Is Vegetarian Diet Really Better? Essay, Research Paper
To eat is one of indispensable matters to maintain our life. We ingest food and get necessary energy and nutrition to live; so, deciding what to eat is very important for us. Contrast with former times, today s people have more food choices. Under such circumstances, vegetarianism is getting more and more attention from people who seek better and healthier lifestyle. However, people who are interested in vegetarianism but not yet vegetarians may share two questions that are Is a vegetarian diet really safe? and Is vegetarian diet really better? Being vegetarian, I say, yes to the question. There are two excellent reasons to stop eating meat; vegetarianism is good for efficient use of the natural resources and reducing the risk of adult diseases. Perceiving vegetarianism as beneficial, many people switch their diet from meat basis to plant basis.
Vegetarianism contributes much towards conserving the natural environment. According to Castleman, about fifty percent of the land in the United States is devoted to agriculture; eighty percent of that is used to grow livestock feed (28). Similarly, in the tropical rain forest, broad acres of jungle are cleared each day for large-scale cattle ranching (Castleman28). Cattle also use an extraordinary amount of water. Fifty percent of US water is used for producing livestock (Clark 100). It takes 1200 gallons of water a day to provide all the food for the average vegetarians. On the contrary, for the typical meat-eating person, it is 4200 gallons. Livestock productions cause not only inefficient use of water but also water pollution. Actually, livestock-industry wastes cause more than half of the water pollution in the United States. Moreover, it is ironic that grains fed to livestock, one third of world s yield, could feed billions of humans under the condition of chronic hunger and malnutrition (Clark 100, Mukamal 15). Vegetarian food requires fewer resources to grow as Mukamal notes that it takes sixteen pounds of grain to produce a pound of beef and only one pound of grain to produce a pound of bread (15). While we can live on grains and soybeans, why should we feed livestock with them and damage the planet?
Besides vegetarianism is eco-friendly, it is good for your health as well. Non-vegetarians may concern that giving up meat cause a lack of required nutrition. The fact is that a daily variety of plant food can provide adequate high-quality protein plus plenty of vitamins and minerals (Farley 11). To ensure proper protein, calcium, and iron, eat dark-green leafy vegetables like spinach; seeds, nuts, and dried fruits; and seaweed, legumes, and Soy products like tofu and miso, ensure proper protein, calcium, and iron (Mukamal 15). It is true that as you go stricter vegetarian diet, more you need advises from dietitian to ensure your health, but if you truly eat a wide enough variety of food, you do not have to worry about getting proper nutrition, generally.
I admit that you can make it easier to take all the nutrition needed by including meat in your diet than taking them all only from vegetarian food. However, I still recommend you a vegetarian diet as prevention for the adult diseases. Adult diseases are serious issues in modern society. Many of the agencies authorized a health claim recognize that a major cause of the diseases is ill-balanced diet taking too much fat and cholesterol (Farley 12). Plant food is very low in fat and cholesterol besides it contains plenty of vitamins and fiber that are associated with reduced adult disease risk ( Vegetarian Diets 7); consequently, recent medical research indicates that the properly planned vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of heart diseases, some cancers, high blood pressure and diabetes (Farley 11). A study published in the British Medical Journal compared six thousand vegetarians and similar number of non-vegetarians. The vegetarian s death rate from heart diseases was twenty-eight percent lower, and they had thirty-nine percent fewer deaths from cancer (Castleman 26). What you eat becomes fuel of your body, so there is no doubt that your diet directly effects your health. In other words, you can control your future health condition at higher probability by making careful food choices. The vegetarianism is the one that corresponds to your desire for better health.
As I have said in this essay, vegetarianism is good not only for the environment but also for your own well-being. By becoming vegetarian, you contribute not a little towards using limited natural resources efficiently and cutting the damage on the earth; furthermore, you improve your living environment. Vegetarian diet also gives you health benefits. The appropriately planned vegetarian diet can provide you well quality of all needed nutrition, and it is effective to reduce the risks of various adult diseases. Changing eating habit is not easy but instead of binding yourself to be a vegetarian, you can ask yourself what is good for the environment and what is needed for your body; then eat what you answer. You will find yourself naturally having plant-based food and avoiding animal products; that means you are a vegetarian.
Castleman, Michael. Flesh Wounds. Sierra March 95: 26+.
Clark, Amy Rosenbaum. Twenty Good Reasons to Be Vegetarian. Vegetarian Times
Nov. 94: 100-102.
Farlay, Dixie. More People Trying Vegetarian Diets. FDA Consumer Oct. 95: 10-13.
Mukamal, Lauren. Going Vegetarian. Ms. July/Aug. 94: 14-18.
Vegetarian Diets. Mayo Clinic Health Letter Jan. 95: 7.