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...

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