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The Issue:Vegetarianism vs. Meat-Eating

Much of America’s obesity comes from the consumption of meat.Now that I have your attention, let me tell you about veggies. No, I will not go through what makes them healthy. Instead let’s talk about what makes them a better choice than meat, so you can think about it the next time you grab a burger from McDonald’s or a chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A.

Ever since we were able to understand the food groups, we were told that it is very important to eat meat. However, what is not mentioned is that it doesn’t always have to be meat that has to be consumed. There are, in fact, other ways to get the nutrients that the body needs. There are replacements to meat products, and they aren’t that hard to find.

The first question to ask is what in actuality is a vegetarian? There are many types of vegetarians, thus there are an abundant number of definitions to this term. Some of the most well-known types include Lacto-vegetarians, Lacto-ovo vegetarians, Ovo-Vegetarians, and vegans. These all exclude meat, fish or seafood and poultry from their diets, but depending on what type of vegetarian they are, they may or may not eat dairy and egg products. For example, Lacto-ovo vegetarians do, whereas Ovo-Vegetarians do not. Some, like vegans, exclude all of those products and any food that contains them.

Even though they may have similar characteristics, the diets that go with each type of vegetarian can be completely different. People can become a vegetarian for a number of reasons like the health benefits, religious reasons, or just because it is environmentally friendly.

Despite popular belief, there are actually plenty of other foods that can supply the amount of protein that is needed daily for our bodies to run correctly. Protein deficiency is something many people worry about, but there are plenty of options out there that can keep you healthy. The health benefits of having a plant-based diet are a big positive for people who want to stay fit and healthy. When their diets are planned in a healthy way, vegetarians have a lower risk of heart problems, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes and obesity.

Vegetarianism could significantly help animals as well. Some people decide not to eat meat because of the abuse that animals have to suffer from when they are in the process of being slaughtered. They are beaten severely and sometimes they are left to suffer for a few days before they are killed. People who are in favor of animal rights may show support by not eating meat for a short or long period of time. There are some people who don’t eat it because of religious reasons. For example, Seventh Day Adventists, a Christian denomination, will not eat pork. Similarly, some Indian religions do not eat beef because the cow is sacred to them.

Even though eating the right amount of meat can be good, some people decide that a plant-based meal is good for them. It is a healthy alternative that cannot be attempted in just one night. It is best to lay off meat slowly and continue in that way. Regardless of a person’s reason for picking vegetarianism, it is a healthier alternative for those who would like to stay lean and who are passionate about the environment.

Sources:
New York Times
US Health

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