I have been a vegetarian my entire life, not only for my own health but for the health of the world around me. For years people have been questioning why I don’t eat meat or trying to push me to change my diet to incorporate meat. This has caused me to question myself and my choices in the past, leading to research that has only further concreted my beliefs and conviction that a vegetarian or vegan diet is the healthiest for not only myself but for the earth I live on and the animals I coinhabit with.
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I have many different reasons as to why I make such a dietary choice. Others in the past have used arguments to change my mind such as the taste and the fact that the human body needs meat when that is far from the case. I am a healthy, living example that humans can live easily without meat in their diet, and will explain some reasons why I and so many others have made the effort to be more dietarily conscious about what we consume. Not only do I abstain from meat for health reasons, contrary to what others may believe, but also do I do it for morality purposes and for the wellbeing and preservation of the very earth we live on.
Vegetarianism is defined by the dictionary as, The practice of not eating meat or fish, especially for moral, religious, or health reasons, though there are actually multiple different levels or categories to vegetarianism. According to Medical News Today, Lacto-ovo-vegetarians avoid the flesh of all animals, both meat and fish when pescatarians eat fish but no meat. Lacto-vegetarians consume dairy products but no eggs but ovo-vegetarians consume eggs but no dairy. Vegans avoid all animal-based foods, including honey. Some people call themselves “semi-vegetarian,” but most vegetarian and vegan societies do not accept this term (Nordqvist). The form of vegetarianism can be determined by preference but often times is actually a reflection of why one made such a choice. For example, religion plays a large part for some in the choice to be vegetarian. India is home to a large part of the vegetarian community. According to EXPONet, A quarter of India’s populationHindus, Buddhists and Jainistsbelie[ve] in reincarnation and the practice of non-violence, and therefore follow a vegetarian diet. Jain monks are so compassionate towards all living beings, even the smallest of insects, they sweep them out of the way so as not to tread on them (Figus). A Krsna Conscious lifestyle is actually what originally inspired my mother to become a vegetarian, but is not the reason she or I continue to maintain such a diet. Religion may be a leading reason for many to make such a dietary choice, but the reason behind the religion’s dictation is the same as mine.
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