I'm a vegetarian as well! I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian, which means I do eat eggs and dairy. Looks like there was a little confusion, Pescatarian (sp?) as someone said before would be a vegetarian who eats fish. Vegans are those who eat none of these things.
I've been vegetarian since I was 4 and really haven't ever had a health issue because of it. The only concern for me has been low B12. I have to take a vitamin for that, and anybody else who is vegetarian should have their levels checked. B12 stays in your system for years but if you eat NO meat and haven't for a long time, you should be tested. Low B12 can cause memory issues and permanent neurological damage. I eat different nuts, chick peas, beans, and things like that for protein, it's pretty easy to research where protein can come from.
triplecrown: If youre going to do it long term with NO meat AT ALL, I would advise (after a while....can wait a few years) to get the B12 tested, which is a blood test. Other than that, I'd think you'd be okay. I've never had any abnormalities other than that in my blood work and I'm going on 17 years vegetarian now. I'm very healthy, ran college cross country for two years....at least 7 miles a day....no problem. It's not as scary/dangerous as some people think!! Just make sure you take a daily multivitamin to be safe and look into getting other forms of protein in your meals. =) good luck!
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