As a self-proclaimed ultimate carnivore I usually view the vegetarian option as nothing but rabbit food but admittedly there are many benefits to this type of diet.
There are a lot of good reasons to be vegetarian but also a lot of good reasons to be a carnivore.
So in the spirit of being open-minded here is a list of pros and cons for choosing a vegetarian lifestyle.
- Pro – It is significantly better for your health as it is a low fat diet and for the environment due to the production of meat using up natural resources.
- Pro – There are a lot of factory farms that mistreat meat producing animals and dairy cows so turning veggie is a step in the right direction for all you animal lovers.
- Pro – There are often poor working conditions in slaughter houses and other meat factories, although the suggestion of improving working conditions to solve this one rather than vegetarianism would be a better option. People still need to work, and taking away one bad job does not mean that workers will be supplied with a good one in return.
- Con – Vegetarians have to pay strict attention to their diet so that they do not lack any essential nutrients. This is time consuming and tricky when it comes to protein. Meat eaters have no issue with getting their daily level of protein.
- Con – Vegetarians tend to overdo it on the grains to substitute for the lack of meat. This contributes to weight gain and increased sugar intake which will not only bloat your body but also cause health problems.
- Con – Eating out can often be tricky as a lot of restaurants cook vegetables in meat stock. There is nothing worse than going out with a fussy vegetarian.
- Pro – It is cheaper to be a vegetarian (especially for students) as meat is expensive.
- Con – There is no vegetable in the world that will be as satisfying as a big greasy kebab after a night on the town.
Being a vegetarian is a lifestyle choice and it is a hard decision to make and for some an even harder decision to keep.
Vegetarians are not an alien race but chose a different path in life to the carnivores.
There is nothing better or worse about it and while most committed carnivores will never convert even they will partake in a veggie meal every now and again.
(Original text published in campus.ie on 24 August 2012 http://campus.ie/health/healthy-body/to-be-or-not-to-be-vegetarian)