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The pros and cons of living vegetarian

Have you ever wondered why people become vegetarians? There are a variety of reasons people avoid meat. It could be due to health, concerns about animal lives, or a desire to eat in a way that avoids excessive resources. No matter the reason, vegetarianism has become more appealing and accessible to people. 

When it comes to health, a vegetarian diet’s nutrition can protect against chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. According to the American Dietetic Association, the majority of vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in preventing and treating certain diseases. 

There are many people who highly value animals’ lives and find it cruel to kill them for food. They believe that animal life is just as valuable as humans since they experience fear and pain. Becoming a vegetarian prevents more land animals from being slaughtered and bleeding to death. It also saves animals by reducing the demand for meat, causing fewer animals to face the harsh reality of becoming a part of human consumption. 

Raising livestock animals for consumption creates more greenhouse gasses than all the cars and trucks worldwide, reducing livestock production immensely decreases these emissions. Less demand for meat leads to reduced livestock production. 

There are many people who follow different diets and call themselves vegetarians. These people fall into the following categories: vegan, lacto-ovo, lacto, ovo and partial vegetarians. There are partial vegetarians consisting of pescatarians and pollo-vegetarians, who eat fish and chicken, respectively. 

Vegans eliminate eating meat, poultry, or fish and will not consume dairy products, eggs, or other animal products. Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat both eggs and dairy products but no meat or fish. Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products but not eggs, ovo-vegetarians eat eggs but not dairy products. Pescatarians eat fish but avoid all other meat and pollo-vegetarians eat poultry but avoid meat and fish. 

Despite all the benefits vegetarian diets bring, doctors and dieticians are concerned about plant-based diets since they lack protein, vitamin B12, iron, zinc and Omega-3 fatty acids. Even though there are alternatives to get those nutrients while being busy, the question remains whether people can get enough nutrients in their diet to have a healthy balance. 

Additionally, people who become vegetarians are at a higher risk for strokes, hair loss, depression and decreased brain health. Studies have shown that vegetarians rely heavily on starchy, carb-heavy diets, which can cause blood pressure to increase and then drop, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. If you are considering a vegetarian diet, consider the health benefits and risks.

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