Vegetarianism & Family

Any diet which excludes the use of animal flesh is known as vegetarianism. Vegetarianism comes in a variety of diets which also exclude animal products like eggs or dairy products. A vegetarian diet satisfies the nutritional needs for all stages of life. Research conducted has proven that it increases the life span, improves health and plays an important role in reducing the risk of cancer and other diseases. This paper argues about the benefits of vegetarianism by examining a variety of sources to prove its assertion. There are various factors that make a person choose vegetarianism.

It may be religion, moral values, ethics, society or health. A vegetarian diet includes eggs, honey, dairy products, vegetables, cereals and fruits. It has been found out that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are well balanced and healthy. They satisfy the dietary requirements for all phases of life. Research conducted also shows that vegetarianism increases life, provides healthy life style and lowers the risk of deadly diseases like cancer (Alley, 2005). It also helps in controlling weight, decreases the danger of heart diseases and osteoporosis.

Cancer is often cause by consuming non-lean red meat. With the help of vegetarian diet, the advantages are many. Vegetarianism substantially reduces the risk of heart disease in several ways. Diets which are heavy with cholesterol and saturated fats cause high levels of blood cholesterol. Further free radicals contribute to artery clogging and are concentrated in animal flesh. Vegetables on the other hand contain a range of free radical antioxidants which can help in the elimination of free radicals (MacKinnon, 2006). Meat and other products are associated with breast, colon and other types of cancer.

Cooked meat contains large quantities of amines which can cause mutations that lead to cancer. Research has concluded that breast cancer is likely due to a high percentage of calories from fat. Japanese women are known to have a lower rate of breast cancer due to their low intake of calories from fat (Alley, 2005). Obesity and diabetes are reduced in a vegetable diet. This proves the benefit of vegetarian diet on health. The fat in food is converted to fat in our bodies. Fiber in grains and other products helps discourage overeating in people.

Studies conducted have shown that vegetarians have less rates of obesity as compared with those people who eat meat. In addition the consumption of milk products can cause the onset of diabetes in children (Dupler, 2004). Animal products can cause severe bone loss and increase the risk of hip fracture. Non animal foods actually help to protect the bones. Vegetables and fruits contain base precursors which are not found in animal foods that help protect bones. Reduced animal protein and increased vegetable protein help protect bones.

A study found out that milk consumption does not reduce the risk of bone fractures. Another study even concludes about the lack of adequate scientific evidence to support the intake of dairy foods to promote bone health (Alley, 2005). This proves that a diet rich in vegetables can help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes Another benefit of vegetables and fruits is that they are not laced with antibiotics and erythromycin. Many animal products are laced with such substances which reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics to treat people.

The proper cooking of meat for instance raises the concentration of cancer causing heterocyclic amines. One of the notorious practices of the animal industry is that it feeds animals carcasses. This has led to the appearance of diseases like the mad cow disease. The use of animal agriculture has led to the spread of the deadly E. coli bacteria. An estimated five thousand people die annually due to food borne diseases in the United States (Dupler, 2004). The use of hormones in animals has known to cause several types of cancer and reproductive dysfunction in humans.

The pollution of waterways has further threatened the eating of fish. Many fish today have high levels of organochlorides which can cause cancer, developmental defects and stunted intelligence. A vegetable diet is related with the longevity of the human life. A vegetarian diet increases the life expectancy of a human being for up to ten years. Another reason why vegetarianism is a natural thing for human beings is that our anatomy resembles that of plant eating creatures. The colons and intestines of human beings are longer than bodies.

Meat slowly passes through the gut in long gastrointestinal systems which can expose human beings to harmful products. Fiber is vital for intestinal health and helps in protecting from colon disease. The lack of fibers can cause problems in the gastrointestinal tract. The accumulation of poisonous metals carries the risk of contamination in fruits and vegetables. The frequent use of pesticides poses health risks for individuals. Organic foods are much better because of their production standards. Doctors also recommend vegetable diets to patients because of their benefits. The food given to animals is grains.

They also require water. The study conducted by USDA suggested that the farm animals need food equal to the half of United States water supply (Alley, 2005). It was also found out the consumption of soya crop was 90%, corn crop was 80% and total amount of grain was 70%. The Trophic dynamics theory states that there is a need of 10 times as many harvests to nourish animals that are being raised for animal protein manufacture as it would to provide foot for the same amount of people following a vegetarian diet. 70% of grains are being fed to the animals being raised for meat production.

Vegetarianism must also be promoted because it will compensate the behavior with poor people and the job circumstances of workers in the meat business. Studies have been conducted that shows the employees who work in the meat industry are suffering from psychological disorders. It also violates the employees rights because of the difficult and distressing tasks have to be carried out without formal training. If the large scale meat production is reduced in the industrial countries, it will be easy to lead a healthy life style. At the same time, public health care will be provided.

The cattle grazing in fields will be pressured off resulting in saving the agricultural resources. With the increase in population, decline in meat consumption will permit more well-organized use of land and water resources that are already available. At the same time it will make grain cost effective to the already constantly hungry world (Dupler, 2004). Vegetarianism is also beneficial because of the environmental factors in the production of meat. Meat production is responsible for pollution and use of natural resources like water and fossil fuels.

The livestock industry has contributed to environmental destruction according to research conducted by the United Nations (Alley, 2005). This has led to an increase in air and water pollution, climate change and loss of ecosystem. A recent study concluded that reductions in meat consumption can ease the health care systems of the industrialized countries. It will also result in improving the health of the people. It will also allow livestock to take pressure of rangelands and grain lands. This would lead to the rejuvenation of the agricultural resource base (Alley, 2005).

Vegetarianism is also beneficial from an economic point of view because the consumption of meat is expensive. It can also promote a simple living for poor people who cannot afford meat. Nutrition can be acquired more efficiently from vegetables as compared with meat. Scientifically as discussed above, vegetarian diet is rich in nutrients and carbohydrates which carry few health risks. The rise of advanced agricultural techniques has made the production of meat outdated. Most people in the developing world live on a subsistence income which is barely sufficient for their means.

In this scenario a vegetarian diet would be more beneficial for them since it would not impact their expenses and also carry few health risks. The scarcity or expensive prices of meat can be countered by the cheap and more beneficial vegetarian diet for the poor people of the third world (Alley, 2005). Finally there are ethical reasons for vegetarianism which include the belief that inflicting pain or harm to any living creature is morally wrong. The slaughtering of animals is carried in a barbaric way which inflicts pain and harm. The commercial methods for the rearing and slaughter of animals is not correct.

Peter Singer, a philosopher believes that vegetarianism is an alternate form of survival which does not cause unneccesary harm to animals. The killing of animals can be justified only in some extreme circumstances. However consuming a living creature for its tase and nutritional value is not a sufficient cause (MacKinnon, 2006). The spread of factory farming has led to animals being treated as commodities. The current system of slaughtering animals disregards the welfare of the animals. Research has also found the existence of intelligence behavior in animals.

For instance it has been found that some animal species have emotions and a level of consciousness which would be used to describe human beings only. World religions like Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism prohibit the killing of living things. They encourage the use of vegetarian diet which is beneficial and ethically correct. Hinduism considers vegetarianism to be an ideal. They have three major principles which are non violence, pure vegetarian food for their deity and to receive it back. Jains follow a strict form of vegetarianism which rejects any products of dead animals.

Some forms of Buddhism are also strictly against the eating of meat. Many monks are advised to be vegetarians because of its spiritual benefits and philosophy of not harming animals (MacKinnon, 2006). Vegetarianism is a diet which is free from animal products. It carries many ethical, social, philosophical, environmental, medical and economic benefits. A vegetable rich diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diasbetes, cancer and osteoporosis. Research has found that people eating a vegetarian diet are less likely to die from deadly diseases.

Vegetarianism increases the life span of an individual by ten years. Another benefit of vegetables and fruits is that they are not laced with antibiotics and erythromycin. Many animal products are laced with such substances which reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics to treat people. Vegetarianism is also economically much more efficient because of its cheap price and few health risks. It is ideal for poor people living in the developed world who cannot afford meat. The meat industry in the United States has been known to exploit its workers.

Many workers have been shown to suffer from psychological disorders. There are also ethical reasons for not eating meat because research has found animals to have a level of emotion and consciousness which is typically associated with human beings. The rise of advanced agricultural techniques has made the production of meat outdated. Most people in the developing world live on a subsistence income which is barely sufficient for their means. Vegetarianism must be promoted as an alternate lifestyle for survival because today the use of technology has made meat production obsolete.It will also carry much health and economic benefits for the people of the world.


MacKinnon, Barbara (2006). Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues . New York: Thomson/Wadsworth. Dupler, Douglas (2004). Vegetarianism. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from Life Steps Web site: http://www. lifesteps. com/gm/Atoz/ency/vegetarianism. jsp Alley, Holly (2005). Vegetarianism. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from Family and Consumer Sciences Web site: http://www. fcs. uga. edu/pubs/current/FDNS-E-18. html

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