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These diets may be followed by those who reduce animal flesh consumed as a way of transitioning to a complete vegetarian diet or for health, ethical, environmental, or other reasons.
Semi-vegetarian diets include: On average, vegetarians consume a lower proportion of calories from fat (particularly saturated fatty acids), fewer overall calories, more fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, than do non-vegetarians.
One animal is not to be fed to another." —Edicts of Ashoka, Fifth Pillar The International Vegetarian Union, an association of the national societies, was founded in 1908.
In the Western world, the popularity of vegetarianism grew during the twentieth century as a result of nutritional, ethical, and more recently, environmental and economic concerns.
Packaged and processed foods, such as cakes, cookies, candies, chocolate, yogurt, and marshmallows, often contain unfamiliar animal ingredients, so may be a special concern for vegetarians due to the likelihood of such additions.
Vegetarians' feelings vary with regard to these ingredients.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Dietitians of Canada have stated that at all stages of life, a properly planned vegetarian diet is "healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provides health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases".
Vegetarian diets offer lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein, and higher levels of carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals.
"Twenty-six years after my coronation various animals were declared to be protected – parrots, mainas, aruna, ruddy geese, wild ducks, nandimukhas, gelatas, bats, queen ants, terrapins, boneless fish, vedareyaka, gangapuputaka, sankiya fish, tortoises, porcupines, squirrels, deer, bulls, okapinda, wild asses, wild pigeons, domestic pigeons and all four-footed creatures that are neither useful nor edible."Vegetarian diets can meet guidelines for the treatment of diabetes and some research suggests that diets that are more plant-based reduce risk of type-2 diabetes.Rates of self-reported Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) were less than half of those of the general population, and, among SDA, vegetarians had lower rates of diabetes than non-vegetarians.Other studies, exploring animal protein's negative effects on bone health, suggest that vegetarians may be less prone to osteoporosis than omnivores, as vegetarian subjects had greater bone mineral density a 20-year study conducted by Cornell University, the University of Oxford, and the government of China has established a correlation between the consumption of animal products and a variety of chronic illnesses, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancers of the breast, prostate and bowel (see The China Study).A British study of almost 10,000 men found that those who gave up meat were almost twice as likely to suffer from depression as people on a conventional balanced diet.