Caroline Klotz | Journalism
Vegetarianism is the practice of not eating meat, fish, or poultry, especially for moral, religious or health reasons. Vegetarian diets are gaining popularity and many people choose a vegetarian diet for various reasons. Some want to live longer and healthier lives while others want to preserve Earth’s natural resources. Maybe they dislike the thought of having animals slaughtered and killed or maybe it’s because they don’t like the taste of meat. Some people choose to switch because they believe that eating meat is unhealthy and that raising beef cattle and milk cows are bad for the environment.
An article in the Vegetarian Times states that “thanks to an abundance of scientific research that demonstrates the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet, even the federal government recommends that we consume most of our calories from grain products, vegetables and fruits.” It is believed that many diseases nowadays are related to your diet. Consuming a vegetarian diet does not only seem to improve the longevity of your health but ultimately reduces the risks of chronic diseases, not to mention obesity, coronary artery diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, and various types of cancer. “A vegetarian diet is associated with a higher consumption of fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, magnesium, unsaturated fat, and countless phytochemicals. This often results in vegetarians having lower cholesterol, being thinner, having lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of heart disease,” says Global Healing Center.
In order to become vegetarian, you need to look at what your body needs. First, you need to replace the meat with something else to insure that you get the proper vitamins and nutrients for your body. Therefore, deciding on becoming a vegetarian is not that simple. Working out a diet plan is one of many things to do when choosing this diet. Another factor might be the overload of meat products in the grocery stores. It is not always easy to find a vegetarian meal in certain restaurants.
According to an article in the Harvard Health Publications, there are various types of vegetarians. Vegans (total vegetarians) who do not eat meat, poultry, fish, or any products derived from animals (eggs, dairy products, etc). Another type is the Lacto-ovo vegetarian who does not eat meat, poultry, or fish, but do eat eggs and dairy products. A third type is the lacto vegetarian who eats no meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, but does consume dairy products. Another type is the ovo vegetarian who does not eat meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products, but does consume eggs. And last but not least, there is the partial vegetarian who avoids meat, but may eat fish (pesco-vegetarian, pescatarian) or poultry (pollo-vegetarian).
If you care about animals, the environment, and in general, your health, the real question is: why haven’t more people switched over to a vegetarian diet?