Vegetarianism, the practice of abstaining from eating meat, has a recorded history dating back to ancient Greece. Despite this, it is only in recent years that researchers have begun conducting empirical investigations of the practices and beliefs associated with vegetarianism. The present article reviews the extant literature, exploring variants of and motivations for vegetarianism, differences in attitudes, values and worldviews between omnivores and vegetarians, as well as the pronounced gender differences in meat consumption and vegetarianism. Furthermore, the review highlights the extremely limited cultural scope of the present data, and calls for a broader investigation across non-Western cultures.
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