Vegetarianism is adopted by many individuals as way of living life. Vegetarianism is the voluntary abstinence from consuming meat. The issue is whether or not a vegetarian diet is truly safer than a diet consisting of meat. Individuals adopt a vegetarian lifestyle for different reasons. Some of the reasons consist of religious or ethical beliefs, or health reasons. Vegetarian diets are also recommended as a medicinal diet for individuals suffering from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol. The results of a vegetarian diet may seem beneficial, but the safety of a vegetarian diet is questionable. Some individuals consider vegetarianism to be the healthiest way of living. On the other hand, severe consequences occur when relying solely on vegetables as a way of life. The intake of meat in a diet is necessary to obtain the nutrients not provided in vegetables. Vegetarianism
In 1847, the term “vegetarianism” was coined by the founders of the Vegetarian Society of Great Britain. Consumption of only vegetables, have existed since the creation of diets. Increases of food not containing meat have increased since the 1990’s. Most of the increases occurred because doctors and medical organizations stated that limiting meat intake could result in a less chance of developing degenerative diseases. The vegetarian lifestyle dates back to one of the oldest cultures, the Hindus. Hindus consume a vegetarian diet because of their religious beliefs. Based on Hindu beliefs, beauty, good memory, and longer life spans are possessed, if meat is not consumed. Beliefs, such as the Hindus, differ depending on the culture. Vegetarianism is also used as a way of treating common illnesses. Currently, many individuals suffer from illnesses such as high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. In some cases, the implementation of an all vegetable diet has been incorporated to help lower the effects related to these conditions. In patients suffering from cancer, vegetarianism is used as a dietary therapy treatment. Vegetarianism is used to treat one of America’s largest conditions, obesity. In 2008, the medical costs associated with individuals suffering from obesity were about $147 billion (CDC, 2012). Implementing a vegetarian diet is one way to reduce the excess weight of obese individuals and lower medical costs. Implementing an all-vegetable diet is easy to implement and it is an economical practice for aiding in the treatment of medical conditions. Limitations of Vegetarianism
Vegetarianism may be beneficial, but the deficiencies that occur as a result of this diet, outweigh the benefits. According to the governmental Food Guide Pyramid, five sources of foods should be consumed in order to supply the body with essential nutrients. The five food sources are: milk, bread, fruit, vegetable, and meat groups. These dietary guidelines were created to help individuals live a healthier lifestyle. When a necessary nutrient is removed from the body, complications may begin to occur. Restricting meat from the body produces a deficiency in the nutrients needed for the body to function properly (Timko, 2012). The nutrients that the body loses on an all-vegetable diet consist of: Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, and Iron. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of nutrient that is not manufactured by the body, but is essential. This nutrient must be obtained through an individual’s diet, which would have to consist of fish. Omega-3 has the ability to slow the development of atherosclerosis, it is an anti-inflammatory, it lowers triglyceride levels, and it helps with depression. When foods are not consumed that contain this nutrient, individuals face a higher chance of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, brain development complications, and inflammation (Timko, 2012). Vitamin B-12 is a nutrient that is found in the protein of animals, dairy, eggs,...