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Vegetarianism as a Way of Life

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Vegetarian: “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.” Not being a vegetarian means that you eat meat. “This means that domesticated animals have to be raised.” This contributes to “ecological problems, like rising temperatures, the depletion of the earth’s resources” including its water supply. We should also consider feeding people versus feeding animals. Eating meat also has healthy consequences. Being a vegetarian is healthier for you. I will explain to you below why I think you should consider becoming a vegetarian, if not for the environment but for youself.

Tropical forests are destroyed daily, to create more farmland to raise animals. By not supporting the meat industry, we are not destroying irreplaceable forests that filters our air and contains plants for new medicines. “About 70 percent of all grain produced in the United States is fed to animals raised for slaughter.” “The seven billion livestock animals in the United States consume five times as much grain as is consumed directly by the American population.” “If all the grain currently fed to livestock were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million,” says David Pimentel, professor of ecology at Cornell University.

Being a vegetarian has no negative health benefit when compared to a diet that includes meat. “There is no nutrient necessary for humans which cannot be obtained from plant food.” Being a meat eater actually has more poor consequences to your health. For example, “animal foods are higher in fat than most plant foods, particularly saturated fats. Plants do not contain cholesterol.” “Meat is deficient in carbohydrates, particularly the starches which are so essential to proper health. Except for the b-complex, meat is largely deficient in vitamins.”As well, animal foods contain higher concentrations of agricultural chemicals than plant foods, including pesticides, herbicides. We also ingest livestock drugs when we eat meat. “There are over 20,000 different drugs, including sterols, antibiotics, growth hormones and other veterinary drugs that are given to livestock animals.” These drugs are consumed by us when animal foods are consumed. There are also “a host of bacteria and viruses, some quite dangerous, that are common to animals.” When we eat meat, we are consuming these organisms. “Microorganisms are present in plant foods too,” but their danger to human health is not as serious as those in meat.”Eating meat can also be tied to disease and other health problems.

Meat eating increases the risk of heart disease. Being a vegetarian can assist with cancer prevention. “Of all the natural cancer prevention substances found: vitamin C, B-17, hydroquinones, beta carotene, NDGA, – none has been found to be animal derived.” On the contrary most meats, when cooked, produce “benzenes and other carcinogenic compounds.” Cancer is easier to prevent than cure. For example, “soybeans contain protease inhibitor, a powerful anticancer compound.” “It is not found in useful quantities in animal based food.” There is also “a correlation between meat consumption and a wide range of degenerative diseases that includes: Osteoporosis; Kidney Stones and Gallstones; Diabetes; Multiple Sclerosis; Arthritis; Gum disease; Acne and Obesity.”Some vegetarians give up meat because of their concern for animals. “Ten billion animals are slaughtered for human consumption each year.” And, unlike the farms of our grandparents where animals roamed freely on the farm today most animals are factory farmed. Which means that they are “crammed into cages where they can barely move and fed a diet tainted with pesticides and antibiotics.”It is stated that “only 3.2 of Americans are vegetarians”, but “vegetarians outlive others by six years.”

So, why are we all not becoming vegetarians.I think it is because we do what our parents do, we stick to what is familiar to us. But we need to change our ways. Eating meat is destroying forests that clean our air.

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