Page 7«..4567

Category : Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism: Pros and Cons – GOQii

The philosophy around going meatless or adopting a vegetarian lifestyle has become increasingly popular. People are being more aware of foods that are nutrient dense (and those less so) which helps them to stay healthy and fit. So is veering towards a plant-based approach the best way to go? A growing number of people seem to think so. A Vegetarian resource group conducted a poll and found that there was rise in people adopting vegetarianism/veganism compared to previous years data in USA, similar data was shown for Europe, Israel and India as well.

Before we fall in to the discussion of Should people become Vegetarian? however, its important to understand what vegetarianism actually means as well as the benefits and potential risks associated with it.

Vegetarian broadly refers to those who restricts consumption of animal products like meat, fish, poultry etc., and largely rely on plant based foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, dairy, pulses etc., for living. Within this group, there are various levels of vegetarians. These are classified from most restrictive to those who are less so.

A vegetarian diet is naturally low in fats and high in fiber, but being vegetarian has its own risks. So no matter at what level you happen to fall, and no matter what reason you have chosen to commit to it , there are both pros and cons of being vegetarian. Here are few of them:

Pros of Vegetarianism:

Cons of Vegetarianism:

Read this article:
Vegetarianism: Pros and Cons - GOQii

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Proven Advantages And Disadvantages Of Vegetarianism

The vegetarian diet is not a new concept but it has been made into one. Since the time immemorial, the cry that the human beings must return to the vegan lifestyle has been echoing in all the places around the world. But some hypocrites have remodeled the claims into something that is very new. It has been said that the vegetarian diet is the most preferred diet all over the world. The vegetarian form of the diet is the most preferred and the most trusted form of the diet in the world. But the parents have expressed duel of the nutritional intake in the vegetarian foods. But the dietary experts have consoled the parents that the well planned and the careful selection of the foods will provide the same amount of the nutrients that the meat based foods provide. But extra care must be provided to the children if the children do not consume enough of meat and dairy products. The nutritional needs of the children differs as they advance in years.

There are the number of reasons for a person to become a vegetarian. Some people adapt the vegetarian lifestyle for health reasons while others adopt it because they have been born or brought up in a vegan family. Even cultural issues also plays a role in making a man to adopt the vegetarian lifestyle. The concern and love for the animals also has a lot to do for the community or a family to become vegans.

Most people are of the opinion that the vegetarian diets are devoid of the proteins and the fats that the animal meat possess. But it is not true. The vegetarian diet also possess these kinds of the nutrients and the people need to carefully select the foods that are rich in them. The meat contains unsaturated fats and cholesterol and these harm the body.

The vegetarianism has been said to be the act of abstaining from all kinds of meat that is obtained from animal slaughter and living exquisitely only on the foods prepared by the dairy products, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses, fruits and grains. Some vegetarians include the eggs as a part of their daily diet while others do not. Various pros and cons of Vegetarianism are listed here.,

There are many benefits as opposed to the disadvantages of being a vegetarian. But the scientists have forestalled the people by telling them that they have also found that the intake of the vegetarian foods also increases the risks of developing calories. But not that alone, an estimated amount of the diseases like the cancers and other chronic diseases all owe their allegiance to the bad diets. So this has to be addressed and proper eating habits must be enforced. The advantages of vegetarianism are,

Though the advantages of being a vegan is very obvious, there are also some or the other complications that needs to be addressed in order to obtain a clear picture of the mode of the foods that may be eaten. Some people shriek from the idea of the meat free diet. So there are some demerits/cons of vegetarianism also listed here.

The term vegetarianism is a broad one and it does not confine one to a single aspect. The vegetarian people and the others need to understand the various categories that exists between the vegans. The types of the vegetarian foods depend on the selection of the foods and the types get classified according to it. As of now, it has said that there are four types of the vegetarian people. They are as follows :

The people who follow this type of the vegetarianism will live only on the food items like the dairy products, eggs and the usual plants for food. This is the most common form of the vegetarianism. They do not consume any animal products nor use them.

The people who follow this type of the vegan style will only include eggs and the plant based foods into their daily food regime. These people too do not consume meat products. They do not eat dairy products too.

These people eat the plant based foods as the above said groups of the people and they also consume the dairy products. These people are said to be the perfect types of the vegetarians.

These kind of the people eat only plant based foods and they neither include meat and dairy foods.

There is another category of the people who do not consume the red meat but eat the fish along with the plant based foods.

Read the original here:
Proven Advantages And Disadvantages Of Vegetarianism

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Vegetarianism – Wikipedia

Practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal), and may also include abstention from by-products of animals processed for food.[1][2]

Vegetarianism may be adopted for various reasons. Many people object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Such ethical motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs, as well as animal rights advocacy. Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic, economic, or personal preference. There are variations of the diet as well: an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products, an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products, and a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs. A strict vegetarian diet referred to as vegan excludes all animal products, including eggs and dairy. Some vegans even eschew honey, believing that exploiting the labor of bees and harvesting their energy source is immoral, even feeling that beekeeping operations can harm and even kill bees.[3]Avoidance of animal products may require dietary supplements to prevent deficiencies such as vitamin B12 deficiency, which leads to pernicious anemia.[4][5]

Packaged and processed foods, such as cakes, cookies, candies, chocolate, yogurt, and marshmallows, often contain unfamiliar animal ingredients, and so may be a special concern for vegetarians due to the likelihood of such additives.[2][6] Feelings among vegetarians may vary concerning these ingredients. Some vegetarians scrutinize product labels for animal-derived ingredients[6] while others do not object to consuming cheese made with animal-derived rennet.[2] Some vegetarians are unaware of animal-derived rennet being used in the production of cheese.[2][7][8]

Semi-vegetarian diets consist largely of vegetarian foods but may include fish or poultry, or sometimes other meats, on an infrequent basis. Those with diets containing fish or poultry may define meat only as mammalian flesh and may identify with vegetarianism.[9][10] A pescetarian diet has been described as "fish but no other meat".[11] The common-use association between such diets and vegetarianism has led vegetarian groups such as the Vegetarian Society to state that diets containing these ingredients are not vegetarian, because fish and birds are also animals.[12]

The first written use of the term "vegetarian" originated in the early 19th century, when authors referred to a vegetable regimen diet.[13] Modern dictionaries explain its origin as a compound of vegetable (adjective) and the suffix -arian (in the sense of agrarian).[14] The term was popularized with the foundation of the Vegetarian Society in Manchester in 1847,[15] although it may have appeared in print before 1847.[15][16][17] The earliest occurrences of the term seem to be related to Alcott Housea school on the north side of Ham Common, Londonwhich was opened in July 1838 by James Pierrepont Greaves.[16][17][18] From 1841, it was known as A Concordium, or Industry Harmony College, from which time the institution began to publish its own pamphlet entitled The Healthian, which provides some of the earliest appearances of the term "vegetarian".[16]

India is a strange country. People do not killany living creatures, do not keep pigs and fowl,and do not sell live cattle.

Faxian, 4th/5th century CEChinese pilgrim to India[19]

The earliest record of vegetarianism comes from the 7th century BCE,[20] inculcating tolerance towards all living beings.[21][22] Parshwanatha and Mahavira, the 23rd & 24th tirthankaras in Jainism respectively revived and advocated ahimsa and Jain vegetarianism in 8th to 6th century BC; the most comprehensive and strictest form of vegetarianism.[23][24][25] Vegetarianism was also practiced in ancient Greece and the earliest reliable evidence for vegetarian theory and practice in Greece dates from the 6th century BC. The Orphics, a religious movement spreading in Greece at that time, also practiced and promoted vegetarianism.[26] Greek teacher Pythagoras, who promoted the altruistic doctrine of metempsychosis, may have practiced vegetarianism,[27] but is also recorded as eating meat.[28] A fictionalized portrayal of Pythagoras appears in Ovid's Metamorphoses, in which he advocates a form of strict vegetarianism.[29] It was through this portrayal that Pythagoras was best known to English-speakers throughout the early modern period and, prior to the coinage of the word "vegetarianism", vegetarians were referred to in English as "Pythagoreans".[29]

Vegetarianism was also practiced about six centuries later in another instance (30BCE50CE) in the northern Thracian region by the Moesi tribe (who inhabited present-day Serbia and Bulgaria), feeding themselves on honey, milk, and cheese.[30]

In Indian culture, vegetarianism has been closely connected with the attitude of nonviolence towards animals (called ahimsa in India) for millennia and was promoted by religious groups and philosophers.[31] The ancient Indian work of Tirukkural explicitly and unambiguously emphasizes shunning meat and non-killing.[32] Chapter 26 of the Tirukkural, particularly couplets 251260, deals exclusively on vegetarianism or veganism.[32] Among the Hellenes, Egyptians, and others, vegetarianism had medical or ritual purification purposes.

Following the Christianization of the Roman Empire in late antiquity, vegetarianism practically disappeared from Europe, as it did elsewhere, except in India.[34] Several orders of monks in medieval Europe restricted or banned the consumption of meat for ascetic reasons, but none of them eschewed fish.[35] Moreover, the medieval definition of "fish" included such animals as seals, porpoises, dolphins, barnacle geese, puffins, and beavers.[36] Vegetarianism re-emerged during the Renaissance,[37] becoming more widespread in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1847, the first Vegetarian Society was founded in the United Kingdom;[38] Germany, the Netherlands, and other countries followed. In 1886, the vegetarian colony Nueva Germania was founded in Paraguay, though its vegetarian aspect would prove short-lived.[39]:345358 The International Vegetarian Union, an association of the national societies, was founded in 1908. In the Western world, the popularity of vegetarianism grew during the 20th century as a result of nutritional, ethical, andmore recentlyenvironmental and economic concerns.

There are a number of vegetarian diets that exclude or include various foods:

Within the "ovo-" groups, there are many who refuse to consume fertilized eggs (with balut being an extreme example); however, such distinction is typically not specifically addressed.

Some vegetarians also avoid products that may use animal ingredients not included in their labels or which use animal products in their manufacturing. For example, sugars that are whitened with bone char, cheeses that use animal rennet (enzymes from animal stomach lining), gelatin (derived from the collagen inside animals' skin, bones, and connective tissue), some cane sugar (but not beet sugar) and beverages (such as apple juice and alcohol) clarified with gelatin or crushed shellfish and sturgeon, while other vegetarians are unaware of, or do not mind, such ingredients.[2][6][7] In the 21st century, 90% of rennet and chymosin used in cheesemaking are derived from industrial fermentation processes, which satisfy both kosher and halal requirements.[42]

Individuals sometimes label themselves "vegetarian" while practicing a semi-vegetarian diet,[10][43][44] as some dictionary definitions describe vegetarianism as sometimes including the consumption of fish,[9] or only include mammalian flesh as part of their definition of meat,[9][45] while other definitions exclude fish and all animal flesh.[12] In other cases, individuals may describe themselves as "flexitarian".[43][46]These diets may be followed by those who reduce animal flesh consumed as a way of transitioning to a complete vegetarian diet or for health, ethical, environmental, or other reasons. Semi-vegetarian diets include:

Semi-vegetarianism is contested by vegetarian groups, such as the Vegetarian Society, which states that vegetarianism excludes all animal flesh.[12]

On average, vegetarians consume a lower proportion of calories from fat (particularly saturated fatty acids), fewer overall calories, more fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, than do non-vegetarians. Vegetarians generally have a lower body mass index. These characteristics and other lifestyle factors associated with a vegetarian diet may contribute to the positive health outcomes that have been identified among vegetarians.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 A report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services[47]

Studies on the health effects of vegetarian diets observe mixed effects on mortality. One review found a decreased overall risk of all cause mortality, cancer (except breast) and cardiovascular disease;[48] however, a meta-analysis found lower risk for ischemic heart disease and cancer but no effect on overall mortality or cerebrovascular disease.[49] Possible limitations include varying definitions used of vegetarianism, and the observation of increased risk of lung cancer mortality in those on a vegetarian diet for less than five years.[49] An analysis pooling two large studies found vegetarians in the UK have similar all cause mortality as meat eaters.[50]

The American Dietetic Association has stated that at all stages of life, a properly planned vegetarian diet can be "healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases."[51] Vegetarian diets offer lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein, and higher levels of carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals.[52][53]

Vegetarian diets have been studied to see whether they are of benefit in treating arthritis, but no good supporting evidence has been found.[54]

As of 2011[update] the relationship between vegetarian diet and bone health was unclear. According to some studies, a vegetarian lifestyle can be associated with vitamin B 12 deficiency and low bone mineral density.[55] However, a study of vegetarian and non-vegetarian adults in Taiwan found no significant difference in bone mineral density between the two groups.[56]

Vegetarian diets might reduce the risk of developing diabetes.[57] There is some evidence that a vegetarian diet may help people with type 2 diabetes achieve glycemic control.[58]

The American Dietetic Association discussed that vegetarian diets may be more common among adolescents with eating disorders, indicating that vegetarian diets do not cause eating disorders, but rather "vegetarian diets may be selected to camouflage an existing eating disorder".[59]

Vegetarian diets may lower the risk of heart disease, as well as reduce the need for medications prescribed for chronic illnesses.[60]

There have been many comparative and statistical studies of the relationship between diet and longevity, including vegetarianism and longevity.

A 1999 metastudy combined data from five studies from western countries.[61] The metastudy reported mortality ratios, where lower numbers indicated fewer deaths, for fish eaters to be 0.82, vegetarians to be 0.84, occasional meat eaters (eat meat less than once per week) to be 0.84. Regular meat eaters had the base mortality rate of 1.0, while the number for vegans was very uncertain (anywhere between 0.7 and 1.44) due to too few data points. The study reported the numbers of deaths in each category, and expected error ranges for each ratio, and adjustments made to the data. However, the "lower mortality was due largely to the relatively low prevalence of smoking in these [vegetarian] cohorts". Out of the major causes of death studied, only one difference in mortality rate was attributed to the difference in diet, as the conclusion states: "...vegetarians had a 24% lower mortality from ischaemic heart disease than non-vegetarians, but no associations of a vegetarian diet with other major causes of death were established".[61]

In Mortality in British vegetarians,[62] a similar conclusion is drawn:

British vegetarians have low mortality compared with the general population. Their death rates are similar to those of comparable non-vegetarians, suggesting that much of this benefit may be attributed to non-dietary lifestyle factors such as a low prevalence of smoking and a generally high socio-economic status, or to aspects of the diet other than the avoidance of meat and fish."[63]

The Adventist Health Studies is ongoing research that documents the life expectancy in Seventh-day Adventists. This is the only study among others with similar methodology which had favourable indication for vegetarianism. The researchers found that a combination of different lifestyle choices could influence life expectancy by as much as 10 years. Among the lifestyle choices investigated, a vegetarian diet was estimated to confer an extra 11/2 to 2 years of life. The researchers concluded that "the life expectancies of California Adventist men and women are higher than those of any other well-described natural population" at 78.5 years for men and 82.3 years for women. The life expectancy of California Adventists surviving to age 30 was 83.3 years for men and 85.7 years for women.[64]

The Adventist health study is again incorporated into a metastudy titled "Does low meat consumption increase life expectancy in humans?" published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which concluded that low meat eating (less than once per week) and other lifestyle choices significantly increase life expectancy, relative to a group with high meat intake. The study concluded that "The findings from one cohort of healthy adults raises the possibility that long-term ( 2 decades) adherence to a vegetarian diet can further produce a significant 3.6-y increase in life expectancy." However, the study also concluded that "Some of the variation in the survival advantage in vegetarians may have been due to marked differences between studies in adjustment for confounders, the definition of vegetarian, measurement error, age distribution, the healthy volunteer effect, and intake of specific plant foods by the vegetarians." It further states that "This raises the possibility that a low-meat, high plant-food dietary pattern may be the true causal protective factor rather than simply elimination of meat from the diet." In a recent review of studies relating low-meat diet patterns to all-cause mortality, Singh noted that "5 out of 5 studies indicated that adults who followed a low meat, high plant-food diet pattern experienced significant or marginally significant decreases in mortality risk relative to other patterns of intake."[65]

Statistical studies, such as comparing life expectancy with regional areas and local diets in Europe also have found life expectancy considerably greater in southern France, where a low meat, high plant Mediterranean diet is common, than northern France, where a diet with high meat content is more common.[66]

A study by the Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, and Institute of Physiological Chemistry looked at a group of 19 vegetarians (lacto-ovo) and used as a comparison a group of 19 omnivorous subjects recruited from the same region. The study found that this group of vegetarians (lacto-ovo) have a significantly higher amount of plasma carboxymethyllysine and advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) compared to this group of non-vegetarians.[67] Carboxymethyllysine is a glycation product which represents "a general marker of oxidative stress and long-term damage of proteins in aging, atherosclerosis and diabetes" and "[a]dvanced glycation end products (AGEs) may play an important adverse role in process of atherosclerosis, diabetes, aging and chronic renal failure".[67]

A strict vegetarian diet avoiding consumption of all animal products risks vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to hyperhomocysteinemia, a risk factor for several health disorders, including anemia, neurological deficits, gastrointestinal problems, platelet disorders, and increased risk for cardiovascular diseases.[4][5] This risk may be offset by ensuring sufficient intake of vitamin B12 by consuming fortified foods with vitamin B12 added during manufacturing, or by using a dietary supplement product.[4][5][48]

Western vegetarian diets are typically high in carotenoids, but relatively low in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12.[68] Vegans can have particularly low intake of vitamin B and calcium if they do not eat enough items such as collard greens, leafy greens, tempeh and tofu (soy).[69] High levels of dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, and magnesium, and low consumption of saturated fat are all considered to be beneficial aspects of a vegetarian diet.[70] A well planned vegetarian diet will provide all nutrients in a meat-eater's diet to the same level for all stages of life.[71]

Protein intake in vegetarian diets is lower than in meat diets but can meet the daily requirements for most people.[72] Studies at Harvard University as well as other studies conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and various European countries,confirmed vegetarian diets provide sufficient protein intake as long as a variety of plant sources are available and consumed.[73]

Vegetarian diets typically contain similar levels of iron to non-vegetarian diets, but this has lower bioavailability than iron from meat sources, and its absorption can sometimes be inhibited by other dietary constituents.[74] According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, consuming food that contains vitamin C, such as citrus fruit or juices, tomatoes, or broccoli, is a good way to increase the amount of iron absorbed at a meal.[75] Vegetarian foods rich in iron include black beans, cashews, hempseed, kidney beans, broccoli, lentils, oatmeal, raisins, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, black-eyed peas, soybeans, many breakfast cereals, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, tomato juice, tempeh, molasses, thyme, and whole-wheat bread.[76] The related vegan diets can often be higher in iron than vegetarian diets, because dairy products are low in iron.[70] Iron stores often tend to be lower in vegetarians than non-vegetarians, and a few small studies report very high rates of iron deficiency (up to 40%,[77] and 58%[78] of the respective vegetarian or vegan groups). However, the American Dietetic Association states that iron deficiency is no more common in vegetarians than non-vegetarians (adult males are rarely iron deficient); iron deficiency anaemia is rare no matter the diet.[79]

Vitamin B12 is not generally present in plants but is naturally found in foods of animal origin.[4][80] Lacto-ovo vegetarians can obtain B12 from dairy products and eggs, and vegans can obtain it from manufactured fortified foods (including plant-based products and breakfast cereals) and dietary supplements.[4][81][82]

The recommended daily dietary intake of B12 in the United States and Canada is 0.4 mcg (ages 06 months), rising to 1.8 mcg (913 years), 2.4 mcg (14+ years), and 2.8 mcg (lactating female).[80] While the body's daily requirement for vitamin B12 is in microgram amounts, deficiency of the vitamin through strict practice of a vegetarian diet without supplementation can increase the risk of several chronic diseases.[4][5][80]

Plant-based, or vegetarian, sources of Omega 3 fatty acids include soy, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, canola oil, kiwifruit, hempseed, algae, chia seed, flaxseed, echium seed and leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage and purslane. Purslane contains more Omega 3 than any other known leafy green. Olives (and olive oil) are another important plant source of unsaturated fatty acids. Plant foods can provide alpha-linolenic acid which the human body uses to synthesize the long-chain n-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA can be obtained directly in high amounts from oily fish or fish oils. Vegetarians, and particularly vegans, have lower levels of EPA and DHA than meat-eaters. While the health effects of low levels of EPA and DHA are unknown, it is unlikely that supplementation with alpha-linolenic acid will significantly increase levels.[83][clarification needed] Recently, some companies have begun to market vegetarian DHA supplements containing seaweed extracts. Whole seaweeds are not suitable for supplementation because their high iodine content limits the amount that may be safely consumed. However, certain algae such as spirulina are good sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), linoleic acid (LA), stearidonic acid (SDA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and arachidonic acid (AA).[84][85]

Calcium intake in vegetarians and vegans can be similar to non-vegetarians, as long as the diet is properly planned.[86] Lacto-ovo vegetarians that include dairy products can still obtain calcium from dairy sources like milk, yogurt, and cheese.[87]

Non-dairy milks that are fortified with calcium, such as soymilk and almond milk can also contribute a significant amount of calcium in the diet.[88] The calcium found in broccoli, bok choy, and kale have also been found to have calcium that is well absorbed in the body.[86][87][89] Though the calcium content per serving is lower in these vegetables than a glass of milk, the absorption of the calcium into the body is higher.[87][89] Other foods that contain calcium include calcium-set tofu, blackstrap molasses, turnip greens, mustard greens, soybeans, tempeh, almonds, okra, dried figs, and tahini.[86][88] Though calcium can be found in Spinach, swiss chard, beans and beet greens, they are generally not considered to be a good source since the calcium binds to oxalic acid and is poorly absorbed into the body.[87] Phytic acid found in nuts, seeds, and beans may also impact calcium absorption rates.[87] See the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements for calcium needs for various ages,[87] the Vegetarian Resource Group[88] and the Vegetarian Nutrition Calcium Fact Sheet from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics[86] for more specifics on how to obtain adequate calcium intake on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Vitamin D needs can be met via the human body's own generation upon sufficient and sensible exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light in sunlight.[90][91] Products including milk, soy milk and cereal grains may be fortified to provide a source of Vitamin D.[92] For those who do not get adequate sun exposure or food sources, Vitamin D supplementation may be necessary.

Vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol is found in fungus (except alfalfa which is a plantae) and created from viosterol, which in turn is created when ultraviolet light activates ergosterol (which is found in fungi and named as a sterol from ergot). Any UV-irradiated fungus including yeast form vitamin D2.[95] Human bioavailability of vitamin D2 from vitamin D2-enhanced button mushrooms via UV-B irradiation is effective in improving vitamin D status and not different from a vitamin D2 supplement according to study.[96] For example, Vitamin D2 from UV-irradiated yeast baked into bread is bioavailable.[97]By visual assessment or using a chromometer, no significant discoloration of irradiated mushrooms, as measured by the degree of "whiteness", was observed[98] making it hard to discover if they have been treated without labeling. Claims have been made that a normal serving (approx. 3 oz or 1/2 cup, or 60 grams) of mushrooms treated with ultraviolet light increase their vitamin D content to levels up to 80 micrograms,[99] or 2700 IU if exposed to just 5 minutes of UV light after being harvested.[100]

Various ethical reasons have been suggested for choosing vegetarianism, usually predicated on the interests of non-human animals. In many societies, controversy and debate have arisen over the ethics of eating animals. Some people, while not vegetarians, refuse to eat the flesh of certain animals due to cultural taboo, such as cats, dogs, horses or rabbits. Others support meat eating for scientific, nutritional and cultural reasons, including religious ones. Some meat eaters abstain from the meat of animals reared in particular ways, such as factory farms, or avoid certain meats, such as veal or foie gras. Some people follow vegetarian or vegan diets not because of moral concerns involving the raising or consumption of animals in general, but because of concerns about the specific treatment and practices involved in the processing of animals for food. Others still avoid meat because meat production is claimed to place a greater burden on the environment than production of an equivalent amount of plant protein. Ethical objections based on consideration for animals are generally divided into opposition to the act of killing in general, and opposition to certain agricultural practices surrounding the production of meat.

Ethical vegetarians believe that killing an animal, like killing a human, especially one who has equal or lesser cognitive abilities than the animals in question, can only be justified in extreme circumstances and that consuming a living creature for its enjoyable taste, convenience, or nutrition value is not a sufficient cause.[101] Another common view is that humans are morally conscious of their behavior in a way other animals are not, and therefore subject to higher standards.[102] One author proposes that denying the right to life and humane treatment to animals with equal or greater cognitive abilities than mentally disabled humans is an arbitrary and discriminatory practice based on habit instead of logic.[103] Opponents of ethical vegetarianism argue that animals are not moral equals to humans and so consider the comparison of eating livestock with killing people to be fallacious. This view does not excuse cruelty, but maintains that animals do not possess the rights a human has.[104]

One of the main differences between a vegan and a typical vegetarian diet is the avoidance of both eggs and dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter and yogurt. Ethical vegans do not consume dairy or eggs because they state that their production causes the animal suffering or a premature death.[105]

To produce milk from dairy cattle, farmers separate calves from their mothers soon after birth or fed milk replacer to retain cow milk for human consumption.[106] To prolong lactation, dairy cows are almost permanently kept pregnant through artificial insemination.[106] After about five years, once the cow's milk production has dropped, it is considered "spent" and processed for beef and hide. A dairy cow's natural life expectancy is about twenty years.[105]

In battery cage and free-range egg production, unwanted male chicks are culled or discarded at birth during the process of securing a further generation of egg-laying hens.[107]

Ethical vegetarianism has become popular in developed countries particularly because of the spread of factory farming, faster communications, and environmental consciousness. Some believe that the current mass demand for meat cannot be satisfied without a mass-production system that disregards the welfare of animals, while others believe that practices like well-managed free-ranging and consumption of game, particularly from species whose natural predators have been significantly eliminated, could substantially alleviate the demand for mass-produced meat.[108]

Jainism teaches vegetarianism as moral conduct as do some major[109] sects of Hinduism. Buddhism in general does not prohibit meat eating, while Mahayana Buddhism encourages vegetarianism as beneficial for developing compassion.[110] Other denominations that advocate a vegetarian diet include the Seventh-day Adventists, the Rastafari movement, the Ananda Marga movement and the Hare Krishnas. Sikhism[111][112][113] does not equate spirituality with diet and does not specify a vegetarian or meat diet.[114]

While there are no dietary restrictions in the Bah' faith, `Abdu'l-Bah, the son of the religion's founder, noted that a vegetarian diet consisting of fruits and grains was desirable, except for people with a weak constitution or those that are sick.[115] He stated that there are no requirements that Bah's become vegetarian, but that a future society should gradually become vegetarian.[115][116][117] `Abdu'l-Bah also stated that killing animals was contrary to compassion.[115] While Shoghi Effendi, the head of the Bah' Faith in the first half of the 20th century, stated that a purely vegetarian diet would be preferable since it avoided killing animals,[118] both he and the Universal House of Justice, the governing body of the Bah's have stated that these teachings do not constitute a Bah' practice and that Bah's can choose to eat whatever they wish but should be respectful of others' beliefs.[115]

Theravadins in general eat meat.[119] If Buddhist monks "see, hear or know" a living animal was killed specifically for them to eat, they must refuse it or else incur an offense.[120] However, this does not include eating meat which was given as alms or commercially purchased. In the Theravada canon, Buddha did not make any comment discouraging them from eating meat (except specific types, such as human, elephant meat, horse, dog, snake, lion, tiger, leopard, bear, and hyena flesh[121]) but he specifically refused to institute vegetarianism in his monastic code when a suggestion had been made.[122][123]

In several Sanskrit texts of Mahayana Buddhism, Buddha instructs his followers to avoid meat.[124][125][126][127] However, each branch of Mahayana Buddhism selects which sutra to follow, and some branches, including the majority of Tibetan and Japanese Buddhists, do eat meat, while many Chinese Buddhist branches do not.

Early Christians disagreed as to whether they should eat meat, and later Christian historians have disagreed over whether Jesus was a vegetarian.[128][129][130] Various groups within Christianity have practiced specific dietary restrictions for various reasons.[131] The Council of Jerusalem in around 50 AD, recommended Christians keep following some of the Jewish food laws concerning meat. The early sect known as the Ebionites are considered to have practiced vegetarianism. Surviving fragments from their Gospel indicate their belief that as Christ is the Passover sacrifice and eating the Passover lamb is no longer required a vegetarian diet may (or should) be observed. However, orthodox Christianity does not accept their teaching as authentic. Indeed, their specific injunction to strict vegetarianism was cited as one of the Ebionites' "errors".[132][133]

At a much later time, the Bible Christian Church founded by Reverend William Cowherd in 1809 followed a vegetarian diet.[134] Cowherd was one of the philosophical forerunners of the Vegetarian Society.[135] Cowherd encouraged members to abstain from eating of meat as a form of temperance.[136]

Seventh-day Adventists are encouraged to engage in healthy eating practices, and ova-lacto-vegetarian diets are recommended by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Nutrition Council (GCNC). They have also sponsored and participated in many scientific studies exploring the impact of dietary decisions upon health outcomes.[137] The GCNC has in addition adapted the USDA's food pyramid for a vegetarian dietary approach.[137][138] However, the only kinds of meat specifically frowned upon by the SDA health message are unclean meats, or those forbidden in scripture.[139]

Additionally, some monastic orders follow a vegetarian diet, and members of the Orthodox Church follow a vegan diet during fasts.[140] There is also a strong association between the Quakers and vegetarianism dating back at least to the 18th century. The association grew in prominence during the 19th century, coupled with growing Quaker concerns in connection with alcohol consumption, anti-vivisection and social purity. The association between the Quaker tradition and vegetarianism, however, becomes most significant with the founding of the Friends' Vegetarian Society in 1902 "to spread a kindlier way of living amongst the Society of Friends."[141]

According to Canon Law, Roman Catholics ages 14 and older are required to abstain from meat (defined as all mammal and fowl flesh and organs, excluding water animals) on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent including Good Friday. Canon Law also obliges Catholics to abstain from meat on the Fridays of the year outside of Lent (excluding certain holy days) unless, with the permission of the local conference of bishops, another penitential act is substituted. The restrictions on eating meat on these days is solely as an act of penance and not because of a religious objection to eating meat.[142]

Since the formation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the 1860s when the church began, wholeness and health have been an emphasis of the Adventist church, and has been known as the "health message" belief of the church.[143] Adventists are well known for presenting a health message that recommends vegetarianism and expects adherence to the kosher laws in Leviticus 11. Obedience to these laws means abstinence from pork, shellfish, and other animals proscribed as "unclean". The church discourages its members from consuming alcoholic beverages, tobacco or illegal drugs (compare Christianity and alcohol). In addition, some Adventists avoid coffee, tea, cola, and other beverages containing caffeine.

The pioneers of the Adventist Church had much to do with the common acceptance of breakfast cereals into the Western diet, and the "modern commercial concept of cereal food" originated among Adventists.[144] John Harvey Kellogg was one of the early founders of Adventist health work. His development of breakfast cereals as a health food led to the founding of Kellogg's by his brother William. In both Australia and New Zealand, the church-owned Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company is a leading manufacturer of health and vegetarian-related products, most prominently Weet-Bix.

Research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health has shown that the average Adventist in California lives 4 to 10 years longer than the average Californian. The research, as cited by the cover story of the November 2005 issue of National Geographic, asserts that Adventists live longer because they do not smoke or drink alcohol, have a day of rest every week, and maintain a healthy, low-fat vegetarian diet that is rich in nuts and beans.[145][146] The cohesiveness of Adventists' social networks has also been put forward as an explanation for their extended lifespan.[147]Since Dan Buettner's 2005 National Geographic story about Adventist longevity, his book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest, named Loma Linda, California a "blue zone" because of the large concentration of Seventh-day Adventists. He cites the Adventist emphasis on health, diet, and Sabbath-keeping as primary factors for Adventist longevity.[148][149]

An estimated 35% of Adventists practice vegetarianism or veganism, according to a 2002 worldwide survey of local church leaders.[150][151]

Illustrative of vegetarian Hindu meals.

Though there is no strict rule on what to consume and what not to, paths of Hinduism hold vegetarianism as an ideal. Some reasons are: the principle of nonviolence (ahimsa) applied to animals;[152] the intention to offer only "pure" (vegetarian) food to a deity and then to receive it back as prasad; and the conviction that a sattvic diet is beneficial for a healthy body and mind and that non-vegetarian food is not recommended for a better mind and for spiritual development.

However, the food habits of Hindus vary according to their community, location, custom and varying traditions. Historically and currently, those Hindus who eat meat prescribe Jhatka meat,[153] Hindus believe that the cow is a holy animal whose processing for meat is forbidden.[154]

Some followers of Islam, or Muslims, chose to be vegetarian for health, ethical, or personal reasons. However, the choice to become vegetarian for non-medical reasons can sometimes be controversial due to conflicting fatwas and differing interpretations of the Quran. Though some more traditional Muslims may keep quiet about their vegetarian diet, the number of vegetarian Muslims is increasing.[155][156]

Vegetarianism has been practiced by some influential Muslims including the Iraqi theologian, female mystic and poet Rabia of Basra, who died in the year 801, and the Sri Lankan Sufi master Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, who established The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship of North America in Philadelphia. The former Indian president Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was also famously a vegetarian.[157]

In January 1996, The International Vegetarian Union announced the formation of the Muslim Vegetarian/Vegan Society.[158]

Many non-vegetarian Muslims will select vegetarian (or seafood) options when dining in non-halal restaurants. However, this is a matter of not having the right kind of meat rather than preferring not to eat meat on the whole.[156]

Followers of Jainism believe that all living organisms whether they are micro-organism are living and have a soul, and have one or more senses out of five senses and they go to great lengths to minimise any harm to any living organism. Most Jains are lacto-vegetarians but more devout Jains do not eat root vegetables because they believe that root vegetables contain a lot more micro-organisms as compared to other vegetables, and that, by eating them, violence of these micro-organisms is inevitable. So they focus on eating beans and fruits, whose cultivation do not involve killing of a lot of micro-organisms. No products obtained from dead animals are allowed, because when a living beings dies, a lot of micro-organisms (called as decomposers) will reproduce in the body which decomposes the body, and in eating the dead bodies, violence of decomposers is inevitable. Jain monks usually do a lot of fasting, and when they knew through spiritual powers that their life is very little, they start fasting until death.[159][160] Some particularly dedicated individuals are fruitarians.[161] Honey is forbidden, because honey is the regurgitation of nectar by bees [162] and may also contain eggs, excreta and dead bees. Some Jains do not consume plant parts that grow underground such as roots and bulbs, because the plants themselves and tiny animals may be killed when the plants are pulled up.[163]

While classical Jewish law neither requires nor prohibits the consumption of meat, Jewish vegetarians often cite Jewish principles regarding animal welfare, environmental ethics, moral character, and health as reasons for adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet.[164][165]

Rabbis may advocate vegetarianism or veganism primarily because of concerns about animal welfare, especially in light of the traditional prohibition on causing unnecessary "pain to living creatures" (tza'ar ba'alei hayyim).[166]

Jewish vegetarian groups and activists believe that the halakhic permission to eat meat is a temporary leniency for those who are not ready yet to accept the vegetarian diet.[167]

Jewish vegetarianism and veganism have become especially popular among Israeli Jews. In 2016, Israel was described as "the most vegan country on Earth", as five percent of its population eschewed all animal products.[168] Interest in veganism has grown among both non-Orthodox and Orthodox Jews in Israel.[169]

Within the Afro-Caribbean community, a minority are Rastafari and follow the dietary regulations with varying degrees of strictness. The most orthodox eat only "Ital" or natural foods, in which the matching of herbs or spices with vegetables is the result of long tradition originating from the African ancestry and cultural heritage of Rastafari.[170] "Ital", which is derived from the word vital, means essential to human existence. Ital cooking in its strictest form prohibits the use of salt, meat (especially pork), preservatives, colorings, flavorings and anything artificial.[171] Most Rastafari are vegetarian.[172]

The tenets of Sikhism do not advocate a particular stance on either vegetarianism or the consumption of meat,[173][174][175][176] but leave the decision of diet to the individual.[177] The tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, however, prohibited "Amritdhari" Sikhs, or those that follow the Sikh Rehat Maryada (the Official Sikh Code of Conduct)[178] from eating Kutha meat, or meat which has been obtained from animals which have been killed in a ritualistic way. This is understood to have been for the political reason of maintaining independence from the then-new Muslim hegemony, as Muslims largely adhere to the ritualistic halal diet.[173][177]

"Amritdharis" that belong to some Sikh sects (e.g. Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Damdami Taksal, Namdhari[179] and Rarionwalay,[180] etc.) are vehemently against the consumption of meat and eggs (though they do consume and encourage the consumption of milk, butter and cheese).[181] This vegetarian stance has been traced back to the times of the British Raj, with the advent of many new Vaishnava converts.[177] In response to the varying views on diet throughout the Sikh population, Sikh Gurus have sought to clarify the Sikh view on diet, stressing their preference only for simplicity of diet. Guru Nanak said that over-consumption of food (Lobh, Greed) involves a drain on the Earth's resources and thus on life.[182][183] Passages from the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of Sikhs, also known as the Adi Granth) say that it is "foolish" to argue for the superiority of animal life, because though all life is related, only human life carries more importance: "Only fools argue whether to eat meat or not. Who can define what is meat and what is not meat? Who knows where the sin lies, being a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian?"[177] The Sikh langar, or free temple meal, is largely lacto-vegetarian, though this is understood to be a result of efforts to present a meal that is respectful of the diets of any person who would wish to dine, rather than out of dogma.[176][177]

Environmental vegetarianism is based on the concern that the production of meat and animal products for mass consumption, especially through factory farming, is environmentally unsustainable. According to a 2006 United Nations initiative, the livestock industry is one of the largest contributors to environmental degradation worldwide, and modern practices of raising animals for food contribute on a "massive scale" to air and water pollution, land degradation, climate change, and loss of biodiversity. The initiative concluded that "the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global."[184]

In addition, animal agriculture is a large source of greenhouse gases. According to a 2006 report it is responsible for 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions as estimated in 100-year CO2 equivalents. Livestock sources (including enteric fermentation and manure) account for about 3.1 percent of US anthropogenic GHG emissions expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents.[185] This EPA estimate is based on methodologies agreed to by the Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC, with 100-year global warming potentials from the IPCC Second Assessment Report used in estimating GHG emissions as carbon dioxide equivalents.

Meat produced in a laboratory (called in vitro meat) may be more environmentally sustainable than regularly produced meat.[186] Reactions of vegetarians vary.[187] Rearing a relatively small number of grazing animals can be beneficial, as the Food Climate Research Network at Surrey University reports: "A little bit of livestock production is probably a good thing for the environment".[188]

In May 2009, Ghent, Belgium, was reported to be "the first [city] in the world to go vegetarian at least once a week" for environmental reasons, when local authorities decided to implement a "weekly meatless day". Civil servants would eat vegetarian meals one day per week, in recognition of the United Nations' report. Posters were put up by local authorities to encourage the population to take part on vegetarian days, and "veggie street maps" were printed to highlight vegetarian restaurants. In September 2009, schools in Ghent are due to have a weekly veggiedag ("vegetarian day") too.[189]

Public opinion and acceptance of meat-free food is expected to be more successful if its descriptive words focus less on the health aspects and more on the flavor.[190]

Some groups, such as PETA, promote vegetarianism as a way to offset poor treatment and working conditions of workers in the contemporary meat industry.[191] These groups cite studies showing the psychological damage caused by working in the meat industry, especially in factory and industrialised settings, and argue that the meat industry violates its labourers' human rights by assigning difficult and distressing tasks without adequate counselling, training and debriefing.[192][193][194] However, the working conditions of agricultural workers as a whole, particularly non-permanent workers, remain poor and well below conditions prevailing in other economic sectors.[195] Accidents, including pesticide poisoning, among farmers and plantation workers contribute to increased health risks, including increased mortality.[196] According to the International Labour Organization, agriculture is one of the three most dangerous jobs in the world.[197]

Similar to environmental vegetarianism is the concept of economic vegetarianism. An economic vegetarian is someone who practices vegetarianism from either the philosophical viewpoint concerning issues such as public health and curbing world starvation, the belief that the consumption of meat is economically unsound, part of a conscious simple living strategy or just out of necessity. According to the Worldwatch Institute, "Massive reductions in meat consumption in industrial nations will ease their health care burden while improving public health; declining livestock herds will take pressure off rangelands and grainlands, allowing the agricultural resource base to rejuvenate. As populations grow, lowering meat consumption worldwide will allow more efficient use of declining per capita land and water resources, while at the same time making grain more affordable to the world's chronically hungry."[198] According to estimates in 2016, adoption of vegetarianism would contribute substantially to global healthcare and environmental savings.[199]

Prejudice researcher Gordon Hodson observes that vegetarians and vegans frequently face discrimination where eating meat is held as a cultural norm.[200]

A 1992 market research study conducted by the Yankelovich research organisation concluded that "of the 12.4 million people [in the US] who call themselves vegetarian, 68% are female, while only 32% are male".[201]

At least one study indicates that vegetarian women are more likely to have female babies. A study of 6,000 pregnant women in 1998 "found that while the national average in Britain is 106 boys born to every 100 girls, for vegetarian mothers the ratio was just 85 boys to 100 girls".[202] Catherine Collins of the British Dietetic Association has dismissed this as a "statistical fluke" given that it is actually the male's genetic contribution which determines the sex of a baby.[202]

The rest is here:
Vegetarianism - Wikipedia

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Vegetarian ProCon.org

Many proponents of vegetarianism say that eating meat harms health, wastes resources, causes deforestation, and creates pollution. They often argue that killing animals for food is cruel and unethical since non-animal food sources are plentiful.

Many opponents of a vegetarian diet say that meat consumption is healthful and humane, and that producing vegetables causes many of the same environmental problems as producing meat. They also argue that humans have been eating and enjoying meat for 2.3 million years. Read more background...

For the purposes of this site a "vegetarian diet" is one that does not contain any meat (including poultry and seafood), but can contain eggs (ovo) and dairy (lacto) products, which is why the diet is sometimes called the ovo-lacto vegetarian diet. Vegans do not eat any animal products including meat, eggs, and dairy products.

It is cruel and unethical to kill animals for food when vegetarian options are available. Animals are sentient beings that have emotions and...

Human anatomy has evolved to support a primarily vegetarian diet.Humans do not have the large mouth or long, pointed teeth of carnivores...

A vegetarian diet delivers complete nutrition and can provide health benefits. According to the American Dietetic Association, a vegetarian...

A vegetarian diet can help alleviate world hunger. Over 10 pounds of plant protein are used to produce one pound of beef protein. If these grains...

A vegetarian diet reduces the chances of developing kidney stones and gallstones. Diets high in animal protein cause the body to excrete calcium...

A vegetarian diet provides a more healthful form of iron than a meat-based diet. Studies have linked heme iron found in red meat with an increased...

A vegetarian diet helps build healthy bones because vegetarians absorb more calcium than meat eaters. Meat has high renal acid levels which...

A vegetarian diet lowers the risk of heart disease. According to a peer-reviewed 1999 study of 76,000 people, vegetarians had 24% lower...

Eating meat increases the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. A peer-reviewed 2004 study from Harvard researchers found that eating meat increases...

Vegetarians live longer. A Mar. 12, 2012 peer-reviewed study of 121,342 people found that eating red meat was associated with an increased risk...

A vegetarian diet promotes a healthy weight. According to a peer-reviewed 2003 Oxford University study of 37,875 healthy men and women aged...

Studies show that vegetarians are up to 40% less likely to develop cancer than meat eaters. In 2015 the World Health Organization classified red meat as...

Overgrazing livestock hurts the environment through soil compaction, erosion, and harm to native plants and animals. About 70% of the 11...

A vegetarian diet conserves water. It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, and about 660 gallons to make a pound...

A vegetarian diet leads to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases are created by enteric fermentation (aka animal farts and burps)...

Producing one hamburger destroys 55 square feet of rainforest. Between 1996-2006, 25 million acres of Amazon rainforest were cleared80% of...

Raising animals for food contributes to air and water pollution. Manure produces toxic hydrogen sulfide and ammonia which pollute the air and...

Many animals raised for food in the United States are not slaughtered humanely. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) mandates that livestock...

Raising animals in confinement is cruel. About 50% of meat produced in the United States comes from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs)...

A vegetarian diet reduces overuse of antibiotics. 70% of antibiotics sold in the United States go to livestock like cows, pigs, and chickens...

Eating fish is not more ethical, environmentally sound, or healthful than eating other animal protein sources. The US EPA states that...

Eating meat is not cruel or unethical; it is a natural part of the cycle of life. Vegetarians mistakenly elevate the value of animal life over plant...

Eating meat has been an essential part of human evolution for 2.3 million years. The inclusion of meat in the ancestral diet provided a dense...

Meat is the most convenient protein source available. In one serving, meat provides all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein)...

Eating meat provides healthy saturated fats, which enhance the function of the immune and nervous systems. Saturated fats contain the...

Meat is the best source of vitamin B12, a vitamin necessary to nervous and digestive system health. Although it is also found in eggs and dairy...

Eating meat provides a better source of iron than a vegetarian diet. The body absorbs 15% to 35% of the heme iron in meat, but only absorbs 2% to...

A meat-centered diet can help with weight loss. It takes fewer calories to get protein from lean meat than it does from vegetarian options. One...

Raising beef is often the most efficient way to produce food for humans. About 85% of US grazing land is not suitable for raising crops humans...

Vegetarian diets are not necessarily better for the environment. About 90% of US cropland suffers from top soil loss at 13 times the sustainable...

Vegetarians do not live longer. This myth stems from the fact that vegetarians tend to be more health conscious overall, eating a more balanced...

US meat consumption does not significantly contribute to global deforestation, or loss of US forest land. In 2001 about 95% of animal products...

Processed vegetarian protein options such as tofu can cause more greenhouse gas pollution than farming meat. . A 2010 report from the World...

Becoming vegetarian will not help alleviate world hunger. The 925 million people in chronic hunger worldwide are not hungry because people in...

A diet that includes fish provides the body with essential omega-3 fatty acids. Fish are a powerful source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and...

Saturated fats from meat are not to blame for modern diseases like heart disease, cancer, and obesity. Chemically processed and hydrogenated vegetable oils...

Lean red meat, eaten in moderation, can be a healthful part of a balanced diet. According to researchers at the British Nutrition Foundation...

Modern slaughter techniques minimize the suffering of animals. US slaughterhouses must conform to the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA)...

There is nothing inherently cruel about raising animals for food. There is a growing movement to raise "cruelty free" organic meat...

The right to eat what we want, including meat, is a fundamental liberty that we must defend. Animal-rights and health groups are attempting to...

It is not necessary to become vegetarian to lower our environmental footprint. Some vegetarians eat an unhealthy diet, drive SUVs, and consume...

Vegetarian diets can cause the death of animals too. According to a 2003 study by Steven Davis at Oregon State University, about six animals...

NEW ProCon.org Website! - 2020 Presidential Election: The Candidates and Where They Stand on the Issues8/29/2019 Learn about the presidential candidates' views on important issues, compare them with a side-by-side chart, take our matching quiz, track their finances, and so much more on our 2020 Presidential Election website. The New York Times called our previous presidential election site "The most comprehensive tool for researching the candidate's stance on issues." Check back monthly for expanded issue coverage.

Go here to read the rest:
Vegetarian ProCon.org

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Becoming a vegetarian – Harvard Health

People become vegetarians for many reasons, including health, religious convictions, concerns about animal welfare or the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock, or a desire to eat in a way that avoids excessive use of environmental resources. Some people follow a largely vegetarian diet because they can't afford to eat meat. Becoming a vegetarian has become more appealing and accessible, thanks to the year-round availability of fresh produce, more vegetarian dining options, and the growing culinary influence of cultures with largely plant-based diets.

Approximately six to eight million adults in the United States eat no meat, fish, or poultry, according to a Harris Interactive poll commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group, a nonprofit organization that disseminates information about vegetarianism. Several million more have eliminated red meat but still eat chicken or fish. About two million have become vegans, forgoing not only animal flesh but also animal-based products such as milk, cheese, eggs, and gelatin.

Traditionally, research into vegetarianism focused mainly on potential nutritional deficiencies, but in recent years, the pendulum has swung the other way, and studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses. According to the American Dietetic Association, "appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases."

"Appropriately planned" is the operative term. Unless you follow recommended guidelines on nutrition, fat consumption, and weight control, becoming a vegetarian won't necessarily be good for you. A diet of soda, cheese pizza, and candy, after all, is technically "vegetarian." For health, it's important to make sure that you eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It's also vital to replace saturated and trans fats with good fats, such as those found in nuts, olive oil, and canola oil. And always keep in mind that if you eat too many calories, even from nutritious, low-fat, plant-based foods, you'll gain weight. So it's also important to practice portion control, read food labels, and engage in regular physical activity.

You can get many of the health benefits of being vegetarian without going all the way. For example, a Mediterranean eating pattern known to be associated with longer life and reduced risk of several chronic illnesses features an emphasis on plant foods with a sparing use of meat. Even if you don't want to become a complete vegetarian, you can steer your diet in that direction with a few simple substitutions, such as plant-based sources of protein beans or tofu, for example or fish instead of meat a couple of times a week.

Only you can decide whether a vegetarian diet is right for you. If better health is your goal, here are some things to consider.

Strictly speaking, vegetarians are people who don't eat meat, poultry, or seafood. But people with many different dietary patterns call themselves vegetarians, including the following:

Vegans (total vegetarians): Do not eat meat, poultry, fish, or any products derived from animals, including eggs, dairy products, and gelatin.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Do not eat meat, poultry, or fish, but do eat eggs and dairy products.

Lacto vegetarians: Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, but do consume dairy products.

Ovo vegetarians: Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products, but do eat eggs.

Partial vegetarians: Avoid meat but may eat fish (pesco-vegetarian, pescatarian) or poultry (pollo-vegetarian).

Maybe. Compared with meat eaters, vegetarians tend to consume less saturated fat and cholesterol and more vitamins C and E, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, and phytochemicals (plant chemicals), such as carotenoids and flavonoids. As a result, they're likely to have lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and lower body mass index (BMI), all of which are associated with longevity and a reduced risk for many chronic diseases.

But there still aren't enough data to say exactly how a vegetarian diet influences long-term health. It's difficult to tease out the influence of vegetarianism from other practices that vegetarians are more likely to follow, such as not smoking, not drinking excessively, and getting adequate exercise. But here's what some of the research has shown so far:

Heart disease. There's some evidence that vegetarians have a lower risk for cardiac events (such as a heart attack) and death from cardiac causes. In one of the largest studies a combined analysis of data from five prospective studies involving more than 76,000 participants published several years ago vegetarians were, on average, 25% less likely to die of heart disease. This result confirmed earlier findings from studies comparing vegetarian and nonvegetarian Seventh-day Adventists (members of this religious group avoid caffeine and don't drink or smoke; about 40% are vegetarians). In another study involving 65,000 people in the Oxford cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford), researchers found a 19% lower risk of death from heart disease among vegetarians. However, there were few deaths in either group, so the observed differences may have been due to chance.

For heart protection, it's best to choose high-fiber whole grains and legumes, which are digested slowly and have a low glycemic index that is, they help keep blood sugar levels steady. Soluble fiber also helps reduce cholesterol levels. Refined carbohydrates and starches like potatoes, white rice, and white-flour products cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, which increases the risk of heart attack and diabetes (a risk factor for heart disease).

Nuts are also heart-protective. They have a low glycemic index and contain many antioxidants, vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, and healthy fatty acids. The downside: nuts pack a lot of calories, so restrict your daily intake to a small handful (about an ounce). The upside: because of their fat content, even a small amount of nuts can satisfy the appetite.

Walnuts, in particular, are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have many health benefits. Even so, fish are the best source of omega-3s, and it's not clear whether plant-derived omega-3s are an adequate substitute for fish in the diet. One study suggests that omega-3s from walnuts and fish both work to lower heart disease risk, but by different routes. Walnut omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA) help reduce total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, while omega-3s from fish (eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA) lower triglycerides and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Cancer. Hundreds of studies suggest that eating lots of fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, and there's evidence that vegetarians have a lower incidence of cancer than nonvegetarians do. But the differences aren't large. A vegetarian diet can make it easier to get the recommended minimum of five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, but a purely vegetarian diet is not necessarily better than a plant-based diet that also includes fish or poultry. For example, in a pooled analysis of data from the Oxford Vegetarian Study and EPIC-Oxford, fish-eaters had a lower risk of certain cancers than vegetarians.

If you stop eating red meat (whether or not you become a vegetarian), you'll eliminate a risk factor for colon cancer. It's not clear whether avoiding all animal products reduces the risk further. Vegetarians usually have lower levels of potentially carcinogenic substances in their colons, but studies comparing cancer rates in vegetarians and nonvegetarians have shown inconsistent results.

Type 2 diabetes. Research suggests that a predominantly plant-based diet can reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. In studies of Seventh-day Adventists, vegetarians' risk of developing diabetes was half that of nonvegetarians, even after taking BMI into account. The Harvard-based Women's Health Study found a similar correlation between eating red meat (especially processed meats, such as bacon and hot dogs) and diabetes risk, after adjusting for BMI, total calorie intake, and exercise.

Some women are reluctant to try a vegetarian diet especially one that doesn't include calcium-rich dairy products because they're concerned about osteoporosis. Lacto-ovo vegetarians (see "Varieties of vegetarians") consume at least as much calcium as meat-eaters, but vegans typically consume less. In the EPIC-Oxford study, 75% of vegans got less than the recommended daily amount of calcium, and vegans in general had a relatively high rate of fractures. But vegans who consumed at least 525 milligrams of calcium per day were not especially vulnerable to fractures.

Certain vegetables can supply calcium, including bok choy, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, collards, and kale. (Spinach and Swiss chard, which also contain calcium, are not such good choices, because along with the calcium they have oxalates, which make it harder for the body to absorb calcium.) Moreover, the high potassium and magnesium content of fruits and vegetables reduces blood acidity, lowering the urinary excretion of calcium.

People who follow a vegetarian diet and especially a vegan diet may be at risk of getting insufficient vitamin D and vitamin K, both needed for bone health. Although green leafy vegetables contain some vitamin K, vegans may also need to rely on fortified foods, including some types of soy milk, rice milk, organic orange juice, and breakfast cereals. They may also want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement.

Becoming a vegetarian requires planning and knowledge of plant-based nutrition. Here are some resources that can help:

American Dietetic Associationwww.eatright.org

The Vegetarian Resource Groupwww.vrg.org

Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdomwww.vegsoc.org

Concerns about vegetarian diets have focused mainly on the following nutrients:

Protein. Research shows that lacto-ovo vegetarians generally get the recommended daily amount of protein, which is easily obtained from dairy products and eggs. (Women need about 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. Because the protein in vegetables is somewhat different from animal protein, vegans may need 0.45 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.) There are many plant sources that can help vegans meet their protein needs, including peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, seeds, nuts, soy products, and whole grains (for example, wheat, oats, barley, and brown rice). Vegetarians used to be told that they had to combine "complementary" plant proteins (rice with beans, for example) at every meal to get all the amino acids contained in meat protein. Now, health experts say that such rigid planning is unnecessary. According to the American Dietetic Association, eating a wide variety of protein sources every day is sufficient.

Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is found only in animal products, but those products include dairy foods and eggs, so most vegetarians get all they need. If you avoid animal products altogether, you should eat foods fortified with vitamin B12 (certain soy and rice beverages and breakfast cereals) or take a vitamin B12 supplement to avoid a deficiency, which can cause neurological problems and pernicious anemia.

Iron. Studies show that in Western countries, vegetarians tend to get the same amount of iron as meat eaters. But the iron in meat (especially red meat) is more readily absorbed than the kind found in plant foods, known as non-heme iron. The absorption of non-heme iron is enhanced by vitamin C and other acids found in fruits and vegetables, but it may be inhibited by the phytic acid in whole grains, beans, lentils, seeds, and nuts.

Zinc. Phytic acid in whole grains, seeds, beans, and legumes also reduces zinc absorption, but vegetarians in Western countries do not appear to be zinc-deficient.

Omega-3 fatty acids. Diets that include no fish or eggs are low in EPA and DHA. Our bodies can convert ALA in plant foods to EPA and DHA, but not very efficiently. Vegans can get DHA from algae supplements, which increase blood levels of DHA as well as EPA (by a process called retroversion). DHA-fortified breakfast bars and soy milk are also available. Official dietary guidelines recommend 1.10 grams per day of ALA for women, but vegetarians who consume little or no EPA and DHA should probably get more than that. Good ALA sources include flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil, and soy.

For more on eating for optimum health, buy the Harvard Special Health Report Healthy Eating: A guide to the new nutrition.

Disclaimer:As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

See more here:
Becoming a vegetarian - Harvard Health

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Vegetarianism (for Parents) – KidsHealth

Larger text sizeLarge text sizeRegular text size

Vegetarianism is a popular choice for many individuals and families. But parents may wonder if kids can safely follow a vegetarian diet and still get all necessary nutrients. Most dietary and medical experts agree that a well-planned vegetarian diet can actually be a very healthy way to eat.

But special care must be taken when serving kids and teens a vegetarian diet, especially if it doesn't include dairy and egg products. And as with any diet, you'll need to understand that the nutritional needs of kids change as they grow.

Before your child or family switches to a vegetarian diet, it's important to note that all vegetarian diets are not alike. Major vegetarian categories include:

And many other people are semi-vegetarians who have eliminated red meat, but may eat poultry or fish.

Kids or families may follow a vegetarian diet for a variety of reasons. Younger vegetarians are usually part of a family that eats vegetarian meals for health, cultural, or other reasons. Older kids may decide to become vegetarians because of concern for animals, the environment, or their own health.

In most cases, you shouldn't be alarmed if your child chooses vegetarianism. Discuss what it means and how to implement it, ensuring your child makes healthy and nutritious food choices.

Your doctor or a registered dietitian can help you plan and monitor a healthy vegetarian diet. Parents should give their kids a variety of foods that provide enough calories and nutrients to enable them to grow normally.

A well-planned vegetarian diet can meet kids' nutritional needs and has some health benefits. For example, a diet rich in fruits and veggies will be high in fiber and low in fat, factors known to improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood cholesterol and maintaining a healthy weight. However, kids and teens on a vegetarian diet may need to be careful that they get an adequate amount of certain vitamins and minerals.

Here are nutrients that vegetarians should get and some of their best food sources:

Depending on the type of vegetarian diet chosen, kids may miss out on some of these important nutrients if the diet isn't monitored by the parents. The less restrictive the vegetarian diet, the easier it will be for your child to get enough of the necessary nutrients. In some cases, fortified foods or supplements can help meet nutritional needs.

The main sources of protein and nutrients for infants are breast milk and formula (soy formula for vegan infants), especially in the first 6 months of life. Breastfed infant vegans should receive a source of vitamin B12 if the mother's diet isn't supplemented, and breastfed infants and infants drinking less than 32 ounces (1 liter) formula should get vitamin D supplements.

Guidelines for the introduction of solid foods are the same for vegetarian and nonvegetarian infants. Breastfed infants 6 months and older should receive iron from complementary foods, such as iron-fortified infant cereal.

Once an infant is introduced to solids, protein-rich vegetarian foods can include pureed tofu, cottage cheese, yogurt or soy yogurt, and pureed and strained legumes (legumes include beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils).

Toddlers are already a challenge when it comes to eating. As they come off of breast milk or formula, kids are at risk for nutritional deficiencies. After the age of 1, strict vegan diets may not offer growing toddlers enough essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and zinc.

So it's important to serve fortified cereals and nutrient-dense foods. Vitamin supplementation is recommended for young children whose diets may not provide adequate nutrients.

Toddlers are typically picky about which foods they'll eat and, as a result, some may not get enough calories from a vegetarian diet to thrive. For vegan toddlers, the amount of vegetables needed for proper nutrition and calories may be too bulky for their tiny stomachs.

During the picky toddler stage, it's important for vegetarian parents to make sure their young child eats enough calories. You can get enough fat and calories in a vegan child's diet, but you have to plan carefully.

Preteens and teens often voice their independence through the foods they choose to eat. One strong statement is the decision to stop eating meat. This is common among teens, who may decide to embrace vegetarianism in support of animal rights, for health reasons, or because friends are doing it.

If it's done right, a meat-free diet can actually be a good choice for adolescents, especially considering that vegetarians often eat more of the foods that most teens don't get enough of fruits and vegetables.

A vegetarian diet that includes dairy products and eggs (lacto-ovo) is the best choice for growing teens. A more strict vegetarian diet may fail to meet a teen's need for certain nutrients, such as iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamins D and B12. If you're concerned that your child is not getting enough of these important nutrients, talk to your doctor, who may recommend a vitamin and mineral supplement.

The good news for young vegetarians and their parents is that many schools are offering vegetarian fare, including salad bars and other healthy vegetarian choices. Schools publish lists of upcoming lunch menus; be sure to scan them to see if your child will have a vegetarian choice. If not, you can pack lunch.

If your vegetarian preteen or teen would rather make his or her own school lunch or opts to buy lunch, keep in mind that your child's idea of a healthy vegetarian meal may be much different from yours (e.g., french fries and a soda). Talk to your child about the importance of eating right, especially when following a vegetarian diet.

Also be wary if your child has self-imposed a very restrictive diet. A teen with an eating disorder may drastically reduce calories or cut out all fat or carbohydrates and call it "vegetarianism" because it's considered socially acceptable and healthy.

Even if preteens or teens are approaching vegetarianism in a healthy way, it's still important for them to understand which nutrients might be missing in their diet. To support your child's dietary decision and promote awareness of the kinds of foods your preteen or teen should be eating, consider having the whole family eat a vegetarian meal at least one night a week.

A vegetarian diet can be a healthy choice for all kids, as long as it's properly planned.

The principles of planning a vegetarian diet are the same as planning any healthy diet provide a variety of foods and include foods from all of the food groups. A balanced diet will provide the right combinations to meet nutritional needs. But be aware of potential nutrient deficiencies in your child's diet and figure out how you'll account for them. With a little exploration, you may find more vegetarian options than you realized.

If you aren't sure your child is getting all necessary nutrients or if you have any questions about vegetarian diets, check in with your family doctor, pediatrician, or a registered dietitian.

Date reviewed: October 2014

Read more from the original source:
Vegetarianism (for Parents) - KidsHealth

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

vegetarianism | History, Types, & Facts | Britannica.com

Vegetarianism, the theory or practice of living solely upon vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and nutswith or without the addition of milk products and eggsgenerally for ethical, ascetic, environmental, or nutritional reasons. All forms of flesh (meat, fowl, and seafood) are excluded from all vegetarian diets, but many vegetarians use milk and milk products; those in the West usually eat eggs also, but most vegetarians in India exclude them, as did those in the Mediterranean lands in Classical times. Vegetarians who exclude animal products altogether (and likewise avoid animal-derived products such as leather, silk, honey, and wool) are known as vegans. Those who use milk products are sometimes called lacto-vegetarians, and those who use eggs as well are called lacto-ovo vegetarians. Among some agricultural peoples, flesh eating has been infrequent except among the privileged classes; such people have rather misleadingly been called vegetarians.

Deliberate avoidance of flesh eating probably first appeared sporadically in ritual connections, either as a temporary purification or as qualification for a priestly function. Advocacy of a regular fleshless diet began about the middle of the 1st millennium bce in India and the eastern Mediterranean as part of the philosophical awakening of the time. In the Mediterranean, avoidance of flesh eating is first recorded as a teaching of the philosopher Pythagoras of Samos (c. 530 bce), who alleged the kinship of all animals as one basis for human benevolence toward other creatures. From Plato onward many pagan philosophers (e.g., Epicurus and Plutarch), especially the Neoplatonists, recommended a fleshless diet; the idea carried with it condemnation of bloody sacrifices in worship and was often associated with belief in the reincarnation of souls and, more generally, with a search for principles of cosmic harmony in accord with which human beings could live. In India, followers of Buddhism and Jainism refused on ethical and ascetic grounds to kill animals for food. Human beings, they believed, should not inflict harm on any sentient creature. This principle was soon taken up in Brahmanism and, later, Hinduism and was applied especially to the cow. As in Mediterranean thought, the idea carried with it condemnation of bloody sacrifices and was often associated with principles of cosmic harmony.

In later centuries the history of vegetarianism in the Indic and Mediterranean regions diverged significantly. In India itself, though Buddhism gradually declined, the ideal of harmlessness (ahimsa), with its corollary of a fleshless diet, spread steadily in the 1st millennium ce until many of the upper castes, and even some of the lower, had adopted it. Beyond India it was carried, with Buddhism, northward and eastward as far as China and Japan. In some countries, fish were included in an otherwise fleshless diet.

West of the Indus the great monotheistic traditions were less favourable to vegetarianism. The Hebrew Bible, however, records the belief that in paradise the earliest human beings had not eaten flesh. Ascetic Jewish groups and some early Christian leaders disapproved of flesh eating as gluttonous, cruel, and expensive. Some Christian monastic orders ruled out flesh eating, and its avoidance has been a penance and a spiritual exercise even for laypersons. A number of saints, such as St. Anthony of Egypt, were noted vegetarians. Many Muslims have been hostile to vegetarianism, yet some Muslim Sufi mystics recommended a meatless diet for spiritual seekers.

The 17th and 18th centuries in Europe were characterized by a greater interest in humanitarianism and the idea of moral progress, and sensitivity to animal suffering was accordingly revived. Certain Protestant groups came to adopt a fleshless diet as part of the goal of leading a perfectly sinless life. Persons of diverse philosophical views advocated vegetarianism; for example, Voltaire praised it, and Percy Bysshe Shelley and Henry David Thoreau practiced the diet. In the late 18th century the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham asserted that the suffering of animals, like the suffering of humans, was worthy of moral consideration, and he regarded cruelty to animals as analogous to racism.

Vegetarians of the early 19th century usually condemned the use of alcohol as well as flesh and appealed as much to nutritional advantages as to ethical sensibilities. As before, vegetarianism tended to be combined with other efforts toward a humane and cosmically harmonious way of life. Although the vegetarian movement as a whole was always carried forward by ethically inclined individuals, special institutions grew up to express vegetarian concerns as such. The first vegetarian society was formed in England in 1847 by the Bible Christian sect, and the International Vegetarian Union was founded tentatively in 1889 and more enduringly in 1908.

More:
vegetarianism | History, Types, & Facts | Britannica.com

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Happy Cows & Vegetarians – Video


Happy Cows Vegetarians
My rationale (rationalization?) for eating meat. I address the nutrition argument as well as give my point of view on ethical vegetarianism veganism. it is a complex subject so I couldn't be...

By: 72daystar

See the rest here:
Happy Cows & Vegetarians - Video

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson