Vegetarianism is the limitation of ones diet to only plants, vegetables, grains, and fruits, without eating any food derived from an animal. There are different extremes of vegetarianism, where you can eat dairy, but not eggs, only milk, etc And the reasons why people convert to this diet differ. Health, religion, compassion for the animals, it usually varies.
Vegetarianism has been around for centuries, beginning with the peaceful Hindu and Buddhist religions, but recently we have seen the eruption of a more militant vegetarianism that is inspired by the animal rights movement. Today, vegetarian activists are throwing pies at Ronald McDonald and the Pork Queen, scrawling, “meat is murder” in prominent locations, committing terrorist acts of arson, and waging media campaigns equating meat consumption with cannibalism. Vegetarianism is becoming a soapbox more than a healthier diet. The guidelines from the U. S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services advise 2 to 3 daily servings of milk, which vegetarians do not drink, and the same amounts of foods such as eggs, meat, poultry and fish.
They recommend 3 to 5 servings of vegetables, 2 to 4 of fruits, and 6 to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. In other words, 11 to 20 plant foods, but only 4 to 6 animal foods. Vegetarians are, on the average, far healthier than those who eat the typical Western diet, and enjoy a lower incidence of many chronic diseases. Vegetarians are consuming less cholesterol and fat than carnivorous eaters.
Vegetarian diets offer disease protection benefits because of their lower saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein content. However it has not been proven that one must eliminate meat from one’s diet in order to be healthy. It has been aptly demonstrated that the typical Western diet contains too much fat. Eliminating meat from the diet is one way to reduce fat, but it is not the only way.
Eating meat responsibly and adding more carbohydrates to your diet can also reduce fat. Vegetarian diets have also been known to cure and/or prevent diseases. For example, Soya beans contain high concentrations of substances now known to be cancer-preventers, and several studies show that soya consumption can reduce both colon and rectal cancer. And according to The Journal of the American Medical Association, a vegetarian diet can prevent 97 percent of coronary occlusions.
But vegetarian diets have also been shown to increase the risk for nutrient deficiencies. Children are particularly vulnerable and can lead to growth problems. Vegetarian children often fail to grow as well as their omnivorous counterparts. Adults who choose to become vegetarian at a mature age are less susceptible to the health downfalls of the diet. But young children who are raised in a vegetarian household are lacking serious nutrients necessary for proper growth. Vegetarians who eat no animal flesh or dairy products risk vitamin B12 deficiency, which can result in irreversible nerve deterioration.
The need for vitamin B12 increases during pregnancy, breast-feeding, and the period of adolescence growth. Vegetarians with high nutrient needs, such as athletes and pregnant women, especially need these lacked vitamins. And not receiving all of these vitamins can be detrimental to ones health. Also, ovo-vegetarians, who eat eggs but no dairy foods or animal flesh, may have inadequate vitamin D and calcium. Inadequate vitamin D may cause rickets in children, while inadequate calcium can contribute to risk of osteoporosis in later years.
These vegetarians are susceptible to iron deficiency anemia because they are only missing the more readily absorbed iron from animal flesh. A vegetarian diet needs to be looked at with extreme scrutiny, as not to endanger ones health. Ecological arguments against omnivorous and carnivorous eating habits, are little more than an attempt by those from the less popular animal rights movement to ride the coattails of the more popular environmental movement. In some cases, warnings of impending environmental cataclysm are used to advance an ethical agenda. However, arguments to the effect that eating meat is destroying the planet overlook that the planet has not yet been destroyed despite millions of years of omnivorous and carnivorous eating by millions of individuals from a multitude of species.
Carnivores make up the majority of the food chain, both human and animal. .