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The Issue: Vegetarianism vs. Meat-Eating

Over the past few years, vegetarianism has appeared to become more and more popular; however, what most people do not realize is that being a vegetarian is a luxury. Vegetarianism as a luxury? Yes, it is something that the people in privileged circumstances can do because they have the ability to compensate.

In America, only about 3.5 percent of the entire population is vegetarian and about .5 percent of that are vegan, which means that they do not partake of anything containing any animal product. This is not because the other 96.5 percent of Americans hate animals and therefore do not care about them dying. And it is not because we don’t care about healthy eating. It is mainly because meat products are easily accessible and inexpensive.

Growing up I knew many people living off of bologna sandwiches for lunch and hamburger helper for dinner. Not to mention nearly all dollar menus in every fast food restaurant features burgers and other meats, not salads. There are some countries where the concept of vegetarianism is nonexistent: meat is simply a necessity. But this is America, where people make a whole lot of money, and we can have the luxury of choosing whether or not we are going to eat meat.

There really is no good excuse to justify being a vegetarian. Let’s break down the two most prominent reasons as to why people become vegetarians: Health and ethical reason.

First, the health excuse for being a vegetarian is a silly excuse because simply being a vegetarian will not make you healthier than someone who eats meat. Yes, some meats have a few pretty unhealthy things in them such as fat, but unless you live off of fruits and vegetables, most things you eat will have a few unhealthy things in it. And being healthy is more than just what you eat. If you are not doing any type of exercise, you are going to be unhealthy, to a certain extent, no matter what you eat. One’s health is not determined by their meat consumption, but rather it is determined by one’s overall diet and exercise routine. The thought that one cannot be healthy if they eat meat is ridiculous; most athletic diets encourage the consumption of meat to a certain extent, because of its protein, and most players are pretty much as healthy as it gets.

The other excuse I often hear is that eating meat is unethical. I bet these are the same people who would swat a fly to its death if it were to violate their personal space, but that is not the point here. Since the beginning of time, people have been killing animals because of the necessity to eat. The discovery of fire isn’t considered the greatest discovery ever because it gives us the ability to see in the dark. It is considered the greatest discovery because it gives people the ability to cook meat and feed people. As stated in the first paragraph, there are some countries that see meat as a necessity. They don’t ask, “Is this moral or not?” They ask, “Is my family going to eat tonight?” And because some hunter went out and killed an animal, the answer to that question is yes. The consumption of meat is and has always been about human survival. There is nothing immoral about that.

Being a vegetarian is a luxury. It’s a luxury that I don’t see anything wrong with, but like any luxury, it is unnecessary.

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