Vegetarian Diet

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Why Adopt a Vegetarian Diet?

“Meat and potatoes” is a phrase used in American English that means the centerpiece of a meal. Besides referring to food, “meat” signifies the most important part of anything. It has been such a deeply ingrained, time-honored tradition for families to build a meal around meat, that one can safely say that meat has become the heart of an American meal. Meat gives us protein, and therefore, our strength. However, this widely held belief that meat is necessary for health and vitality has outlived its usefulness. While some people continue to hold onto this outdated perception of the importance of meat, others are letting go of it and becoming vegetarian. Americans should correct their beliefs about meat and become vegetarians for ethical, environmental, and health and cultural reasons.

One reason for becoming vegetarian is to prevent cruelty to animals. Animals, like humans, feel pain, stress, and fear. People cannot morally justify the pain and suffering of animals that are killed for food when adequate nutrition can be found in plant foods. Not only do animals experience these physical sensations when they are needlessly slaughtered for human consumption, but they are often treated cruelly prior to slaughter. Veal calves, for example, are forced to live in extremely small cages no longer than their bodies so they cannot move and create unwanted muscle. They are then killed when they are just twelve to sixteen weeks old so that their weak, immature muscles will produce soft meat.

In addition to ethical reasons, some vegetarians choose not to eat meat for environmental reasons. Cattle production, for example, is a major cause of soil erosion due to overgrazing of land, which creates deserts out of grasslands. Cattle production also creates water pollutions through organic waste and the use of chemicals in animal feed. In addition, cattle production pollutes the air. Grain-fed cattle contribute significantly to global warming...
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