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Vegetarians



Vegetarians
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.08

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    lacto-ovo, meat-free, minority, osteoporosis, pesci-vegetarian, pureed, restrictive, semi-vegetarian, vegan, well-planned, economic, teens, realize, formula, supplement, tofu
     content words:    United States, Vitamin B12


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Vegetarians
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     Most people realize that the word "vegetarian" refers to someone who doesn't eat meat. Did you ever wonder what a vegetarian eats? Did you know that there are different kinds of vegetarians?
 
2     The strictest vegetarian is a vegan. A vegan doesn't eat meat or any food that contains animal products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, or gelatin. A semi-vegetarian has probably the fewest restrictions. He will eat fish or chicken. A pesci-vegetarian eats fish. A lacto-ovo vegetarian doesn't eat meat but does eat milk, butter, cheese, and eggs. An ovo vegetarian doesn't eat meat or dairy but does eat eggs.
 
3     Experts agree that a well-planned vegetarian diet can be healthy. A variety of healthy foods must be eaten. For younger vegetarians, eating dairy products and eggs, but not meat, is often the best choice in order for children to get the protein and nutrients their growing bodies need. Typically, less restrictive forms of vegetarianism are better for a growing child.
 
4     Why would someone choose to be a vegetarian? In very poor countries, the reality is that meat is often too expensive to eat. Then vegetarianism is an economic issue more than anything else. In countries such as the United States, people become vegetarians for other reasons. Some are raised by parents who are vegetarians, and they follow their parents' example. Some do it because they believe it is the healthiest lifestyle. Some people choose to be vegetarians for religious, cultural, or environmental reasons. Others choose to be vegetarians because they believe in animal rights.
 
5     Adult vegetarians need to eat a variety of foods. Children or teens that are vegetarians need guidance to make sure their meat-free meals are nutritious. Children and teens need nutrients and protein to develop and grow. People who are not vegetarians get things like protein and iron from meat. Without meat in the diet, other substitutes need to be made.

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