In the last fifteen years, I have seen vegetarianism go from fringe to fashion to fact of life because it's a healthy and worthy way to live. The hippie connotation, which kept many people away, is a thing of the past. Today the American vegetarian is not just the health nut, it's the stay-at-home mom, the computer engineer, the veterinarian, the nurse, the store clerk, the neighbor across the street, and the teenager next door. They are familiar, individuals, and students. They live in urban areas and in suburbia, and together they represent 16 million people. You can see how health-conscious our culture has become just by taking a trip to the local grocery store where the words "natural," "organic," and "meatless" jump out at you in every aisle.