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A vegetarian obstanes from eating any form of animal product that is made available through the slaughtering of animals. A vegan also obstains from consuming or using any animal products from meats to dairy products to lotions or creams.

The term Vegan was first coined in 1944 by Donald Watson, co-founder of the Vegan Society in England. Originally the term meant non-diary vegetarian. Later on the vegan's doctrine said man should live without exploiting animals.

In the early 2000s, due to the growth in popularity, many supermarkets and other stores started selling foods and products catering to vegetarians and vegans. They have several top athletes and celebrities that have been practicing veganism for some time now to share their stories.

The Vegan Diet:

Researchers have found that vegan diets are higher in fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, E, iron, magnesium and phytochemicals. Vegan diets are also lower in calories, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, saturated fats, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12. It is suggested that those on vegan diets should take a vitamin B12 supplement.

A really well-balanced vegan diet may offer protection against various generative conditions, including heart disease.

Vegan vs Vegetarian Diets

Vegans:

Vegans, as a general rule, will not consume or use any animal products.

Dietary vegans will not consume any animal products, including diary products and eggs.

Ethical vegans will also stay away from any products such as shampoos, lotions, etc that have any form of animal components or products tested on animals.

Vegetarians:

Vegetarians, similar to Vegans, will steer clear of red meat, poultry, seafood, any flesh from an animal or by products of slaughtering animals. Many object to meats in their diets because they feel animal meats are unhealthy, or due to religious beliefs, or the rights of animals.

Semi-Vegetarians normally stick with vegetarian foods but may also include fish or poultry. Once in a while they might consume read meats but rather infrequently. Some who incorporate fish and poultry in their diets will not eat red meat because they are mammals.

Ovo-Vegetarians will consume eggs and diary products mainly because they suffer allergies from various other foods such as seeds or various beans.

Most long-term strict vegetarians and vegans will stay on strict vegetarians diets, and not revert back to any form of animal products.

In many cases, vegetarians and vegans feel the consumption of animals is unhealthy. Due to products used for raising beef or chickens, the processing of eggs and many other health reasons.

For whatever reason, should you choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, there are many wonderful recipes and dishes that will leave you more than satisfied with your choice to move away from animal products.

Hydroponics:

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While collecting wonderful recipes for your new found vegan/vegetarian diet, why not start your own indoors hydroponic garden? You can grow fresh vegetables and herbs in the comfort of your home and enjoy every morsel of freshness!

Hydroponic gardens are easy to setup and easy to take care of. There are so many gardeners that have been successful with hydroponic gardening -you'll get a lot of help in getting started.

Start off with a nice size grow box, a few plant lights, a good nutrient for feeding your plants, a water filter and read up on water treatments. Depending on what vegetables or herbs you want to grow and your available space will dictate the size of garden you want to start off with.

Research online, talk to people growing hydroponic plants, or visit your local plant shop for tips and tricks. You'll discover a whole new world of fresh and healthy produce.