Department of English
The concept of vegetarianism may be defined as the practice of abstaining from flesh consumption. This practice can be adopted for different intentions. Many reject on eating meat out of respect for lives with the ability to feel and perceive. These ethical motivations can be related to religious beliefs, along with the concept of animal rights. Other motivations include reasons such as health, environmental, cultural or economic. To continue, some of these motives will be explained. One of the most common purposes for following this practice is the objection towards the beating or slaying of animals for food. As previously stated, this may be considered an ethical reason. Still, ethical motives upon this issue can be various. There are issues towards the ethics of eating meat and towards the ethics of killing for food but more commonly, the ethical motive is the way animals are treated. Some vegetarians with ethical motives try to discourage the exploitation and abuse animals suffer in slaughter houses. Factory animals are commonly intoxicated with synthetic growth hormones that cause them to grow in half the time they’d grow naturally. This makes them unable to sustain their own weight and make them prone to suffer organ failure. In some cases, their legs, unable to sustain the weight, break and consequently they can’t move or reach food causing them to starve to death. In the case of cows, calves are removed from their mother’s side shortly after birth. Female calves are added to the dairy herd or slaughtered for the enzyme rennet in their stomach used for cheese production. Cows are killed when after 4 or 5 years, her milk production ceases. In pigs, they are castrated, get hunks of flesh cut from their ears, the tips of their teeth cut off with wire-cutters, and their tails chopped. This is all without sedatives. On fish, they are dragged from ocean depths and undergo decompression, which ruptures their swim bladders, makes their eyes pop out, and push their stomachs through their mouths. It’s easy to understand that these practices are understandably decadent and thus contrary to the ethical beliefs of vegetarians. Ethical vegetarians also believe that killing an animal, like killing a human, can only be justified in extreme circumstances and that consuming a living creature for its enjoyable taste, convenience, or nutritional value is not sufficient cause. 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. Another motivation vegetarians have is precisely the effect that the meat industry leaves upon the environment. Some of the environmental effects that have been associated with meat production are pollution through fossil fuel usage, to give an example. It is said that adopting a vegetarian diet is more ecological than driving a hybrid car. This is because animals raised for flesh production use more resources than humans. They eat more plants, which also require resources to grow. They give off large amounts of planet-warming methane, breathe out a lot of carbon dioxide and create a lot of pollution. Moreover, in 2006 the United Nations reported that livestock has a substantial impact on the world’s water, land and biodiversity resources and significantly contribute to climate change. The report concluded that animal agriculture produces 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, compared with 13.5% from all forms of transportation combined. This is why reductions in meat consumption will ease the health care problem while improving public health. Declining livestock herds will take pressure off rangelands and grainlands, allowing the agricultural resource base to rejuvenate. Also, lowering meat consumption worldwide will allow more efficient use of land and water resources, while at the same time making grain more affordable to the world's chronically hungry people. Another effect of the meat industry is on land degradation. Much of the world’s crops are used to feed animals with 30% of the land devoted to raising animals for food production. A 2010 United Nations report explained that Western dietary preferences for meat would be unsustainable as the world population rose to the forecasted 9.1 billion by 2050, year where demand for meat is expected to double. A third example of the motives vegetarians have on their nourishment ways is the health issue. Vegetarian-style eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes. Well-planed vegetarian diets are nutritionally adequate for all stages of the life cycle. This includes pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. These diets can provide the adequate intake of protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and calcium. However, these nutrients can be low in poorly planned vegetarian diets though this is a factor that may occur in any diet as well; when they are poorly planned, nutrient intakes will be poor as well. Evidence suggests that vegetarians have lower rates of coronary heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis. They also tend to be more educated, wealthier, and more health-occupied than meat eaters. These findings are coherent as vegetarians are more health-occupied since, in order to be correctly accomplished, the practice of vegetarianism demands knowledge on its ways of nourishment. This is because it is not the typical diet us humans are commonly born into. Furthermore on the health effects, in 1999 a study was made comparing vegetarian and non-vegetarian mortality rates in Western countries. The findings were that in comparison with regular meat eaters, mortality from ischemic heart disease was 34% lower in pescetarians, 34% lower in ovo-lacto vegetarians, 26% lower in vegans and 20% lesser in infrequent meat eaters. On average, vegetarians consume a lower proportion of calories from fat; fewer overall calories; and more fiber, potassium, and vitamin C than do non-vegetarians. Vegetarians generally have a lower body mass index as well. In 2010 a study comparing a group of vegetarian and meat-eating “Seventh Day Adventists” found that vegetarians had a lower score on depression tests and had better mood profiles. All these findings in general, may easily conclude that vegetarian diets simply lead to a happier, healthier and longer way of life. Vegetarianism is a growing practice among the population. People living under this method of vegetarianism are often people concerned with the environment, with their health, and with the sensitive of other lives. It is a practice that may not be only contemplated on nutrition terms. This means that it follows an attitude and a way of living. A vegetarian may reject other forms of utilization of animals to produce goods or for human entertainment.