and milk products from mammals.
  2. The lacto-vegetarian diet additionally only includes milk and milk products from mammals.
  3. The ovo-vegetarian diet is only supplemented by the consumption of bird eggs and egg products.
  4. The strictly vegetarian or vegan diet avoids all foods of animal origin, with the exception of human breast milk .

In addition, the vegetarians differ in the consistency with which they adhere to their principles. For example, many types of cheese and clear juices are not vegetarian as animal rennet or gelatine is used in their production . The same applies to other meat by-products or lard in baked goods. Only some of the vegetarians take this into account in their purchasing and eating behavior. Ovo vegetarians justify their decision to eat eggs with the fact that domestic hens lay eggs, even if they are not fertilized, and therefore no living thing is killed, as these eggs do not contain any living organism.

Fruitarians strive for a diet with exclusively plant-based products that do not damage the plant itself. This includes, for example, fruits and nuts as parts of plants that, from a botanical point of view, are classifiedas fruits or seeds . Eating a carrot, for example, destroys that single plant and is therefore incompatible with the frutarian diet. These concerns do not arise with apples because harvesting and eating an apple does not harm the apple tree itself.

The veganism does not avoid animal products only in food, but in all areas of life such. B. clothing made of leather , fur , silk or wool , jewelry made of horn or ivory and animal organ transplants or hormones, and may even refuse to keep pets and use them as mounts or pack animals.

Pescetarians do without meat, but consume fish or seafood . In some lexicons they are assigned to vegetarians in the broader sense, vegetarian associations usually differentiate themselves from them and pescetarians do not count as vegetarians.

Pudding vegetarian is a term for vegetarians who avoid meat and fish in their diet, but consume excessive amounts of ready-made products and sweets. This diet can have negative health consequences due to its high calorie content and poor nutritional composition. The term pudding vegetarian in its original definition, however, referred to the British variant of pudding, as the Swedish natural philosopher Are Waerland got to know as a main component of a vegetarian diet during his travels in Great Britain in the 1920s.

Differentiation from flexitarianism

Flexitarians also refer to themselves as “part-time vegetarians” or “weekend vegetarians”. The term flexitarianism is a Portmanteau word from the words flexible and vegetarianism . However, the group of flexitarians does not actually belong to the vegetarians, since they eat meat, albeit little. At the beginning of the 21st century, the term still stood for the designation of a vegetarian diet, which included the occasional consumption of meat. Flexitarianism is now a broader concept; The central point is a conscious reduction in meat consumption, without, however, fundamentally foregoing the consumption of meat.

Motives of the vegetarians

The reasons for a vegetarian diet vary depending on the person and culture. Vegetarians who argue ethically often state that they do not want animals to suffer and be killed because of them. Even animal legal considerations may play a role. In addition, there is the health motivation of those vegetarians who consider their diet to be generally healthier than the non-vegetarian one. Some of the vegetarians have an aversion to the taste of meat. Some vegetarians also consider their diet to be ecologically sound, especially because high meat consumption, to which they do not want to contribute, necessitates intensive animal husbandry . Some also argue that animal husbandry is an inefficient way of producing food and is irresponsible in the face of famine in the developing world. They often assume that a general avoidance of meat consumption would significantly improve the global nutritional situation.

In some religions or religious directions there are also principles and dietary rules that call for vegetarianism ( Jainism and individual directions of Hinduism ) or create favorable conditions for its spread ( Buddhism ).

Ethical aspects

Ethically motivated vegetarians generally do not want animals to be killed because of them. Animal rights arguments often constitute a moral-philosophical derivation for human rights . Due to the scientific vagueness of the concept of species on the subject level, a subjective right cannot be ascribed or denied to anyone solely on the basis of belonging to a species . This fallacy is called speciesist .

In the German-speaking countries vegetarian structures were to be found in the early days of the land reformers and in connection with biocentric ideas. In the early days of modern vegetarianism, the fundamental rejection of killing played an important role, whereby it was initially argued that it promoted a tendency towards cruelty in humans. In the Anglophone world, on the other hand, pathocentric - utilitarian approaches were leading and the corresponding structures were more rooted in elitist movements of the left, such as in the women's movements and suffragettes . As a relevant political force, both were at best very regionally limited.

The philosophies of these early approaches differ from the modern ones in that, on the one hand, research into the mental states of animals has gained some knowledge through new medical, imaging processes, and on the other hand, the theoretical environment of animal rights, which was hardly explicitly demanded at the time, has undergone considerable change has experienced.

Peter Singer

Classically, Peter Singer's book Animal Liberation from 1975 sees a turning point in which the discussion about veganism has acquired a new quality. In it he argues that there is no moral justification not to take into account the suffering of a being, whatever its nature. Excluding special "non-human animals" from this principle of equality is as arbitrary as excluding people of different skin color, culture, religion or gender. Helmut F. Kaplan emphasizes the political and strategic function of vegetarianism in promoting veganism (“Whoever wants vegans must promote vegetarianism”). Among other things, he assumes that a lower demand for meat would automatically make the production of other animal products less profitable, since these branches of production are often connected. People who already do without meat are then much more easily sensitized to the vegan lifestyle.

Some vegetarians today refer primarily to the mental abilities of some species that are endowed with considerable intelligence and the ability to suffer and show complex social behavior. A pathocentric approach is mainly advocated by animal rights activists. Depending on the weighting of the relevance of the individual preferences used, a sufficient argument for a vegetarian diet or vegan lifestyle can follow. Another ethical motive is the endeavor to avoid avoidable suffering that is associated with slaughter animal husbandry by foregoing their products. This involves activities before and during slaughter, especially in the modern meat industry , and a non- animal welfare , especially factory farming , which will be supported by the strong demand for meat. The philosopher Tom Regan ascribes an inherent (natural) value to certain animals . Martin Balluch also argues for an allegedly scientific continuity of consciousness. Based on a criticism of pathocentrism, he demands certain basic rights, the underlying interests of which are a prerequisite for all further interests. He sees a sufficient prerequisite for basic rights in awareness.


A member survey of the Vegetarian Union Germany (VEBU) showed that the desire for a healthier diet was the single motive most frequently cited by the participants for turning to vegetarianism. The healing of certain illnesses was also an important motive. Furthermore, the VEBU members do more sport and smoke significantly less than the national average.

Environmental sustainability

Greenhouse gas emissions from production for different diet types in England
group Emissions per day
[kg CO 2 equivalents]
High meat consumption (≥ 100 g / d) 7.2
Medium meat consumption (50–99 g / d) 5.6
Low meat consumption (<50 g / d) 4.7
Fish consumption 3.9
Vegetarian 3.8
Vegan 2.9

A meat-based diet must be seen in the context of planetary boundaries . One of these limits is the change in land use brought about by meat consumption. With extensive animal husbandry, it requires more land, energy and water resources than a vegetarian one. A study published by Poore and Nemecek (2018) in the journal Science examines land use in food supply chains . The removal of animal products from current menus would therefore reduce land use by 3.1 billion hectares. That's a huge area roughly the same as the common area of ​​Australia, China, the European Union and the United States. This can be explained by the fact that meat and milk production require additional feed that is rich in energy and protein ( concentrated feed ).

Another planetary limit is climate change . Livestock farming emits more greenhouse gases than crop production. In addition to the deforestation caused by extensive animal husbandry, especially in South America, digestive products ( manure and methane in ruminants ) are the main contributors to global warming. Various studies show that meat consumption is one of the main drivers behind the overheating of the earth's climate system . According to a study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2006, global animal husbandry and animal production, converted into CO 2 equivalents , are responsible for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. According to more recent figures from the IPCC ( Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ), livestock farming accounts for 14% of global emissions, which is comparable to emissions from all cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships combined. Since the growing demand for meat is usually satisfied today by expanding animal production , the global increase in meat consumption is viewed critically with regard to climate protection , water consumption and biodiversity .

For these reasons, the demand for a taxation of meat consumption or animal husbandry and subsidization of vegan land management is sometimes expressed.

World food

On the basis of the low feed conversion rates in animal production , it is often assumed that a vegetarian diet could significantly improve the nutritional situation. According to a simulation from 1998, however, this view is not justified if a decline only occurred in the industrialized countries, since meat consumption in developing countries would increase as a result due to falling market prices, while grain consumption hardly increased. In addition, the diets of animals and humans are not the same. In ruminants, the majority of the calorie intake consists of material that cannot be used by humans. Many pastures cannot be used for plant production. According to Edward O. Wilson , the currently agriculturally usable area with an exclusively vegetarian diet results in a food supply capacity for around 10 billion people. According to forecasts, global demand for animal products - especially in developing and emerging countries - will continue to rise in the medium term.

Diet of the ancestors of modern man

Since the dawn of the modern vegetarian movement, some vegetarians have argued that the vegetarian diet is natural. Among other things, it is stated that humans should not be regarded as predators according to the nature of their teeth and the length of their intestines, but rather that they are equipped for vegetable food.

From a biological point of view, humans are omnivores ( omnivores ) and have the ability to feed on both vegetable and animal foods.

Today, vegetarian argumentation patterns of “naturalness” play a subordinate role.

Religious and cultural attitudes

Outside of the line of tradition going back to the ancient Greek cultural area, there are forms of vegetarianism in religions of Indian origin. Strict vegetarianism is practiced by all followers of Jainism , the Bishnoi and certain branches of Hinduism as well as some Buddhists . The motivation is consistently the belief in the transmigration of souls. From the idea that all living beings are animated, the Ahimsa (commandment of non-violence) also results , which forbids the injuring and killing of animals and therefore forbids any benefit from it in any way. In principle, Ahimsa applies to all living beings ( sarva-bhuta ), because according to the Hindu view there is no fundamental difference between animals and plants. Nevertheless z. B. In Hindu literature little attention is paid to the protection of plants. After all, the Manusmriti (11.145) forbids the arbitrary, unnecessary destruction of wild and useful plants. According to their rules, ascetic hermits ( sannyasins ) eat only a frutarian diet . H. of plant-based products such as fruits, which can be obtained without destroying the plant. A violation is seen as a cause of bad karma . Milk and dairy products are allowed in all of these Asian traditions. For religious reasons, vegetarian Hindus and Buddhists are allowed to eat fish that have been killed by otters or by cormorant fishing .


In Hinduism, meat foods (including beef ) were originally permitted under certain conditions. The Manu code , the basic body of law in Hinduism, allows meat and fish to be eaten and defines the conditions to which it is attached. Over time, lacto-vegetarianism became particularly popular in strictly religious circles. In colonial times it was largely obeyed by the upper class, while the poor, low caste people usually ate what they could get.

The yoga practitioners and the Vaishnavas (worshipers of Vishnu ) live strictly lacto-vegetarian . They attribute undesirable effects on the state of consciousness and character of the eater to meat. According to their teachings, meat dishes are assigned to the Guna Tamas , the property type of indolence and confusion. Because of this, and because of bad karma, eating meat is seen as an obstacle on the path to cleansing and salvation .

Currently, 43 percent of Indian Hindus who pray daily follow a vegetarian diet; among the non-practicing Hindus it is 28 percent.


In Buddhism, too, the doctrine of cause and effect (karma) results in the principle of non-violence. Therefore, it is generally true that Buddhists should neither kill an animal for slaughter nor be present at a slaughter. They should not eat meat from animals that were specifically slaughtered for their sake, but they are allowed to eat meat, for example, if they were given it while begging for food or if it would be thrown away if they did not eat it. Vows for monks, nuns and lay people contain corresponding self-commitments. However, there is no general rule that generally excludes meat and fish foods. For this reason, vegetarianism has not established itself on a broad basis in the Buddhist population of the East Asian countries and in the monasteries, but it is widely praised and viewed as morally superior.

Some Mahayana textbooks recommend vegetarianism, few even prescribe it, whereby asceticism also plays a role. The Lankavatara Sutra strongly advocates it, and some Buddhist teachers today say that they are.


The followers of Jainism, especially the monks, are extremely consistent in implementing general non-violence in everyday life. You avoid any use of products, the production of which is associated with harming living beings. Furthermore, when walking with a broom, they move small creatures such as beetles and microorganisms out of the way as carefully as possible so as not to trample them.

Historical illustration of the Great Chain of Being (1579) by Didacus Valades in the Rhetorica Christiana . The illustration shows the world in several God-given hierarchy levels, at the top of which are God himself with humans and at the base of which are plants and non-human animals.

Biblically argued Christian vegetarians consider vegetarianism to be wanted by God and justify this, among other things, with the passage in Isaiah 11: 6-9 ELB , which praises a peaceful life. They refer to the biblical book Genesis 1:29 ESV . There God speaks to Adam and Eve and assigns all plants and fruits to people as food; He does not mention animals. In Genesis 9.2-3 EFA , however, where God after the Flood of Noah turns, he gives explicitly the animals as well as plants as human food. The church father Jerome already concluded from this that the meat diet was unknown until the flood and was therefore to be regarded as inferior. For the time since Noah, however, the dietary rules of the Old Testament show no fundamental reservation against meat consumption as such.

The New Testament has no prohibitions on certain foods other than the prohibition of blood (Acts 15: 28–29 ELB ). According to Matthew 15:11, Jesus says: "It is not that which enters a person through the mouth that makes him unclean, but what comes out of the mouth of a person makes him unclean" (also Mk 7.15  ELB ). In Christianity this is usually interpreted as the abolition of all dietary regulations. Nonetheless, modern Christian vegetarians, including Ellen G. White , co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventists , have taken up the argument of the vegetarian diet in Paradise. Seventh-day Adventist teaching recommends vegetarianism.

Health aspects


The evaluation of two studies in 2002 showed that British vegetarians have a lower mortality or higher life expectancy than the general population. The death rates (mortality) in this analysis were, however, similar to those of comparable non-vegetarians. The authors therefore suspect that the advantage of British vegetarians over the general population is mainly due to their different socio-economic status , healthier lifestyle and nutritional aspects that have nothing to do with avoiding meat and fish in principle.

The evaluation of EPIC data in 2009 confirmed the lower mortality of British vegetarians compared to the national average. Adjusted for the influences of age, gender, smoking and alcohol consumption, however, there were no significant advantages in terms of mortality from circulatory diseases or the combination of all causes of death compared to "meat eaters". A prospective cohort study with Seventh-day Adventists from 2013 showed a lower mortality in the vegetarian group compared to non-vegetarians, but also showed that this group was older, better educated, more physically active and thinner and also more likely to be on luxury foods such as alcohol and nicotine waived. Men of the examined group would therefore live 9.5 years and women 6.1 years longer than the rest of the California population. An empirical causality between the lower mortality and the avoidance of meat could not be confirmed.

A meta-analysis of the data from five different prospective comparative studies in three Western countries found in 1999 that the mortality from coronary heart disease in vegetarians compared to non-vegetarians - adjusted for the effects of age, gender, smoking, alcohol, education, physical activity and Body mass index - is reduced by 24 percent. The authors suggest that this is due to lower cholesterol levels in vegetarians, reduced oxidation of LDL cholesterol, or changes in blood clotting factors. Mortality from cerebrovascular disease , gastric cancer , colon cancer , lung cancer , breast cancer , prostate cancer, or the combination of all other causes of death did not differ significantly between vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

The Oxford Vegetarian Study used for the evaluations showed that vegans had the lowest cholesterol levels. Vegetarians and pescetarians were in the middle, meat eaters had the highest values. Coronary artery disease mortality was related to the measured total animal fat intake, saturated animal fat and dietary cholesterol.

In the Berlin vegetarian study from the 1980s, a comparison of vegetarians and non-vegetarians showed that there were diet-related changes in the phytosterone content and in the quality of the serum triglycerides . Strong differences were also found in the fatty acid spectrum of the serum lipids. The highly unsaturated fatty acids linoleic and α-linolenic acid were significantly more represented in the serum lipids of vegetarians than in those of non-vegetarians. The proportions of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are mainly found in fats of marine origin, were significantly lower in the serum lipids of vegetarians. However, a study (1994) comes to the conclusion that a diet rich in α-linolenic acid (ALA) and low in linoleic acid (LA) (e.g. with linseed oil ) increases tissue eicosapentaenoic acid levels in a manner comparable to that of supplementation with fish oil. Furthermore, the body can produce sufficient docosahexaenoic acid if enough α-linolenic acid is consumed per day. However, most of the positive effects only appear from 1 g EPA per day and more. The ALA content of around 46 g per 100 ml of commercially available linseed oil and the low conversion rate of a maximum of 5 to 10 percent ALA to EPA means that at least 25 to 50 ml of linseed oil should be consumed per day. However, since this amount would regularly lead to stomach discomfort and nausea, linseed oil is not a viable source for a sufficient supply of EPA and DHA. However, there are vegan food supplements with EPA and DHA fatty acids that are in proportions similar to those of fish oil. These are based on extracts from seaweed.

Creatine supplementation can be useful for vegetarian competitive athletes . Creatine is produced in sufficient quantities by the body itself, but an additional external supply can have a performance-enhancing effect. Since meat is no longer a source of creatine, supplements can be considered.

Opinions and recommendations


The German Nutrition Society (DGE) takes the position that (ovo-) lacto- vegetarian nutrition can be suitable as permanent nutrition, but emphasizes the necessity of careful food selection, especially for the nutrition of children. According to the study results available and evaluated by the DGE, as of April 2016, vegetarians cannot be expected to have a health advantage over similarly nourished mixed dinners with a low meat content in their diet. However, it can be assumed that a plant-based diet - with or without a small amount of meat - is associated with a lower risk of diet-related diseases compared to the current diet in Germany.

In the opinion of the nutrition commission of the German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine , the ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet of infants requires careful food selection due to the risk of a marginal iron supply and, if clinically indicated, monitoring of the iron status.

According to the ecotrophologist Ulrike Becker from the Association for Independent Health Advice (UGB), vegetarians on average come closer to the nutrient ratio of carbohydrates, fat and protein recommended by the DGE (50 to 60 percent, 25 to 30 percent, 10 to 15 percent) than non-vegetarians they consume more carbohydrates, often less fat and less protein. In addition, the fat composition of the vegetarian diet is favorable, as it contains relatively many unsaturated and relatively few saturated fatty acids and little cholesterol. The supply of vitamins B 1 , B 6 , vitamin C, magnesium, dietary fiber and secondary plant substances is better for vegetarians than the population average. Most lacto-ovo-vegetarians follow a diet that largely corresponds to the recommendations of the whole-food diet : They ate plenty of plant-based foods, preferred whole grain products , ate less fat, drank less coffee and alcohol and avoided highly processed finished products. So-called pudding vegetarians, who only omitted meat and ate just as much fatty and sweet food as the average mixed diner, would have gained nothing from a health point of view.

A sufficient supply of vitamin B 12 is particularly discussed . It is only found in foods of animal origin. A deficiency can occur with a strong reduction or complete avoidance of animal food (veganism). A vegetarian diet with a sufficient proportion of dairy products, eggs or appropriately fortified foods is able to ensure the supply. The vitamin can also be specifically supplemented .

According to the statement of the nutritionist Claus Leitzmann - head of the scientific advisory board of the UGB and former head of the institute for nutritional sciences at the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen - an increasing number of studies shows that an ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet leads to better health. Such a diet could make a significant contribution to preventing diseases such as obesity , diabetes , arteriosclerosis , cardiovascular diseases , hypertension , gout and various types of cancer .


The American Academy of Nutrition and Diets (AND), formerly known as the American Dietetic Association (ADA), and the Association of Canadian Nutritionists ( Dietitians of Canada ) advocate a vegetarian diet in a joint position paper from 2003 . Such a health benefit for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. The death rate for ischemic heart disease is lower, vegetarians have lower blood cholesterol levels, and they suffer less from high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and prostate and colon cancer. A vegetarian diet would adequately supply the body with all nutrients and would be suitable for all phases of the life cycle, including pregnancy, breastfeeding, childhood and adolescence. A new edition of the position paper was published in 2009.

In Australia , the National Health and Medical Research Council of the Ministry of Health has also recommended a vegetarian diet since 2013. A full vegetarian diet is healthy and suitable for all phases of the life cycle. However, if you are strictly vegan, you should take a vitamin B 12 supplement.


Vegetarianism originated in India and independently of it in the ancient Greek culture (eastern Mediterranean area, southern Italy). In both regions it was part of religious and philosophical endeavors from the start.

So far, no natural people or indigenous people in the world have shown consistent vegetarianism as a collective principle. Current research on Egyptian mummies from the time of 3500 BC BC to AD 600 suggest a low-meat diet. Despite the abundance of cattle and fish on the Nile, for many millennia the people ate mainly grain and vegetables.

Pre-Christian antiquity

In antiquity , the renunciation of meat was referred to as abstaining from the ensouled ( ancient Greek ἀποχὴ ἐμψύχων apoche empsychon ). He was always limited to a relatively small number of followers who belonged to the educated, philosophically interested upper class. The great bulk of the population was forced to eat little meat, since they could only occasionally afford meat; Fish, on the other hand, was a popular folk food.


For the first time, the idea of ​​a purely plant-based diet for humans appears in the myth, whereby whole peoples are spoken of. Homer ( Odyssey 9, 82-104) tells of the lotophages ("lotus eaters"), a fairytale-like, peaceful indigenous people who nourished themselves on the sweet fruit of the magic plant lotus, which gives oblivion. However, only Herodotus (4, 177) claims expressly that the lotus was the only food of the lotophages. Diodorus (3, 23-24) describes people in Ethiopia , the "root eaters", "seed eaters" and "wood eaters", whose diet was restricted to certain plants. These reports, of which there were others in antiquity, have fabulous features and are therefore not considered credible; partly the fairy tale character is obvious. Most of the time, the peoples allegedly living without meat are positively assessed in the sources, such as piety, justice and peacefulness.

In ancient times, the view was widespread that in a bygone Golden Age there was no meat diet and that the earth itself produced all the nourishment it needed. This myth can be found in Hesiod ( Works and Days 109 ff.), Plato ( Statesman 271–2), Ovid ( Metamorphoses 1.89 ff .; 15.96 ff.) And others.

Historical development

As a historical phenomenon, the renunciation of meat in Europe first appeared in the 6th century BC. Chr. Attested. Vegetarians were the Orphics , a religious movement that spread through Greece at that time, as well as Pythagoras and at least the inner circle of the Pythagoreans . In both traditions eggs and the then common ritual animal sacrifices were dispensed with. The motivation of the Orphics and the Pythagoreans was religious; the doctrine of the migration of souls which they advocated led to a higher appreciation of the value of animal life. In the 5th century BC Chr. Occurred Empedocles as a radical representatives out of vegetarianism and a generally sparing the animals.

The ancient vegetarians viewed meat diets as detrimental to their ascetic and philosophical endeavors. For the most part, they were ethically motivated, dismissing animal sacrifices, and emphasizing the similarities between humans and animals (while their opponents emphasized the differences). The question of whether there are ethical obligations towards animals has been discussed controversially. Often vegetarianism was associated with religious beliefs.

Among the Platonists , the proportion of vegetarians and animal lovers was relatively high, in the other philosophical schools ( Peripatetics , Stoics , Epicureans ) it was very small or nonexistent. The Stoics were almost all decidedly anti-vegetarian. Because of the irrationality of animals, they were convinced that humans have no ethical obligations towards the animal world. The extreme modesty of the Cynics led them to a largely meat-free diet, but they did not make it a principle.

In the Platonic Academy, the little scholars Xenocrates and (probably) Polemon stood up for vegetarianism, while Theophrastus among the Peripathetics . Some of the prominent Platonists and Neo-Platonists from the imperial period lived a vegetarian life, including Plutarch (presumably only temporarily), Apollonios of Tyana , Plotinus and Porphyry . Porphyry wrote an extensive work on abstaining from the souls to justify vegetarianism. Since he deals with objections in it, arguments from opposing writings that have not survived have been passed down through him.

A spokesman for the opponents of vegetarianism was Clodius of Naples. He wrote in the 1st century BC A scripture against those who despise meat , which has not been preserved. However, some of his arguments have survived. Among other things, Clodius pointed out that some animal foods are also needed for healing purposes. Another argument of the opponents, possibly cited by Clodius, was that there is a natural and just war between humans and animals, since some animals attack humans or destroy the crops; therefore it is legitimate to kill the enemy. The opposing side also argued that meat food is beneficial for the human body, which can be seen from the fact that it is preferred by athletes and recommended by doctors for convalescence .

Among the Manichaeans , the electi (chosen ones) were ethically motivated vegetarians who also did not eat eggs and generally did not kill; for the broader group of auditors (listeners) less strict rules applied.

Christian antiquity, medieval and early modern times

In early Christianity of the apostolic time there were fears that eating meat could lead to cultic contamination. The apostle Paul strongly opposed this view (Rom 14: 2-21; cf. 1 Cor 8: 8-9, Col 2: 20-22).

Among the late ancient Christians and in the medieval church, many monks and hermits refrained from eating meat as part of asceticism (e.g. Onophrius ). One of them was the church father Hieronymus († 419), to whom they usually referred. The Benedictine monks allowed the meat of four-legged animals only in case of illness; However, they were allowed to fish and poultry. Many other rules of the order contained similar bans on meat and extended them in part to poultry, but never to fish. The monks and nuns were concerned with a modest way of life, voluntary deprivation and the destruction of desires. There is no evidence of ethically motivated vegetarianism out of consideration for animals in church Christianity in antiquity and the Middle Ages. Sometimes St. Francis is mistakenly counted among the vegetarians because of the inclusion of animals in his religious world of thought; but in reality he neither practiced nor propagated vegetarianism.

Many ancient heretics such as the Enkratites , Ebionites, and Eustathians viewed renouncing meat as a necessary part of their asceticism. Medieval heretics like the Bogomils and the Cathars also rejected meat.

It was only in the early modern period that prominent personalities came out in favor of ethically based vegetarianism. Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) and Pierre Gassendi (1592–1655) were among them . The leading theoretician of vegetarianism in the 17th century was the Englishman Thomas Tryon (1634–1703). On the other hand, influential philosophers such as René Descartes and Immanuel Kant took the view that there could be no ethical obligations towards the animal world.

Development in the 19th century

George Bernard Shaw, before 1916

Modern vegetarianism developed in England and Scotland and aimed at a comprehensive reform of life and society. In the Anglo-Saxon region, the willingness to put the vegetarian idea into practice and spread it was greatest. As early as the 18th century, small Christian communities in England and North America, for ascetic and ethical reasons, advocated renouncing the meat diet that was criticized as "unnatural". In 1801, the first vegetarian association was founded in London, which was soon followed by similar associations in other English cities. In the early 19th century, the most prominent spokesman for ethical vegetarianism was the poet Shelley . In 1847 the Vegetarian Society was founded . A typical representative of the publicly active English vegetarianism was George Bernard Shaw . In the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was usually a question of lacto-ovo vegetarianism; Supporters of a diet completely free of animal products appeared only occasionally.

In Russia, Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828–1910) was the most prominent proponent of vegetarianism.

The German pharmacist and non-medical practitioner Theodor Hahn (1824-1883), a student of Heinrich Friedrich Francke (= JH Rausse), who professed his meatless form, which was pre- marked by the church half - fast , in his last work on vegetarianism, edited by Hahn in charge through the study of Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland's macrobiotics for the first time to teach about the harmful consequences of eating meat and lead to the idea of ​​"natural healing powers". In the winter of 1850/51 Hahn read Jean-Jacques Rousseau's educational novel Émile ou De l'éducation and there came across a quote from the Greek philosopher Plutarch , in which he castigated the "murder" of humans on animals for the purpose of meat production as cruel and unnatural. The text made Hahn consider the question of meat consumption "also from the moral side". In 1852 Hahn began to live consistently meatless and from then on he actively promoted vegetarianism. For him now only a vegetarian diet could be "healing food" and permanent food to maintain an efficient life. A little later Hahn came across the "excellent work" The Path to Paradise. An illumination of the main causes of the physical and moral decline of civilized peoples, as well as natural proposals to atone for this decline. of the Jena teacher and vegetarian Johann Wilhelm Zimmermann and adopted many of the ideas developed there. In 1859, in The Natural Diet, the Diet of the Future , Hahn explained in detail with historical, comparative anatomical and physiological arguments why, in his opinion, only the vegetarian diet was the only true natural food. This book is (at least in the first four chapters) a revised translation of the work Vegetable Diet published in 1838 by William Andrus Alcott , who, like the Munich military doctor Lorenz Gleich (1798–1865), had experimented with a vegetarian diet or nutrition. Hahn was the first German alternative practitioner to treat his patients primarily with a plant-based diet. The practical manual of natural healing appeared for the first time in 1865 , in which he explains his concept of diet therapy.

Hahn's commitment to vegetarianism was adopted almost without exception by other followers of early naturopathy as a principle of a natural way of life. In 1868 Rudolf Virchow stated:

“In the last few years, under the name of Vegetarian, a sect, albeit incoherent and few in number, at least quite active, has risen which, with all the resources of science and with all the seriousness of a deeply moral pursuit, eats meat as one of the worst and most unnatural aberrations of the human race and strives to provide evidence through its own example that plant food is sufficient to maintain health and strength in the human body. "

- Rudolf Virchow : About food and beverages , Berlin 1868.

Strongly influenced by Hahn's work, the free religious pastor Eduard Baltzer (1814–1887) came to the vegetarian way of life in 1866 . As early as 1867, he founded an "association for a natural way of life" in Nordhausen, which grew rapidly. At the association meeting on July 9, 1868, it was decided to rename the "German Association for a Natural Way of Life"; from May 19, 1869, it was called the "German Association for a natural way of life". In the years 1867–1872, Baltzer wrote a four-volume work entitled The Natural Way of Life , in which he tried to justify vegetarianism in religious, moral, political, economic and health terms. Baltzer drafted the utopia of the emergence of a new and higher human race, which by avoiding the consumption of meat and living a natural way of life develops "to the truth, right and good" in order to finally "draw closer to God". He also saw the supposedly cheaper vegetarian diet as an opportunity to better feed the poorer strata of the population and, with a vegetarian diet, even as an opportunity to “make the military superfluous”. Baltzer was the editor of the association's journal for friends of the natural way of life (vegetarians), which appeared from June 1868 . After his death, this first magazine of the vegetarian movement in Germany was named Thalysia , based on the book Thalysia or Das Heil der Menschheit , published in 1872 , the German version of a work by the leading French vegetarian Jean-Antoine Gleizes published in 1840–1842.

Another important founder of the vegetarian movement in Germany is the Baden lawyer and revolutionary republican Gustav Struve (1805–1870). According to his own statements, he turned to a meat-free diet on May 3, 1832, after reading Plutarch's description of the doctrine of Pythagoras in Rousseau's Émile ou De l'éducation . In 1868 Struve and like-minded people from Stuttgart and the surrounding area founded a vegetarian association that still exists today. In 1869 - ten years after Hahn's The Natural Diet, the Diet of the Future - his work Vegetable Food appeared, the basis of a new worldview that had a lasting impact on the vegetarian movement. In this, Struve justified his renunciation of meat ethically and with a health self-awareness in the winter of 1831/32.

In the last third of the 19th century, the vegetarian movement gained in importance. Numerous clubs were founded. In 1892 two umbrella organizations merged to form the " German Vegetarian Association " based in Leipzig. In 1893, supporters of the life reform movement in Oranienburg near Berlin founded the vegetarian fruit growing cooperative Eden . Shortly before the start of the Second World War , almost 1,000 people lived in the cooperative “Eden”. Based on the vegetarian community of the painter Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach on the Himmelhof near Vienna (1897–1899), the brothers Gusto and Karl Gräser and others founded the Monte Verità settlement near Ascona in autumn 1900 , which became a gathering point for pacifists, theosophists and artists. Monte Verità is now considered the cradle of expressive dance and alternative movement .

The reasons for a meatless lifestyle were different, sometimes even contradicting one another. On the one hand, the animal should be protected from humans, on the other hand, humans from the consumption of animals. The "hygienic" vegetarianism led mainly physiological-anatomical arguments and claimed that meat consumption is responsible for a variety of diseases. Other vegetarians gave a socio-economic reason for not consuming meat. Often their concepts were linked to a sharp criticism of civilization and had strong romantic or even utopian features. A third direction, which was represented by a large number of initiatives and groups in the German Empire, emphasized the aspects of animal welfare and a possible refinement of humanity by renouncing meat consumption. A prominent pioneer of this trend was - under the influence of Gleizes - Richard Wagner . He called for a general renunciation of meat consumption and animal experiments, but only ate himself a vegetarian in the last years of his life. For some representatives of this direction, anti-Semitic and ethnic connotations played an important role.

But there have always been trends and people for whom the demand for vegetarianism was part of left, socialist or anarchist politics and embedded in emancipatory imperatives. Vegetarianism played a role in abolitionism (first represented by Benjamin Lay , in the 19th century for example by Amos Bronson Alcott and his friends Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau ) as well as in feminism (for example among the suffragettes ) and in parts of the labor movement ( for example in the context of the Paris Commune with Communards like Louise Michel or Élisée Reclus ) and the peace movement ( Clara Wichmann , Bertha von Suttner , Magnus Schwantje ).

Development since the 20th century

After several national vegetarian associations had already formed in the 19th century, the International Vegetarian Union was established as an umbrella organization in 1908 . In Germany, the membership of the Vegetarian Union had risen to 1550 by 1905, but it fell sharply during the Weimar Republic . In 1935 the federal government dissolved in order to anticipate its planned synchronization by the National Socialists. The Eden cooperative, on the other hand, which had already opened up to ethnic and racist ideas at the time of the First World War , could continue to exist. Nazi propaganda portrayed Adolf Hitler as an ascetic non-smoker, vegetarian and animal lover. His diet was greatly reduced in meat, even if not completely meatless. Hitler, whose lacto-vegetarian and luxury food-avoiding diet corresponded to the concept of Theodor Hahn, and other National Socialist sympathizers of vegetarianism were also influenced by Wagner's book Religion and Art , in which meat consumption and cooking were criticized as a Semitic, non-Aryan heritage.

In Switzerland it was the doctor Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner (1867–1939) who advocated a vegetarian whole food diet as a healing method. The lactovegetable Bircher muesli that he developed has not only found international distribution among vegetarians. In 1946 the Vegetarian Union of Germany was founded, which for a time (1974–1985) bore the name Bund für Lebensernerung and after 1985 was called the Vegetarian Union of Germany . Since March 2008 the association has been called the Vegetarian Association Germany .

Albert Schweitzer has dealt intensively with the ethical problem of the use of lethal force against animals since his youth. The principle of “respect for life” developed by him still plays a role in relevant discussions today. However, he only switched to a vegetarian diet shortly before his death. The phrase “reverence for life” goes back to the animal rights activist Magnus Schwantje , a student of Diefenbach. Another prominent proponent of vegetarianism was Gandhi .

In the mid-1970s, the animal rights movement emerged, which is believed to have been triggered by Peter Singer's book Animal Liberation .

The Indian city of Palitana was declared a vegetarian city in 2014, as many Jains live there.

Labeling of vegetarian products

Some prepared and processed foods contain non-vegetarian ingredients such as gelatin and rennet. Different symbols are used to identify vegetarian products. In addition to numerous international and national labeling concepts, the European Vegetarian Union has also introduced a label, the V-Label , which can be used to label products and services suitable for vegetarians. In November 2018 the EU Commission decided to register the citizens' initiative “Mandatory labeling of food as non-vegetarian / vegetarian / vegan”. From November 12, 2018, the organizers of the initiative have one year to collect the required signatures.

Number and sociology of vegetarians

In sociological studies, the various competing terms of vegetarianism present a difficulty. Researchers are faced with the choice of either working with self-defined definitions and contradicting the self-names of the respondents in their categorizations, or working with the self-names of the interviewees and instead one to accept a relatively large variance in terms up to and including open contradictions. Added to this is the difficulty of the relatively sparse data situation and the thesis of some sociologists that large parts of the humanities have an anthropocentric concept of "society" and therefore find it difficult to understand the motivational complexes of vegetarianism and to map them in their research.

In summary, it can be said that, on the one hand, the per capita consumption of animal products and especially meat has increased all over the world in the last 50 years and, according to forecasts, will continue to rise; on the other hand, Western attitudes towards "meat", especially red meat, have changed in the same period. The percentage of Western vegetarians in the total population is, depending on the definition chosen, in the single-digit percentage range and has been increasing slowly and steadily since the 1970s. During this period, their “visibility” and their level of organization grew significantly more than the number of vegetarians. About twice as many women as men are vegetarians. In the English-speaking world, workers and members of the middle class were traditionally more likely to be vegetarians; However, this tendency could no longer be proven since the turn of the millennium and vegetarianism was similarly widespread in all social classes .


According to the National Consumption Study of 2007 with 20,000 participants, 1.6% of the adult population in Germany (men 1%, women 2.2%) eat a meatless diet (either vegetarian or with the inclusion of fish). 0.1% of the study participants described themselves as vegan. A study by the market research institute Produkt + Markt determined in 2006 the number of people in Germany who at least partially eat according to vegetarian nutritional principles. The results are interpreted differently. Based on this study, the European Vegetarian Union assumes that 9% of the German population, around 7.4 million, are vegetarian. The animal protection organization PETA names 6 million vegetarians in Germany as the result of this study.

The online survey published in July 2013 by the Universities of Göttingen and Hohenheim determined a vegetarian share of 3.7% for Germany, including vegans. For this purpose, 1,174 participants were selected representative with regard to the criteria of age, gender, income and region of residence. In August 2013, the opinion research institute YouGov published a representative survey for Germany on behalf of the weekly newspaper Die Zeit , according to which 6% of the participants stated that they did not eat meat in a “normal week”. There were hardly any differences between the sexes, 5% for men and 7% for women. The largest proportion of vegetarians and vegans were in the 18 to 24 age group with 9%. The largest share measured by the occupational group was found among school and vocational school students at 13%.

The German Vegetarian Association (VEBU) has assumed since 2015 that around 10% of the population in Germany are vegetarians. This estimate is based on survey results by the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach (IfD) and YouGov. However, the so-called flexi-vegetarians (“flexi-vegetarians at least rarely eat meat”) were also included. In the YouGov survey published in 2014, 4.3% of the participants consistently followed a vegetarian diet.

According to a study by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 4% of Germans have a vegetarian diet. The proportion among women is 6.1%, among men it is only 2.5%. Data from 6933 people whose eating behavior was analyzed between 2008 and 2011 were evaluated.


In a survey of the Vienna Institute for Empirical Social Research (IFES) commissioned by the VGT in 2013, 9% of Austrians described themselves as vegetarians or vegans, i.e. around 765,000 people. In the group of under 40-year-olds, a percentage of 17% vegetarians or vegans was determined. More women than men are also vegetarian or vegan.

In a report by the Kronen Zeitung in 2017, the figure for Austria was 800,000 vegetarians. According to a 2018 survey, around 10% of the population have a vegetarian or vegan diet.


In the 2015 MACH Consumer study , around 2.9% of the Swiss population aged 14 and over described themselves as vegetarians. In the CAWI ad hoc survey commissioned by Swissveg and, according to the client, by the market research company DemoSCOPE from 2017, 11% of the participants declared themselves vegetarians, 3% vegans. Without exception, 6.8% of those surveyed followed a vegetarian diet, without exception 1.5% vegan.


In France, about two percent of the people live vegetarian and come over proportionally from the educated middle class and the upper class. The main motivations for French vegetarians are vegetarian diet health beliefs and ethical reasons.

Great Britain

Data from the era of food rationing in England around 1945 suggest 100,000 vegetarians. According to Gallup surveys, 2.1% and 4.3% of respondents in the UK identified themselves as vegetarians between 1984 and 1993, respectively. A 1995 survey by the Realeat Survey Office continues this trend and finds 4.9% adult vegetarians. In the same survey, 12.4% of the group of 16 to 25 year old women stated that they were vegetarians. The number of those who consumed “little or no meat” but did not describe themselves as “vegetarians” was around twice as high in all of the surveys. A study by the University of Bradford on behalf of the Vegetarian Society in 1991 questioned around 1000 adults and 2500 young adults (11-18 years) and was able to confirm the thesis that young adults and especially young women have a higher affinity for vegetarianism.

United States

A nationwide study by the United States Department of Agriculture from 1977 to 1978 found 1.2% vegetarians among 37,000 respondents, although some of the participants who described themselves as vegetarians said they rarely eat fish or chickens. The Vegetarian Resource Group has published the results of a nationwide survey by the Roper Center in the USA every three years since 1994 . There people are asked which foods they never eat. In 1994, based on this, the authors found 0.3% to 1% of those questioned for vegetarians. In a comparable survey in 2009, they found three percent vegetarians. Again in the group of women and among young people the proportion of vegetarians was considerably higher.


In a study by The Hindu - CNN-IBN , 40% of respondents said they were vegetarian, including a disproportionately large number of Hindus, women and the elderly.

According to a new survey, this percentage was set too high, a total of only 20% of Indians are vegetarians, with the highest proportion of 49% in the central Indian city of Indore .


In Germany, in addition to numerous other regional and national organizations, etc. a. the Vegetarian Union Germany (VEBU) on the vegetarian way of life. Of course , he publishes the magazine as vegetarian and is organized in regional groups. The Swissveg association exists in Switzerland . He publishes the magazine Veg-Info . In Austria there is the Austrian Vegetarian Union (ÖVU). There the quarterly magazine anima can be ordered for a donation .

The World Vegetarian Day (October 1) is an international day of action; comparable to World Vegan Day (November 1st). The former was on World Vegetarian Congress in Scotland in 1977 by the " North American Vegetarian Society introduced", now the time is considered between the two data as Vegetarian Awareness Month (about: awareness of vegetarian-month ).

A more regular day of action are the “ vegetarian weekdays ”, which mainly want to motivate public institutions to cook with less meat. They take place weekly in some cities and often on Mondays and Thursdays.

The European Vegetarian Union (EVU) is an umbrella organization for vegetarian associations and groups in Europe and works in the areas of vegetarianism, nutrition , health , consumer protection , the fight against hunger in the world , animal rights , ecology and general information. The International Vegetarian Union (IVU) is a non-profit organization with the aim of promoting vegetarianism worldwide.

Vegetarian restaurants

The Hiltl restaurant in Zurich

Star restaurants

The Tian restaurant in Vienna has been awarded a Michelin star under Paul Ivic since 2013, and the Cookies Cream restaurant in Berlin under Stephan Hentschel since 2017 .

The two-star restaurant Lafleur in Frankfurt am Main under Andreas Krolik has been offering vegan menus for several years.

Company catering

The American company WeWork , which also has offices in Germany, has stopped serving meat at events that take place in its own buildings since 2018. In addition, no expenses will be reimbursed for non-vegetarian dishes.

The WBS Training AG is according to their common good balance -Report 2015 at meetings, conferences and corporate events basically vegetarian food ready.


The Hiltl restaurant in Zurich has existed since 1897, making it the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world.

Vegetarian pet ownership

It happens that vegetarian dog and cat owners reject common pet food and feed their pets without meat. According to PETA Germany , many vegetarians and vegans feed their pets with meat-free food. According to PETA, the nutritional needs of dogs and cats can easily be satisfied by a “vegan diet and certain supplements”. Dogs and cats that are vegetarian or vegan enjoy “both their food and good health”. From an ethical point of view, vegetarian feed also corresponds to the animal rights philosophy. The German Animal Welfare Association warns cats against meat-free feeding. Cats depend on taurine , which is only found in animal protein. Arachidonic acid, which is also vital for cats, is only contained in animal fats. If it turns out that a vegetarian food cannot meet the cat's nutritional needs, the imprinting on it could make a change in food that is necessary for health reasons impossible. For dogs, you could possibly put together a “varied diet consisting of milk and egg products, vegetables, rice and pasta”. From scientific field studies it can be deduced that it is basically possible to feed a dog a vegetarian diet. However, so that there is no malnutrition in the long term, the composition of the feed must meet the energy and protein requirements as well as the requirement for all minerals and vitamins. The ingredients must be in a balanced relationship to one another. The Animal Welfare Association recommends not disregarding the dog's behavior and ancestry. The dog is a carnivore and likes to eat meat. In terms of nutrition, meat should not be completely avoided. But there is nothing wrong with the dog being fed a vegetarian diet in between.


  • Evi Zemanek and Sophia Burgenmeister: Meatless Humor: Early Vegetarianism in Caricature's Distorting Mirror , Virtual Exhibitions 2019, No. 5 , Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society , 2019, ISSN  2198-7696
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Web links

Commons : Vegetarian Food  - Collection of Images
Wiktionary: Vegetarianism  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Vegetarian  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Claus Leitzmann, Markus Keller: Vegetarian nutrition. UTB, Stuttgart 2010, ISBN 3-8252-1868-6 , p. 22
  2. ^ Judith Baumgartner: Vegetarism In: C. Auffarth, J. Bernard, H. Mohr, A. Imhof, S. Kurre (eds.): Metzler Lexikon Religion , JB Metzler , Stuttgart, 2000; P. 560. ISBN 978-3-476-01553-2 . doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-476-03704-6_162 .
  3. ^ Friedrich Kluge , Alfred Götze : Etymological dictionary of the German language . 20th ed., Ed. by Walther Mitzka , De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1967; Reprint (“21st unchanged edition”) ibid 1975, ISBN 3-11-005709-3 , p. 811 ( vegetarians ).
  4. ^ Walter W. Skeat : The Concise Dictionary of English Etymology. Wordsworth Editions, Ware (Hertfordshire) (1884) 1993 (several reprints), ISBN 1-85326-311-7 , p. 538 ( Vegetable ).
  5. Edwin Habel : Middle Latin Glossary. With an introduction by Heinz-Dieter Heimann. Edited by Friedrich Groebel. 2nd Edition. Paderborn / Munich / Vienna / Zurich 1959; Reprint (with new introduction) 1989 (= Uni-Taschenbücher. Volume 1551), p. 419 ( vegetare , and vegetabilis "invigorating").
  6. See also vegetare .
  7. Hans Schulz / Otto Basler (eds.): Deutsches Fremdwörterbuch , Vol. 6, Berlin 1983, p. 133 f. (with numerous documents).
  8. from Latin vegetabilis "invigorating": Georges, detailed Latin-German concise dictionary. Volume 2, column 3381.
  9. a b vegetarian In: Oxford English Dictionary .
  10. Georges, Comprehensive Latin-German concise dictionary . Volume 2, column 3381.
  11. ^ Friedrich Kluge: Etymological Dictionary of the German Language , edited by Elmar Seebold, 24th edition, Berlin 2002, Sp. 948 f .; Oxford English Dictionary Vol. 19, 2nd Edition (1989), p. 476; Webster's Third New International Dictionary p. 2537; The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology , Oxford 1966, p. 972; Colin Spencer: The Heretic's Feast. A History of Vegetarianism , London 1993, p. 252.
  12. Helmut Wurm: The influence of nutrition on the human constitution with special consideration of the dietary protein. A compilation of views, observations and doctrines from antiquity to the present. (= Nutrition and constitution , 1) In: Würzburger medical history reports. Volume 3, 1985, pp. 283-320, here: p. 293.
  13. ^ Joanne Stepaniak, Virginia Messina: What's in a name? In: The Vegan Sourcebook. 2nd edition, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2000; S. 2. ISBN 0-7373-0506-1 . In Google books .
  14. Antonio Cocchi: Del vitto Pitagorico per uso della medicina. Florence 1743; Jon Gregerson: Vegetarianism. A history. Fremont 1994, p. 71 f.
  15. For example Erhard Gorys: The new kitchen dictionary .
  16. Pudding vegetarians. In: food lexicon.
  17. Claus Leitzmann and Markus Keller: Vegetarian Nutrition , Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2010, 2nd edition, ISBN 978-3-8252-1868-3 , p. 22.
  18. MCD Verain, H. Dagevos, G. Antonides: Flexitarianism: a range of sustainable food styles. In: Lucia A. Reisch , John Thøgersen (Ed.): Handbook of Research on Sustainable Consumption. Edward Elgar, 2015, ISBN 978-1-78347-126-3 , pp. 209-223 (English).
  19. See Helmut F. Kaplan : Leichenschmaus - Ethical reasons for a vegetarian diet . 3rd edition, Reinbek 2002.
  20. See a survey of vegetarians by the University of Jena ( Memento from November 18, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  21. Joachim Joe Scholz: If we have the youth, we have the future. The Eden / Oranienburg fruit growing settlement as an alternative social and educational model (1893–1926) . (Educational and cultural-historical contributions for Berlin and Brandenburg, Vol. 3). Weidler, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-89693-217-9 .
  22. Teuteberg (1994) p. 53 f.
  23. Hilda Kean, Animal Rights: Political and Social Change in Britain since 1800. Reaction Books, 1998, ISBN 1-86189-014-1 .
  24. See The Journal of Ethics Number 3 / September 2007, Special issue on Animal Minds .
    see. also Balluch 2005.
  25. An exception to this general principle constitutes the work of the British Henry Salt (1851–1939) Animal Rights (1892). At the time of its publication it was largely ignored. It only received somewhat wider attention posthumously.
  26. There was practically no animal liberation movement at the time the book was published. According to Singer, the demand for the liberation of animals is to be understood as a metaphor. He calls for strict freedom from violence (cf. foreword to the 1990 edition).
  27. Singer does not understand equality as descriptive equality of states, but as a prescriptive norm for mutual treatment
  28. ^ Singer: Animal Liberation (HarperCollins Publishers 2002): pp. 5–9 (English), German: Die Befreiung der Tiere , Hirthammer, Munich 1976.
  29. Ways to Veganism , Helmut F. Kaplan 2010.
  30. ^ Günther Stolzenberg: Weltwunder Vegetarismus, Munich 1980, p. 164 f .; John Lawrence Hill: The Case for Vegetarianism, Lanham 1996, pp. 52-67.
  31. Paul Amato / Sonia Partridge: The New Vegetarians , New York 1989, p. 31 ff .: evaluate an international survey in English-speaking countries, in which two thirds of the 320 vegetarians questioned gave reasons of this kind. Such reasons are also frequently mentioned and discussed in the relevant popular literature, Helmut Kaplan: Why vegetarians? , Frankfurt 1989, p. 31 ff., 61 f .; Axel Meyer: Why not meat? , Munich 1990, p. 79 ff .; see. also Leitzmann (1996) pp. 16-21; Living Vegetarian , Ed. Evangelische Akademie Baden, Karlsruhe 1999, pp. 12 f., 23-25.
  32. Central to Regan's philosophy is the subject-of-a-life criterion (7.5), according to which all animals with preferences, desires, perception, memory, emotional world of at least pain and joy , the ability to take actions based on preferences, a psychophysical one [n] identity (chap. 2), and a well-being [s] (chap. 3) are entitled to a subject property regardless of outside interests. According to Regan, this subject quality qualifies for an albeit relative, subjective right (a legitimate claim in the sense of John Stuart Mill ). Due to the discrete property of the subject, this right can be granted categorically and equally valid for all subjects. Although Regan allows these rights to be weighed up under certain circumstances, consumption of meat (9.1) and other exploitation of non-human life (9.5) are generally morally unjustifiable. Tom Regan: The Case for Animal Rights , Berkeley 1983 (new edition 2004).
  33. Based on a characterization of consciousness through sufficient criteria, he formulates a deontological argument that works through the implicitly given interests qua consciousness. Regardless of the weighting of interests, in his opinion certain basic requirements (at least the right to life, freedom and integrity within the meaning of Art. 3 UDHR) must be met for the fulfillment of (secondary) interests. By demanding these prerequisites for someone, one has to demand them as a universality principle for everyone who fulfills the same prerequisites, and the formulated “fundamental rights” would become categorical principles.
  34. Martin Balluch: The continuity of consciousness . Vienna 2005.
  35. Christine Baumann, Tilman Becker: Characteristics of a vegetarian way of life ( Memento from November 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In: VEBU health studies
  36. Peter Scarborough, Paul N. Appleby, Anja Mizdrak, Adam DM Briggs, Ruth C. Travis, Kathryn E. Bradbury, Timothy J. Key: Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK . In: Climatic Change. 125, 2014, pp. 179–192, doi: 10.1007 / s10584-014-1169-1 .
  37. Poore, J. & Nemecek, T. (2018). Reducing Food's Environmental Impacts through Producers and Consumers. Science, 360 (6392): 987-992.
  38. Meat Atlas 2013 ( Memento of February 9, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) p. 30 ff. (Published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the BUND and Le Monde diplomatique) (PDF file; 3.2 MB)
  39. Peter Carstens: Beware of meat! In: Geo. Retrieved September 8, 2010 .
  40. ^ Livestock's long shadow . 2006 ( [accessed April 21, 2018]).
  41. Pete Smith: Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use. (PDF) In: . IPCC, 2014, accessed April 12, 2018 .
  42. FAO: Livestock's long shadow. 2006.
  43. ^ Robert Goodland: Environmental sustainability in agriculture: diet matters. In: Ecological Economics , Vol. 23, No. 3, December 5, 1997, pp. 189–200 (PDF file; 940 kB)
  44. ^ Felix Hnat: Agricultural subsidies in Austria from an animal rights perspective ( Memento from November 5, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF file; 1.3 MB) , 2006
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