The basis of the practice of vegetarianism may be religious or ethical, economic, or nutritional, and its followers differ as to strictness of observance. Certain Hindu and Buddhist sects are vegetarian, as are Seventh-day Adventists. As a general movement vegetarianism arose about the middle of the 19th cent.; it made considerable progress in Great Britain and in the United States. In the contemporary United States, vegetarianism has gained acceptance as a practice that lowers one's risk for the
diseases of affluence, e.g., high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
See C. Spencer, A History of Vegetarianism (1995); T. Stuart The Bloodless Revolution (2007).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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