The transition to a plant-based diet has been widely recognized today. More and more people do not believe in killing animals for their own benefit. Some cultures endorse vegetarianism into their belief system and diet. With the knowledge of nutrition and the exact nutrional values of food, the conversion and to vegetarianism. There are a variety of vegetarians, all based off what they eat. There are vegans who are completely vegetarians, eating no animal products whatsoever. Their diet doesn’t include any meat, fish, eggs, dairy, or even gelatin. Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not eat meat but do eat eggs and dairy. Ovo vegetarians eat no meat or dairy and eat eggs. Partial vegetarians avoid most meat but may each fish or poultry. Vegetarians who eat fish are called pescatarian and those who eat poultry are pollo-vegetarian. People have many reasons to become vegetarian. One reason is because of the health benefits becoming a vegetarian and the ability to prevent chronic diseases. Some people believe in putting the best food into their body which could help them avoid heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
For other people, becoming vegetarian is a solidarity act on animal cruelty. The raising and slaughtering of animals leads people to stop eating meat and support animal rights. Besides the health benefits and animal cruelty, some people switch to becoming vegetarian for the sake of the environment. Once again, the raising conditions and meat packing plants wreak havoc on the environment. These vegetarians do not eat meat in order to help protect the environment. Because vegetarianism is healthier, refrains from animal cruelty, and protects the environment, everyone should become a vegetarian. Becoming a vegetarian can provide several health benefits and prevent disease. Meat is just a small portion of someone’s diet. Although meat does give necessary nutrition, vegetarians can obtain the same necessities with healthier substitutes. Vegetarian’s get protein from beans, nuts, seeds, chickpeas, lentils, potatoes, and many other. Non-vegetarians get their essential amino acids from meat, vegetarians can get them from something as simple as yogurt. Vegetarians can eat spinach, tofu, cashews and others to get a good source of iron, and broccoli or kale for calcium (The Vegetarian Resource Group). While reducing meat and adding healthy alternative, vegetarians can prevent chronic illness including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Regarding heart disease, being a vegetarian lowers the risk. A diet rich in whole grains and legumes has a low glycemic index, in return keeping blood sugar steady. Reducing the risk of heart attack or malfunctions. Vegetarians typically eat foods high in antioxidants, fiber, and healthy acids such as nuts that promote heart health. Along with heart disease prevention, vegetarians have the upper hand when it comes to cancer. People who consume meat, particularly red meat have a high chance for being diagnosed with colon cancer, vegetarians reduce their risk greatly. Meat eaters were found to have a higher level of carcinogens found in their colons. Moreover, vegetarians have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Again, from abstaining from eating processed meats like bacon and hotdogs (Harvard Medical School).
All three of these diseases are so common today and could potentially be avoided by a diet change. Becoming a vegetarian does limit a person to some dietary restrictions but, opens a whole new variety of nutritious food. Most vegetarians are better off because they fill their diet with foods that fuel the body and make sure they get all the nutrients they need. The health benefits are just a plus to becoming vegetarian. Eating healthy all the while, saving the planet and standing up for animal rights. While some people switch to vegetarianism for health reasons, some people change because of the animal cruelty eating meat possesses. Most people understand an animal has to die in order for them to enjoy a hamburger but, the pre-slaughtering and slaughtering process may be unknown. Pre-slaughtering imposes severe stress on animals, they are mixed in with hundreds of animals with no room to even move and are forced into an inadequate ventilation making it hard for them to breathe. Prior to the process the animals receive no food or water twelve to twenty-four hours before. They do this to ensure they animal will fully bleed out and their internal organs are easily eviscerated. In order to kill the animal, meat packing plants use a process called stunning. There are three types of stunning, mechanical, electrical, and use of carbon dioxide gas. Mechanical stunning sends a bolt through the animal’s skull using a pistol, electrical sends an electrical impulse through the animal’s brain, and carbon dioxide gas is used as an anesthetic. All of the processes have a goal of making the animal lose consciousness (Singh and Cross). When thinking about these executions, most people have no sympathy because they are simply animals. However, these animals have feelings and emotions. These processes may appear to be simple and painless but, no one would want to die this way or die for human use.
Once the stunning process has been completed the animals are hung up and forced to bleed out from the severing of their carotid artery and jugular vein. From there animals such as hogs are cleaned, de-haired, and have their heads chopped off. Meat is harvested once the animal is cut open, they take all internal organs, and prepare them for production. Other animals like cattle and sheep have a different process. Prior to blood draining the animals have their feet removed and are hung up by their Achilles tendon. They undergo a skinning process in which their hide is removed by knifes and evisceration begins (Singh and Cross). Finally, the rest of them is used to make leather, gelatin, or even pharmaceuticals. Animals undergo a ridiculous amount of stress just for humans to enjoy hamburgers and bacon, which are unnecessary nutrients. Slaughtering animals and treating them the as nonliving and non-feeling creatures is cruelty. Along with the cruelty being a meat eater has on animals, it also has major impact on the climate. Between the emission from greenhouse gasses to the deforestation of trees, meat eating is ruining the Earth.
Harvard Medical School. Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School. October 2009. Article . 5 Decmeber 2018. The Vegetarian Resource Group. 1996-2018. Article . 12 12 2018. Walsh, Bryan. Meat:Making Global Warming Worse . January 2008. Article. 12 December 2012. Animal Welfare Institute. At Slaughter . 2018. Article. 12 December 2018. Singh, R. Paul and H. Russell Cross. Meat processing. 2018. Article. 12 December 2018. American Heart Association . Vegetarian, Vegan Diet Benefits & Risks. 2018. Article. 12 December 2018.