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10 November, 2016

Advantages and Disadvantages of Going Vegetarian

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Advantages

Budget: Vegetarian food is almost always cheaper than meat, in both grocery stores and restaurants. The only exception to this would be the fake meats which mimic their real counterparts; these cost about the same as meat. But you don’t have to always eat those; replacing beef with lentils or beans will save you tons of money.

Weight loss: You will likely drop a portion of the excess weight you’ve been carrying around, due to the fact that you’re no longer taking in all sorts of unnecessary saturated fats.

Less digestive issues: Meat eaters tend to experience digestive issues such as bloating and constipation. Long-term, meat consumption has also been linked to colon cancer.

Decreased health issues over time: Meat consumption has also been linked to other long-term health issues such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Avoiding meat may just help you avoid these conditions

Discover new and interesting foods: When you stop eating meat, you force yourself to explore your options and (lest you want to eat pasta every night of the week) broaden your horizons and try new foods. Fun tip: Indian and Mediterranean foods are delicious, and happen to have a lot of vegetarian possibilities.

You’re helping animals: When you stop eating meat, you stop funding and participating in the immense cruelty which takes place on factory farms.

You’re helping the environment: The meat industry is responsible for a lot of environmental pollution and degradation. Water pollution, air pollution, rainforest destruction, and desertification are all directly attributed to the meat industry.

 

Disadvantages

Protein scarcity: This is the #1 reason people cite for not wanting to go vegetarian. It is not as big a deal as people think. The trick is to just find the proteins which exist in nuts, vegetables, beans, legumes, and tofu.

Limited Food Options: While it is true that your food options become limited in the realm of fast food, this isn’t a problem at home or in most restaurants. Getting a cookbook is your best bet at eliminating meat, eating healthy, and staying full. After you cook enough recipes for yourself, you will discover so many new cuisines and recipes that you won’t find it a struggle to find things to eat. Friendly tip: while seeking fast food, get beans instead of beef at taco bell, and ask Burger King about their veggie burger option!

Difficulty Eating Over at the Houses of Others: One of the few annoying parts of being a vegetarian is when you’re invited over to someone else’s house to eat, and they don’t realize you’re a veg. The best way around this is to just get more vegetables to fill out your plate, but many times people will try to be nice and accommodate you with potatoes or pasta.

Friends and family who still eat meat: It will be sometimes inconvenient to be the only vegetarian in the crowd. The only time it really proves problematic is if you are living with a meat eater; this makes it time consuming and costly to accommodate both diets.  

Reading Labels: Foods contain meat or meat products even when they probably shouldn’t. For example, French onion soup may be made with beef broth, and Mexican rice may contain chicken flavoring.

Try It Out

The advantages of going vegetarian far outweigh the disadvantages. You will experience better health, more interesting cuisine, and tons of learning about cooking and nutrition. Plus, no one ever said that once you go veg that it’s permanent; you can go back to eating meat any time you want. So try it out; give it a shot for a month or two and see how you feel. You won’t be sorry you did!