The debate Vegetarian Diet vs Non-Vegetarian Diet has never been so exciting. More and more Non-Vegetarians are reducing their consumption of animal products. They are becoming “flexitarians”. Among them, some become 100% Vegetarians or even vegans. The Vegan population in US has increased from 1% in 2009 to 6% in 2017, which is around 6 times the previous population. And if we see the overall world population, then we’ll find that around 21.8% are vegans. A study from 2010 estimated that there are 1450 million vegetarians of necessity and another 75 million of choice.
So what’s the reason behind this sudden change? Why are many people moving towards a pure-vegetarian diet? The reasons may be health issues, ethics or love for animals. This is related to one of the hotly debated topics of all time: Should we eat meat or not? Isn’t a vegetarian diet healthier?
Arguments Supporting Non-Veg Diet
- Meat eating is mainly argued due to its nutritional value. Meat helps in a better physical growth and provides strength to muscles due to the high quality protein present in it.
- Our brain is the most power hungry organ of our body and uses more than 20% of our total energy. Meat fulfills this energy demand in a better way than any other food product.
- Meat is one of the biggest source of good quality iron. Iron is an essential component of our body that helps in the formation of hemoglobin and myoglobin.
- Another important component of our diet which cannot be obtained from plants is Vitamin B12. The deficiency of B12 is very scary. It may lead to pernicious anemia and nerve damage, which can mimic Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.
- In this whole world one animal must kill another animal to survive. This is the rule of life. The only difference is that herbivores kill plants, carnivores kill animals and omnivores kill both. So, what’s wrong in humans killing animals for food when they are capable of it?
- Also our digestive system is that of an omnivore. The moderate size of our intestine, presence of meat digestive enzymes and canine teeth suggests a non-vegetarian diet we are capable of.
Arguments Supporting Pure-Vegetarian Diet
- There are many health benefits of vegetarian food. Meat causes obesity, high cholesterol, different cardiovascular diseases and sometimes even cancer. Vegetarian food saves us from all these diseases. Most vegetarian diet is full of antioxidants. They reduces aging, risks of heart disease and risk of other diseases like kidney stones, cataract and even diabetes.
- A vegetarian diet can fulfil all our nutritional needs. Vegan can obtain good quality protein from plants such as soy or hemp products. Vegetarian can also obtain it from milk. Soy can also fulfil our needs of Vitamin B12. Thus, a vegetarian diet can give you a healthy life and may increase your life-span by few years.
- Meat eaters say vegans also kill plants. Well, if we see at the minute level, we are actually killing thousands of bacteria every second. Many-a-time we ignorantly kill many ants underneath our feet. So the point is, it doesn’t matter whether we kill or not, the point that matters is the complexity of the organisms we kill.
- Majority of world population takes a non-vegetarian diet, there is high load on animal farming. Around 70% of US grain production is used to feed farm animals. It also requires huge amount of water, more than half the water used in United States. Also raising animals for food is the biggest polluter of water and topsoil. The waste in slaughterhouse also gives rise to many harmful bacteria which flows down to water and soil and then pollutes them. Thus, vegetarian food is also environment-friendly.
So, we saw the arguments of both the sides and both seem to be logical. There is no doubt about the fact that meat is a very nutritious food and our biological features support an omnivorous diet. But one thing we (non-vegetarians) can do to minimize it. We can reduce our meat consumption, like once or twice a week. We can preferably eat smaller organisms like fish rather than big animals like cow, which has a greater sense of understanding and emotion.
Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet. Please also read our FDA Disclaimer