Giving up meat can certainly have its advantages. Vegetarianism pros and cons are easy to pin point of course it really depends on how committed you are to the cause and what is motivating your commitment. People that give up meat for health concerns are a lot more likely to see the cons than people that give up meat for ethical reasons.
In either case it is a lifestyle choice that can have profound effects on your health. Being a vegetarian can mean different things. It can mean that you do not eat anything with a face but you do eat eggs and dairy. Being vegan is part of being a vegetarian but it means that you do not use or consume any animal products at all.
No matter what level you are committed at or for what reason there are both pros and cons to vegetarianism.
Pros of Vegetarianism
There are a lot of health pros associated with vegetarianism. You can lower your BMI by cutting out all the fat that is associated with meat. There is even some evidence that a vegetarian diet may be key in lowering your risk of heart problems.
1. The Smart Factor
A nice pro of vegetarianism is that recent studies have shown that vegetarians keep their wits about them for a longer period of time. There seems to be a correlation between being a vegetarian and reducing the risk of dementia as we age.
2. Increased Colon Health
There is evidence that a vegetarian diet can actually improve on the healthy bacteria in your gut that will ultimate improve colon health. It has long been thought that meat, especially red meat, does not digest properly and causes an imbalance in the natural balance in the body hence why colon cleanses are so popular.
3. More Efficient Use of Nutrients
The body uses the nutrition from a plant based diet more efficiently because it is easier to digest. There have been multiple studies that have shown that the body readily absorbs the nutrients from a plant based diet over a diet that is heavy in fats from meat.
4. It’s Nicer to the Animals
Terrible things are done to animals in the name of producing a food supply. Cutting out animal products from your diet is a gentler kinder way to live. The less demand there is for meat products the less animals have to be raised for slaughter.
5. It’s Nicer to the Planet
Livestock generates more green house gases than all the cars in the US. The entire process from growing the livestock to putting it on your table is not great for the environment. There are many different negative effects livestock have on the environment. Vegetarianism is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and do your share for the planet.
Cons of Vegetarianism
Vegetarianism may not be enough in the nutrition department especially for children and older adults. Strict vegans/vegetarians may be lacking in Omega 3 fatty acids which is crucial to brain function. They also may be lacking in B12 which is found in meat, fish, dairy and eggs. Vitamin D may also be lacking because it is typically found in fortified dairy products. Vitamin D is crucial to bone health and a deficiency can lead to osteoporosis.
2. You May Still Not Be Eating Healthy
Vegetarianism does not automatically mean you have a healthy diet. Just because you do not add bacon bits to your salad it does not mean you are eating well. Sugar is vegan so are french fries and other not so healthy options. You could conceivably fill your diet up with high starch foods that will pack on the pounds.
3. The Cost
It can be time consuming and in some cases expensive to maintain a vegetarian diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be costly when you are eating them at every meal. There is also a time factor involved in meal planning and trying to find new recipes that do not contain meat.
4. Its Harder to Eat Out
It can be hard to eat out and find meals that are satisfying and tasty. It can also be hard to be a guest at someones home. You will have to get used to bringing your own food with you when you travel or are invited to a gathering.
Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice that needs to be made with serious thought. You will likely have to take supplements that will make up for the nutrition that your body needs that you can no longer get from your diet. You will still have to make healthy choices, cutting out meat from your diet is not enough to make you healthy. You have to be sure that you still make conscious food choices.