Following a vegetarian diet is one in which you do not eat meat (seafood, poultry, or red). There are different types of vegetarian diets. An ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products. Lacto-vegetarians diet includes dairy products but not eggs. Lacto-ovo vegetarians diet includes eggs and dairy products. Also a variation is a vegan diet in which no animal products (meat, eggs, dairy, honey) are eaten. Semi-vegetarian diets can include ingredients that are not vegetarian such as fish.
Many people do not know the other methods of achieving protein other than through meats. Some of these include dairy, eggs, soy, hempseed, beans, brown rice, hummus, whole wheats, quinoa, peanut butter, tofu, legumes, and many others. There are many sources of protein that are available.
- The United Nations has urged the world to move away from meat diets.
- Eating meat takes up many resources. All the animals have to eat in to get nutrients.
- It is estimated that between 13,000-100,000 liters of water is used to produce a kilo of beef. In contrast to wheat which only uses 1,000-2,000 litres.
- Many greenhouse emissions are produced with meat. Also organic farming has less of a greenhouse effect.
- Produces 9% of CO2 deriving from human-related activities
- Livestock produces 37% of all human-induced methane, and 65% of ammonia (which contributes to acid rain).
- Animals pollute our rivers, streams and oceans because of manure. (It has lead to the dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico)
- 70% of all agricultural land is for farmed animals, either their food or where they are kept. (This has increased deforestation and has endangered habitats)
- Has increased Endangered Species (such as many fish, and whales)
Health Benefits of Eating Vegetarian
Studies have found that vegetarians live longer. A plant-based diet can prevent diseases. The American Dietetic Association states that vegetarians have reduced risk of heart disease, obesity, colon cancer, adult-onset diabetes, osteoporosis, gout, gallstones, kidney stones, lung cancer, and breast cancer. A healthy vegetarian diet that is low in fat when combined with adequate exercise helps reduce blood pressure and can control or even eliminate non-insulin dependent diabetes.
Throughout my whole life, I have been vegetarian. Growing up my mother didn’t like meat, and since her family was not big meat eaters it was very easy for her to become vegetarian, my father’s family has been vegetarian, so for me it was the obvious choice. My parents never told me I could not have meat, but I never developed an appetite for it, and do not find it appealing. Whenever I tell people I am vegetarian they always are astonished and exclaim “How can you do it?” But for me it comes naturally, and it is very easy. While I realize this may not be the case with everyone, just cutting meat out of as many meals as possible is beneficial.
Do you think you could become vegetarian? If not could you eat Vegetarian 2-4 days a week?
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”