Vegetarianism - Health and Ethical Reasons
Vegetarian diet, well planned and balanced, will help us improve our health by reducing the risk factors for Four Major Killer Diseases; and also help other animals live a better, peaceful life of their own.
In America, most people die due to one of these major killer diseases- Heart Attack, certain types of Cancer, Diabetes, and Obesity. There are scientific studies done to show that people with less animal fat in their blood have less chance of getting these health problems. Alternate to Meat-Centered diets, vegetarian diets, four main types of them, provide all nutrients and minerals, when planned well with balanced proportions.
Veganism (only Plant products, not even Honey), Lacto-Vegetarianism (Plant products and Dairy products), Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarianism (Plant, Dairy, and Egg in the diet), Semi-Vegetarianism (NO to Red Meat and occationally consume chicken and fish. This has two sub groups, Pesco-Veggies and Pollo-Veggies – one who eat Fish and other Chicken). There are three newer branches of Vegetarianism, Sproutarianism (mostly sprouted seeds as primary diet), Fruitarianism (nothing but fruits, juicy and dry; which includes nuts and seeds, fruits like tomatos, eggplants, legumes etc.), and Raw-Foodism (anything that is not cooked beyond 118*F, the point at which the enzymes begin to be destroyed).
Besides, nearly 150 million “livestock” animals are “Killed” for food in the U.S. alone, each year. Almost all of these animals are::
- castrated, dehorned, have their tails cut off, ears notched, and teech clipped without the use of anesthesia;
- kept in conditions so cramped that they cannot turn around, fully stretch;
- they must lie in their own excrement, resulting in limb ulceration and upper respiratory illnesses;
- transported in overly crowded trucks, in extreme weather conditions; they succumb to heat exhaustion in summer and in the winter pigs and cows freeze to the sides of trucks and their skin is torn off to release them;
- some are slaughtered cruelly on the factory farm itself;
To protest against these animal cruelties, PETA has filed for a pitition, appealing for an Act, that the animals should be treated Humanely, from the day they were born, though they were bred to be slaughtered, till they become a consumer product.
We- Humans, Homo sapiens, as named by biologists, are gregarious in nature; that is, we are social creatures. Also, we are built to consume what we can digest easily. Specifically Fruits and Vegetables. Mother Nature has provided us with bounty of those supplies, and human race has learnt to cultivate a lot more varieties through years of experimenting and experience. When we have a choice “to live and let live”, why kill other animals for our food? How do we feel when a human being is attacked by a shark in the ocean, a lion in African Savanah, or a tiger in the forest of snow clad Syberia? We feel sad, extremely hurt if the person was near and dear one to us. We have feelings about other humans, attachments, emotional bindings to our own kind. Why not extend it to other creatures, who help us in our progress as mankind?
“We Are What We Eat”, says one scripture. If we really read carefully, no religion of the world asks its followers to kill other animals for their food. Then, Why Kill? Let us stop killing animals for our food. Let us be Vegetarians; Lacto-Ovo, I call Semi-Vegetarians, at least, if not total Vegans. Bottom line is, we don’t have to kill other animals to keep ourselves alive and healthy. Today, let’s say “WE WON’T”.
McAlpine, Ken. “Eating Less Meat? – Better Read This.”
Reader’s Digest May 2001 Pp 47-51
Heber, David; M.D. “Eat By COLOR – Nature’s secret nutritional code”
Reader’s Digest May 2002 Pp 138-141
Corliss, Richard. “Should We All Be Vegetarians?” Time (Web Edition), Sat’day, July 06. 2002.
(Outline of Persuasive Presentation - class assignment- 23- July-2002)