Today is World Vegetarian Day, the beginning of Vegetarian Awareness Month, a time to celebrate and educate about the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. Vegetarianism can be a religious, moral, or social choice, and for many it extends far past just what’s for dinner.
In simple terms, a vegetarian is a person who doesn’t eat any meat, foul, or fish of any kind, including products like shortening that can be made with animal fat, and soup stock, which can be flavored with meats or marrow. Persons who abstain from meat but consume fish and shellfish are known as “pescatarians,” and those who cut out all meats, fish, and dairy products are called vegans. Some regular vegetarians don’t drink milk, and others may drink milk and eat cheese but cut out eggs. There are many different choices to accommodate a wide range of food philosophies.
Beyond the eats, many vegetarians and vegans do other things to help our animal friends and the environment, like not wearing leather or fur, saying no to cosmetics that are tested on animals, using ecologically friendly products, and so much more. For those who are modified, vegetarianism can play a huge part in their body art as well. Many who are tattooed have opted for vegan inks, which don’t contain glycerin from animal fats or coloring made with animal bone ash like other inks can. Those who are pierced can abstain from animal tested or derived aftercare products, and wear environmentally sound jewelry while stretching.
Plugs and tunnels made with natural materials don’t just pollute less than processed plastics; they also do good for the piercings themselves. While fine for normal wear, plastics and resins have no natural pores to allow the skin of the fistula to breathe while they’re in place. Naturally derived items are more porous, resulting in better skin health and less risk of musky odors.
So take a few meatless mondays this month, switch to more natural products, or invest in some wood, horn, or natural stone jewelry, because regardless of what you eat, World Vegetarian Month is a celebration for everyone!