A meta-analysis found that people on vegetarian diets lost around 4.4 pounds more than the control group (who had no change in diet), while those who went vegan dropped 5.5 pounds more. Marcus Butt/Ikon Images/Corbis hide caption

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Mixed martial arts fighter Cornell Ward (from left), chef Daniel Strong, triathlete Dominic Thompson, lifestyle blogger Joshua Katcher and competitive bodybuilder Giacomo Marchese at a vegan barbecue in Brooklyn, N.Y. Courtesy of James Koroni hide caption

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An animal's ranking on the food chain depends on where its meals place on the ladder. That puts plants on the bottom (they make all their food), polar bears on top and people somewhere between pigs and anchovies. Lisa Brown for NPR hide caption

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You'll know you've gotten somewhere on the long and winding road to veganism when the greenery you see along the way starts to look seductively delicious. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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This gang founded Zurich's Vegetarians' Home and Teetotaller Cafe in 1898. Ambrosius Hiltl bought the joint and changed the name in 1903. Courtesy Hiltl hide caption

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A salad of sunflower sprouts, grapefruit, and avocado waits to be served and eaten at a party in Washington, D.C. Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images for Girl Behind The Camera hide caption

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Michael Sharry visits with Bill, front, and Lou (now deceased) on Nov. 8, 2012, at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont. Toby Talbot/AP hide caption

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A vegan Thanksgiving feast, featuring Tofurky Shira Golding/Flickr hide caption

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