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Vegetarianism

This write up began during authors business trips to Japan. Information on Japan is expected to be hepful to visitors looking for Vegetarian options.
Vegetarian, the term was coined in 1847 by Joseph Brotherton and others, at the innaugural meeting of the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom. The word was derived from the Latin 'vegetus', meaning whole, sound, fresh, lively; Prior to 1847, non-meat eaters were generally known as 'Pythagoreans'.

The earliest records of vegetarianism as a concept and practice amongst a significant number of people are from ancient India (jains or asvikas), and the ancient Greek civilizations in southern Italy and Greece. The diet was closely connected with the idea of nonviolence toward animals (called ahimsa in India), and was promoted by religious groups and philosophers. Ancient Indian philosopher Valluvar wrote an exclusive chapter on veganism or vegetarianism in his work Tirukkural. In India, Vegetarian food is called Saivam, brahmin or Jain food.

The religions of Chinese Buddhism and Taoism require that monks and nuns eat vegetarian diet. In 675, meat was banned in Japan by Emperor Tenmu and subsequently, the Emperor Seimu approved the eating of fish and shellfish.
More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_vegetarianism

Individuals have to develop their own program, What to eat, when to eat it, and why to eat it - plus simple, sensible guidelines on how to prepare, serve and digest the food you eat.

What is life (from genetic view)?

Living seems to be related to the ability of a group of atoms to reproduce their own structure in new atoms. The most remarkable molecule in life is RNA. DNA seems to be an improvement on that, but RNA's ability to reproduce itself may have been responsible for the early forms of life. But how did the first RNA get formed? Was there something that preceded RNA? No answer so far.
Fire causes more fire, but that is not considered "life" because no (genetic) information is passed on.

Various forms of life

Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes. Various forms of life exist, such as animals, plants, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria. Living organisms are currently divided into five kingdoms:
(1) animals (all multicellular animals eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia).
(2) plants (Organisms of kingdom Plantae, such as trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae, that make their own food through photosynthesis).
(3) fungi (moulds, mushrooms, yeast)
(4) protists (Amoeba, Chlorella and Plasmodium)
(5) prokaryotes (bacteria, blue-green algae)
(6) Viruses are not in any of these kingdoms (but should be 6th kingdom)

Who are we humans?
Let us start with animals. We are mammals (mammalia or animals with mammary glands and warm-blooded vertebrates), accounting for around 5000 species of animals.
Eurachontids is any mammal that has highly dexterous hands and arms, and a decently sized brain to judge distance and have a good sense of balance. Primates, have a more advanced brain. Humanoid have two major groups: Lesser Apes, which is mostly the gibbons; and the Great Apes. Great Apes have a huge brain relative to your body mass, have fingerprints, and a distinctive molar unique to the Hominids. In terms of physical differences, there’s not much that separates primates, humans, apes, or monkeys.

Different levels of vegeterians

All eat some form of plant based food. Some include fungi. Macrobiotic Diet - 10 Levels (definition) . A macrobiotic vegetarian aims to maintain a balance between foods seen as ying (positive) or yang (negative) . The macrobiotic diet progresses through ten levels, and becomes more and more restrictive. Not all levels are vegetarian, though each level gradually eliminates animal products. The highest levels eliminate fruit and vegetables, eventually reaching the level of a brown rice diet. "Strict macrobiotic" diets consist of unpolished rice, pulses and vegetables with small additions of fermented foods, nuts, seeds and fruit.

Popular category of vegeterians

Milk vs Egg

Milk is a complex fluid containing proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and other biologically active components, a diverse microbiome and a heterogeneous population of cells with unclear physiological roles and health implications. Noteworthy cellular components of breast milk include progenitor/stem cells. Humans first learned to consume the milk of other mammals as early as 9000–7000 BC. Up to 5 million white blood cells per milliliter can be present. Milk is a live system and could even be considered an organ or tissue.

Egg is a single cell, containing female genetic material. An egg or ovum can be very small or very large. After fertilization, it is called as a fertilized egg (diploid) which is scientifically called as the zygote. There are vegetarian or unfertilized eggs in the market.

There are substitutes for cow's milk like Rice Milk, Soy Milk, Oat Milk and Almond Milk. Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Cow's Milk is 0.62 (kg CO2-Ceq per 200g), compared to 0.16 of Almond Milk

Why become a vegeterian?

It is certainly neither possible nor advisable to prescribe one and the same kind of food for all people in different climates, places and occupation. The fauna and flora of different places and different seasons differ and the people who make use of the local easily available articles of food and drink, remain healthy and feel happy. Best food is food and drink which would suit one best. The food chosen should be sweet, pleasant, simple, nutritious and easily digestible.
Universal guide lines can be: Eating in moderation; Consideration to prohibitions based on rheir family practices and belief systems; and Common-sense (based on suitability and availability of things and climate) .

Crop production and land resources

At present some 11 percent (1.5 billion ha) of the globe's land surface (13.4 billion ha) is used in crop production (arable land and land under permanent crops). This area represents slightly over a third (36 percent) of the land estimated to be to some degree suitable for crop production.
Crop consumption is 40 to 200 million Tonnes per year per million persons. Just 55 percent of the world's crop calories are actually eaten directly by people. Another 36 percent is used for animal feed. And the remaining 9 percent goes toward biofuels and other industrial uses.

Vegetarian food from seas

Photosynthetic plants are found in all seas. While drought decimates land grown crops, sea vegetation thrives. Over 200 varieties of ocean vegetation are edible while other forms of oceanic vegetation have alternative commercial applications such as textile fabric, fertilizer and pharmaceuticals.
Many varieties of edible vegetation such as kelp and sea moss grow in the sea. The herd of sheep on the island off Scotland and a herd of reindeer graze on sea moss. Seaweed crisps are marketed to consumers instead of potato crisps. Some ocean farmers have developed sea farms where they cultivate some varieties of seaweed. Some add small amounts of powdered kelp to animal feed. Some farmers and local gardeners also used powered kelp as fertilizer to sustain plant growth.
The powered kelp contains acceptable levels of iodine, selenium, iron, sulfur and small amounts of salt. While kelp grows almost worldwide, the nutritional and mineral content of different varieties of kelp varies greatly among regions of origin. Some varieties of specifically cultivated algae have potential to being processed into food.
At the present time, only a small amount of ocean vegetation is being used as food for people, food for livestock, livestock feed supplementation or processed into fertilizer for land grown vegetation. Ocean vegetation based iodine supplements and algae derived omega-3 fat supplementation are commercially available. Research into future ocean vegetation aquaculture promises to increase the variety of edible food for people, livestock feed, textile fabrics and pharmaceutical products.

Vegetarian Health Foods

Mountain villages of Sardinia, boast some of the highest concentrations of male centenarians on the globe. Okinawa, rank among the world's longest living women. On the Greek island of Ikaria, where it's said people simply "forget to die". On Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula, I've started the day with tortillas, beans and pico de gallo among country folk who are more likely to reach a healthy 90 years old than anyone else on the planet. In California, Seventh-day Adventist community whose vegetarian diet has helped them live up to a decade longer than other Americans. For most of their lives, the world's super-agers have nourished their bodies with whole, plant-based foods, such as leafy vegetables, tubers, nuts, beans and whole grains. And they ate meat fewer than five times monthly.
  1. Beans, legumes, pulses – A plant-based diet underpins the health of those who live longest according to experts. Beans, legumes and pulses (such as lentils and chickpeas), compared with any other food, are the most important dietary predictor of longevity. They probably offer the best bang for your nutritional buck than any other food out there.
  2. Wild greens – Wild greens like purslane, dandelion and arugula are a great source of minerals as well as carotenoids— the colorful pigments our body converts to vitamin A.
  3. Mushrooms – Mushrooms, particularly shiitake, contain more than 100 compounds with immune-protecting properties.
  4. Okinawan sweet potatoes – Imo is a supercharged purple sweet potato that doesn't cause blood sugar to spike as much as a regular white potato.
  5. Peppers – Residents of Nicoya, Costa Rica -- a population more likely to reach a healthy 90 years old than anyone else on the planet -- use small sweet peppers in most of their dishes, and other peppers are also a staple food in longevity-prone Sardinia and Ikaria in Greece. Peppers are rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C.
  6. Squash – Squash, available in several varieties, belongs to the botanical family Cucurbitaceae, known for providing high levels of useful carotenoids.
  7. Nuts and seeds – Nuts, as well as nut butters, are prominent in the diet of the Seventh-day Adventists, a religious group with a longer than average lifespan when compared to other Americans. One study found that those who ate a handful of nuts at least five times a week lived two to three years longer than those who didn't eat any nuts.
  8. Corn – Lime-treated ground corn, or nixtamal, is used to make tortillas eaten at breakfast, lunch and dinner. It increases the body's ability to absorb calcium, iron and minerals.
  9. Turmeric – Ginger's golden cousin is a powerful anticancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
  10. Ikarians in Greece drink tea brewed from local rosemary, wild sage and dandelion — all of which are herbs known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Herbal teas – Ikarians in Greece drink tea brewed from local rosemary, wild sage and dandelion — all of which are herbs known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Vegetarianism in India

In India vegetarian food is some times called as saivam, satvic, jain and brahmin food and so on. The definition and contents will widely vary. Some avoid items like garlic and onion.

Food and drink play a very important part in body and mind-control. In ancient Indian medicine, garlic was a valuable remedy used as a tonic, to cure a lack of appetite, common weakness, cough, skin disease, rheumatism, haemorrhoids etc. In the Vedas – the garlic was mentioned among other medicinal plants. Medical treatise Charaka Sanhita celebrates the onion as a diuretic, good for digestion, the heart, the eyes, and the joints. Indian priests were the first physicians and pharmacists, who used items such as garlic.

Many Indians or Hindus are non-vegetarians. The vegetarianism in India become popular after Buddhism and Jainism. Vedic literatures refer to pastoral people, who slaughtered cattle as food. Indus Valley people seems to be agriculturists. Emphasis on ahimsa, led to adoption of vegetarianism. For some Indians, their vegetarianism is itself their dharma. There are many communities living in the coastal stateswhere the consumption of meat or fish is very common. Early Indian kings and warriors who were expected to excel as hunters and warriors relied on a meaty diet. Manasollasa written during king Somesvara of the Western Chalukya Dynasty in the 12th century discusses many meat dishes. A suitable, healthy and hygienic diet included fatty pork fried with cardamoms and roast rump steak. With many types of vegetables, mutton, pork, sparrows and rats could all be found on sale in the markets of the Vijayanagara Empire. The Tantriks use fish, meat and wine freely in their worship.

Though Garlic and onion both have many health benefits, Some do not eat onions and garlic. Some, didn’t personally like onions and garlic. Some communities don’t use under ground veges like onions and garlic because they rip up the ground when they’re harvested. Onions and garlic are often used to flavor meat, so if someone was abstaining from meat they would give them up.

Some do not eat anything with seeds (this would prevent the plant from renewing its life) or any bulb for the same reason. Some do not eat plants that grow underground, including potatoes, because insects may be harmed in their harvest. Onions, ginger, or garlic, give off a strong odor and when a group monks meditate in forests or in a caves, it would produce a strong, pungent odor that would affect other people meditation.

Vegetarianism in Japan

Japan is a vegetarian paradise, though love of seafood is deeply engrained in Japanese culture. Medieval Japan was practically vegetarian. The national religions, Buddhism and Shintoism, both promoted plant-based eating, but what was likely more key to keeping the Japanese off meat was the shortage of arable land on the islands. Japan is mostly mountains and has little arable land. It's also an island with a high population density. Historically, fish was key to survival. Many feel that there's fish in everything.
As late as 1939 a typical Japanese person ate just 0.1 ounce of meat per day. The American occupation after the Second World War gave another powerful boost to the Japanese hunger for meat.

Japan has a rich tradition of cooking with vegetables. Few common vegetable dishes are listed below:

  1. Gohan, Japanese rice is a short grain, slightly sticky variety. It's often possible to order a bowl of plain rice.
  2. Nama Tofu is fFresh tofu served with grated ginger and shoyu. Tofuya specializes in tofu dishes.
  3. Mochi 餅, most often found in the form of dense rice cakes, shows up in some okonomiyaki and monjayaki (where it is cut into little rectangles), and it can also be served either grilled (kirimochi) or fried (agedashimochi). Kirimochi may be topped with shoyu or kinako (roasted soy flour).
  4. Eggplant ( なす nasu in Japanese) is often ordered as a side dish at Japanese restaurants. It is served grilled (yakinasu) or baked and flavored with a warm miso sauce (made from soy beans, sea salt, and koji). Other vegetables served as sides are konyaku (a gelatin type food made with yams), yamaimo potato, and pumpkin. Even raw cabbage leaves are served with salt.
  5. Zaru Soba, Cold buckwheat noodles served with a dipping sauce, negi, sesame seeds and shredded nori. Considered a summer dish.
  6. Kitsune Udon (literally: fox wheat noodles) are thick Japanese wheat noodles with aburaage on top. Aburaage is a favorite food of foxes and gods.
  7. Ochazuke, A simple dish of green tea on cooked rice. Normally served with vegetables such as negi.
  8. Edamame, salty young soybeans
  9. Dashi is a simple Japanese soup and cooking stock made with umami ingredients such as kombu, shiitake mushrooms, niboshi, katsuobushi or chemical flavor enhancers. Dashi is most typically fish based but vegetarian dashi, especially kombu dashi is reasonably common. It's easy to find a vegetarian dashi stock at a supermarket in Japan. It's also easy to prepare vegetarian dashi by simmering kombu and shiitake.
  10. Miso is produced by fermenting soybeans, rice, wheat or barley. Miso paste is another fundamental ingredient in Japanese cuisine. It's also used as a vegetable dip for fresh or steamed vegetables. Miso soup is a staple of the Japanese diet that's easy to find. At its most simple, miso soup is just dashi and miso. Many variations of dashi are vegetarian but many are also fish based.
  11. Yakitori restaurants are focused on grilled meat. However, they typically offer a number of vegetable items such as skewered, grilled shiitake mushrooms (shiitake yakitori).
  12. Kabocha, Boiled or steamed Japanese winter squash is a common bento item and side dish. It's naturally sweet and filling.
  13. Taiyaki are fish shaped cakes filled with anko, custard, chocolate, cheese or sweet potato. They are a popular festival food.
  14. Daikon are amongst the most common Japanese vegetables. They may be served grilled with a rich sauce such as miso.
  15. Ganmodoki, A fried tofu fritter made with vegetables. Contains egg whites. Ganmodoki are said to taste like goose.
  16. Nama Yuba (fresh tofu skin) has a texture similar to mozzarella cheese. It's served with a light dipping sauce such as ponzu.
  17. Natto are smelly, slimy, stinky fermented soybeans that people love. It's a common breakfast food that's thought to be healthy. Anything that tastes like natto must be healthy.
  18. Yudofu, A simple hotpot of tofu and vegetables in hot water. Served at Japanese temples.
  19. Atsuage is a type of tofu that has been deep fried twice. This process makes the tofu strong enough to be grilled.
  20. Kenpi, Sugar coated deep fried sweet potato.

Vegetarian Survival kit for Japan

肉と魚は食べません
(niku to sakana wa tabemasen) I don’t eat meat and fish.
肉と魚を使わない料理をお願いできますか
(niku to sakana o tsukawanai ryouri o onegai dekimasu ka)
Could you make a meal without meat and fish?
Watashi wa vegetarian desu. = I am a vegetarian
Shojin ryori [show-zine ryo-ree] = (vegetarian cuisine, usually Buddist style)
Saishoku-shugi ryori wa arimasuka? = (Do you have any vegetarian meals?)
Shoujin ryori wa yatte imasuka? = (Do you serve vegetarian foods?)
Watashi wa ..(insert one of the following words here) o itadakimasen. (I don't eat ......)
doubutsu wa taberemasen (I can’t eat animals)
katsuo dashi mo taberemasen (I can’t eat fish stock)
doubutsu sei no mono wa subete taberemasen (I can’t eat any animal products)
wa taberemasen (I can’t eat _________) niku nashi (no meat)
Shojin ryori wa yatte imasuka? (Do you serve vegetarian foods?)
Thus "yasai dake o tabemas" means "I only eat vegetables"

"niku" = (nii-koo) (meat)
"sakana" = (sa-kah-nah) (fish)
"tori" = (tor-ri) (chicken (or any type of poultry) )
"tamago" = (tah-ma-go) (egg)
"gyunyu" = (giu-new) (milk)
"nyu seihin" = (new say-hinn) (dairy products)
"kani" = crab
"ebi "= shrimp
"kai" = shells
"ikka" = eel
"tako" = octopus
"buta" = pig (buta niku is pig+meat = {pork, bacon, ham,...}
"gyu" = cow (same pattern as above)
"hito" = humans
And while we're doing words:
"da-mei" = bad
"yasai" = vegetables
"dakei" = only
"tabemas" = I eat

Konbini can provide an array of foods for all your dietary needs. There are more than 56,400 convenience stores in Japan, one is almost never more than a short walk away. There are a number of vegetarian options at any konbini you can turn into your own meals. Here are seven ideas to get you started.

    1. Pizza buns ピサマン. The ピザまん (piza-man) variety are gooey, delicious buns available at 7-Eleven and Family Mart made of only tomato sauce, cheese and a soft outer bun. Hot, filling and delicious, these are a common konbini staple.
    2. Onigiri or rice balls. Ume (plum) onigiri is shaped like a triangle, wrapped in seaweed and filled with plums. There are a number of other vegetarian flavors including yaki (plain grilled), kombu (kelp), mame (bean), plain salt and seaweed.
    3. Natto or fermented soy beans: Natto rolls are widely available and the flavor isn’t quite as strong when it’s in rolled up like sushi
    4. Pancakes: These mochifuwa (kind of “soft and fluffy”) pancakes from 7-Eleven are pre-wrapped with butter and syrup on the inside.
    5. Cooked and pre-packaged udon noodles in the refrigerated section. Also soba (buckwheat) noodles or thin, white rice noodles.
    6. Many types of sandwiches including fruit cream mix sandwich (blueberry, chocolate and cream mix), egg salad, Japanese omelet etc.
    7. Hash browns and french fries you can find under the names ハシュポテト (hashupoteto) and フライドポテト (furaidopoteto).

HUMANISM

A LIFE we save is A LIFE we give. We do no have any right to deprive the animals of their right to live and vegetarianism is real HUMANISM. Jain scriptures prohibit meat and animal based peroducts. Hindu and Buddhist scriptures recommend or advise vegetarianism. There are bible verses that prohibits meat and alcohol. Meat eating was discouraged by many prophets. Many scholars’ point of view: vegetarianism is completely in accordance with the scriptures, because of ethical and spiritual reasons. Human anatomy matching in every way with herbivores and less with carnivores or omnivores.
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Administrator:NARA is a Consultant by profession and an Engineer by qualification. Nara holds an Engineering Masters degree and have worked 25 years for leading organizations.
Now working part time on country/technology research projects and Maintaining community Web sites.
Spending more time to pursue his interests on studying: ancient scriptures; maths & astronomy; physics; philosophy; history & culture and so on.