Why Be a Vegetarian?

So why be a vegetarian? There are many reasons to be vegetarian whether they are health reasons, supporting the environment, or moral. First of all, what exactly makes someone a vegetarian? A vegetarian is defined as someone who doesn’t eat meat, poultry, or fish. Instead, vegetarians eat mainly fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, legumes, and nuts. Many vegetarians will still eat eggs and dairy products, but avoid hidden animal products such as stocks, broths, lards, and gelatin made from chicken or beef.

My body will not be a tomb for other creatures”

— Leonardo Da Vinci

People are vegetarians for many reasons including personal health, environmental and economic benefits, world hunger concerns, belief in nonviolence and non-animal cruelty, or just food preferences.

A lot of people either seem to think that vegetarians are either very healthy because all they eat are fruits and vegetables, or they’re not healthy because they don’t eat meat and lack the added nutrition that meat provides. Vegetarians are normally very healthy. According to the ADA the vegetarian diet puts you at less of a risk to get heart disease, colorectal, ovarian, and breast cancers, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure because the vegetarian diet is low in fat and high in fiber. People also seem to think you can only get protein from meat. Protein is found in both plant and animal foods; good sources of protein are found in whole grains, lentils, beans, tofu, tempeh, peas, nuts, seeds, eggs, and low-fat dairy products. If you eat a healthy balanced vegetarian diet you are not at any bodily health risks. Vegans, people who do not eat any animal products at all, can have lower than normal intakes of vitamin B-12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and occasionally riboflavin.

Vegetarian diets are becoming more and more common. If you are considering becoming a vegetarian there are many things to keep in mind. I, myself, am a vegetarian of 3 years and 5 months and sometimes it can be hard sticking to this diet, especially living in a small town with limited options. However, I stick to it because I believe in this lifestyle and I hate knowing that millions of animals are being born and raised just to be murdered for human consumption.  A lot of people try to convince me by saying things like “Just eat it, it’s already dead. It’s not like you’re really making that big of a difference anyways.” But I am making a difference, and so is everyone else that chooses not to eat meat and contribute to the problem. According to PETA you save up to 8+ animals for every month you don’t eat meat. I believe everyone should be open to becoming a vegetarian because it is better for your health, animals, and the planet.