Why switch to the Vegetarian lifestyle?

There are many different reasons why someone should choose to be a vegetarian. As mentioned before, one may be practicing according to their religion. The diet can also reduce pollution, if a large number of people choose to exclude meat from their diets. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the meat industry produces 61 million tons of waste each year. It’s impossible to dispose of all of that waste properly, and it ends up getting in streams and groundwater. This leads to respiratory problems and skin infections for the people who live nearby these facilities.

Not only does the meat industry pollute the environment, but it also uses a lot of resources. It takes more fossil fuels to produce 1 calorie of beef protein than plant protein. It also takes fifteen times as much water to produce animal protein than plants. A single person won’t be able to change this, but in quantity, vegetarians can help reduce the demand for meat products.

One might also be a vegetarian to support animals. Most animals are no longer raised on the typical farm, but in factory farms where they are forced to live in cramped quarters, which tends to lead to aggression towards the other animals and health issues, such as skeletal deformities from living on an unnatural concrete floor. There are many other reasons why one would choose to partakes in vegetarianism, whether it be for health or other personal reasons.

Getting Protein

It’s common for people to believe that vegetarians don’t get the proper nutrition they need, specifically a lack of protein. But just because people normally get a lot of protein through meat doesn’t mean it’s the only source. Usually, if a vegetarian consumes dairy products, they look towards milk or eggs for protein. Legumes are also a good source of protein and, of course, vegetarians could always choose to take supplements to meet their needs.

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Types of Vegetarians

When most people think of a vegetarian, they think of someone that doesn’t eat meat. But there are actually several different types of vegetarians, some being more popular than other types. The most common way vegetarianism is practiced is to abstain from eating meat while continuing to eat dairy products or eggs for protein. If that vegetarian were to add fish to their diet, they would become known as a pescatarian. Generally people who practice this type of vegetarianism are doing so for religious purposes. A third type of vegetarian is a flexitarian. Sometimes this will be used as a transition stage to removing meat from the diet completely, since, for the most part, a flexitarian takes part in a traditional vegetarian diet. But they also occasionally eat meat, whether it be once a week or once a month.

The final type of practice is to eat no animal products at all, known as veganism. Not only do vegans abstain from eating animal products, but they generally avoid using other products that cause harm to animals, like a shampoo that used animals for testing. There are even more categories within the types, for example, an ovo-vegetarian will include eggs in their diet but no dairy products.