The Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet There is more to vegetarianism than not eating meat. A vegetarian generally pays attention to their health, makes choices about their diet, and respects animals. There are no rules to being vegetarian; a vegetarian sets his or her own guidelines and restrictions. One chooses not to eat meat for many reasons; it may be because of religion, respect for animals, health, or sometimes a person simply does not like meat. Most people think that a meat/animal-product free diet is just a trend, but vegetarianism has been a growing movement ever since it began in 600 BC.
July 2009:1266-1282. Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Vegetarian Foods: Powerful for Health. February 17, 2011. http://www.pcrm.org/health/veginfo/vegetarian_foods.html Weisman, Roanne with Brian Berman, MD. Own Your Health.
Why eat meat that contains chemicals, growth hormones, and perservitives when you can just cut all that out? Being a vegetarian is a way of life and a superior choice when you are trying to be healthy. Health is the number one concern of people today. So many people play into health gimmicks on a daily basis and many of them are scams and do not work. If our number one concern is health then why would we not cut out a major health issue such as meat?
Alia Butler article from Livestrong.com believes poor diets deficient in the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you need can take a negative toll on your overall health. Starting to eat vegan can easily overturn the consequences of an unhealthy diet. Brown University “defined a vegetarian as a person who does not eat meat, poultry, and fish. Vegetarians eat mainly fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts. Many vegetarians eat eggs and/or dairy products but avoid hidden animal products such as beef and chicken stocks, lard, and gelatin.” The Vegetarian society states that there are four different types of vegetarians; Lacto-ovo-vegeterian which only eats both dairy products and eggs, Lacto-vegetarians who only eats dairy products but not eggs, Ovo-vegetarians who only eats eggs but not dairy products and lastly vegans who do not eat dairy products, eggs, or any other animal product.
Vegetarian Diets are the Healthiest Diets Vegetarians have a tendency to live a longer and healthier life. They have a habit of being more concerned and attentive with their diet and what they are eating. Statistics show that vegetarian diets have been adopted by at least 7.3 million Americans today. Dictionary.reference.com states that vegetarianism is “a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc. (2013, p.1).” There are many different versions of vegetarianism, but the most common diet is “lactovegetarian”.
Vegetarian diets can provide the necessary nutrients; as well, as reduce the likelihood of chronic diseases caused by unhealthful diet; however, if the food intake is not closely monitored it can lead to deficiencies. Then the question becomes, if vegetarian diets are better, then why exactly do we need meat products in our diet? In this research paper, I want explore the pro and cons of vegetarian diet and its implications. The vegetarian society defines a vegetarian as one who consumes predominantly fruits, vegetables, grains and plant products without eating animal products such as meat, fish, poultry (“Vegetarian society”). Although vegetarians are defined as those who do not consume animal products, there are different levels of vegetarianism: semi-vegetarian, pescovegetarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, lacto vegetarian, ovovegetarian, strict vegetarian, macrobiotic diet, and fruitarian.
“...going vegetarian is the single best thing we can do for ourselves as well as for your families,” says Dr. Lina Van (Panchal 27). Choosing to go vegetarian promotes good health, a longer life, helps fight diseases, and can even help people lose weight (Nikki and David Goldbeck 4-7). Specifically, a vegetarian diet excludes meat, fish, shellfish, and poultry. A lacto-vegetarian also does not eat eggs, but can eat dairy products, while an ova-vegetarian can eat eggs, but not dairy products (Panchal 27). Hence a vegetarian diet may seem quite restrictive, but the lifestyle choice could save your life and lead to more adventures in eating (Nikki and David Goldbeck 4-7).
Supposedly, according to Josephus, to be vegetarian means to lack confidence and strength (Josephus). On the contrary, the most human attribute is not that desire for blood-thirsty conquest, but the incredible power to make an informed, intellectual choice. Thousands of people continue to choose a vegetarian lifestyle for one reason or another, often facing personal ridicule for choosing a path that sometimes may not be very popular in the personal culture in which they find themselves. Vegetarianism includes the results of a 2009 Time/CNN poll that surveyed vegetarians to find out their main reason for choosing that diet. Approximately one-third selected "health" while only one-fourth selected "love of animals" (Vegetarianism).
Frank Phillips wrote an article titled “Vegetarian Nutrition” that explains the lack of vitamins a majority of vegetarians receive. Besides B12, there is a lack of calcium, vitamin D, and iodine as well. It is specified in this article, that without a close watch on a vegetarian diet, you are prone to a bigger risk of getting cardiovascular disease, and higher homocystein levels in your blood as stated earlier. Nonetheless, Phillips declares that with a well-balanced vegetarian diet, you can have an equally nutritional diet compared to that of an omnivores (Phillips 136). Also, it is shown through these studies that these problems can be improved or avoided by taking vitamin supplements regularly (Herrmann 1381).