Not so long ago, there was a certain image associated with vegetarians.
It usually involved Birkenstocks, hairy armpits, lentil loaf and an agenda.
Now, more people are eating less meat, and vegetables have gained respect in their own right, not just as the garnish for a steak.
And perhaps most tellingly, the word "vegetarian" has moved from the centre of cookbook covers to the margins, if it's seen at all.
Deborah Madison, whose cookbook Vegetable Literacy is the most recent in her 30-year career of writing about vegetables, says she has always struggled with the vegetarian label.
"When I began writing [vegetarianism] was so much about a lifestyle. You were or you weren't and people didn't cross that line."
Today that line is fluid. Meatless Mondays, and concerns about food quality and a tighter economy, have more people treating meat as the side dish.
Shifting attitudes about what and how we eat also come into play. Today we eat more casually than previous generations.
The idea of a "centre of the plate" - a large piece of meat - has loosened.
Many of us happily graze on Mediterranean tapas, indulge in sushi or slurp Asian soups like Vietnamese pho, where meat is an afterthought.
The range of vegetarian options has widened.
During the '70s and '80s, lentil loaf was a very real and terrifying thing. Chefs loaded up on cheese, eggs and cream in a search to replace the "missing" meat, trying to fill diners up and prove that vegetarian food could be satisfying.
Mollie Katzen, whose 1977 Moosewood Cookbook made her a pioneer in the vegetarian movement, admits her cooking approach has changed.
"I was going for bulk, for comfort food [in the beginning]," she says.
"Now ... my cooking is far more modular - a little bit of whole grains, some legumes. I like to call it 'the peace sign plate'," she said.
A greater awareness of international cuisines also has opened doors to a new kind of vegetable-oriented cooking.
Once reviled items such as Brussels sprouts - "almost a punchline", Katzen says - are being roasted, grilled and julienned. Kale salad is trendy and kale chips - which Katzen says she made in the '90s to great guffaws - are on supermarket shelves.
Cauliflower may be next.
"Cauliflower is the new kale," says Katzen, noting the prevalence of roasted cauliflower "steaks" on menus.
But perhaps the biggest change is that eating vegetables is no longer about avoiding meat.
This vegetable-forward approach can be seen on cookbook covers, where the word "vegetarian" has either disappeared or been minimised.
"It's safe to come out now and say 'Here's a bunch of vegetarian food'," says Katzen, author of the forthcoming The Heart of the Plate. AAP