When someone comes on-board and declares they are a vegetarian/vegan, it is always great to know what these two words mean exactly. Of course this will be individual to the person that steps on-board with how rigid their beliefs are, so it is always best to enquire further.
There are many reasons why someone choices to become or has always been a vegetarian/vegan, it can be because of ethical reasons (cruelty to animals), religion, environmental (forests are being cleared for farm land plus the CO2 released from cattle into the atmosphere), political, cultural, and basic economics (beans are way cheaper that meat).
On looking further into this subject it seems like 'Pandoras Box' with there being an array of varying types of vegetarianism.
Vegan - these people choose to not eat animal products, eggs, dairy or honey.
Vegetarian - an individual who chooses to exclude meat products, poultry and fish from there diet.
Semi-vegetarian - an individual who chooses not to eat red meat but eats fish and poultry.
Ovo- vegetarian - an individual that includes eggs in there diet but no dairy, meat, fish or poultry.
Lacto - vegetarian - an individual which includes dairy but no eggs, meat, fish or poultry.
Raw - vegetarian - only eats raw fruit and vegetables
And the list goes on ...
Many animal products are hidden in foods such as rennet in cheese, it is possible to get vegetarian cheese. Marshmallow has gelatin in it which is derived from cattle hoof plus processed cakes, biscuits and chocolate can have bi-products of animal origin in them. Vegans can not eat butter so this can easily be substituted with oil in cakes or olive oil as a spread.
Below are some resources to finding great vegan, vegetarian recipes and http://www.peta.org/ is an insight into why some people become vegans or vegetarian.
Animal rights website
Vegetarian Recipe Websites
Mindfood is a particulary good website for gournmet looking recipes
Vegan Recipe blogsites