Who’s Saying What!?
Vegetarianism may not be a topic that is currently breaking headlines, but there are most definitely a large body of people who care about this and find this to be very important in our generation and today’s society. As the time passes the vegetarian community is progressing at a rapid spread grabbing the attention and interests of many.
Health organizations, such as The United States Department Of Food And Agriculture and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, are starting to suggest that this dieting life style be used as a medical tool. When a patient comes in with weight, heart, and metabolism problems (such as diabetes and obesity) this life style is being used as an alternative to surgery such as bypass and pills that help you lose weight. Animal proteins such as chicken, beef, and pork contain positive things such as amino acids that our body needs while also containing high levels of saturated fat which are a factor in weight gain problems. While some means are leaner then others, vegetarians solution is to cut those meats from our everyday diet entirely and replace them with plant proteins.
The controversy is: which lifestyle is healthier and what are the facts that support that claim? Vegetarians vs Meat-Eaters, who wins and why? Vegetarians will say that their plant based diets contain a substantially less amount of saturated fats that exist in a meat based diet. Jamie Oliver, who has a global campaign in the hopes of bettering food education, even discusses a recent study that, “. . .indicated that the average vegan diet is higher in vitamin C and fibre, and lower in saturated fat than one containing meat. In addition, statistics show that vegans have a lower BMI (height-to-weight ratio) than meat eaters — in other words, they are skinnier.” On the other hand, meat eaters will explain that although this may be true, vegetarians have a high risk of malnutrition if they do not pay a close enough attention to the nutrient substitutions that they must eat in order to replace the proteins that they are missing out on by no longer consuming meat. Vegetarian proteins such as tofu and soy beans contain a significantly less amount of amino acids that our body needs and can get from meat.
At the same time Animal Activist organizations, such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Humane Farming Association, are lobbying to stop factory farms and expose how we abuse these animals rather than respect them like we rightly should. Recently when ever you step foot on any social media platform you will witness at least one video that contains animal brutality, videos that expose what goes on behind closed factory doors in order to obtain the meat that is consumed daily as part of an animal-protein based diet. Cesar Chavez once said, ”I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do. I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom.” Animal activists show that these diets are killing innocent animals and there are many organizations that are protesting for them and their rights.
Although meat production is without a doubt hurting animals, the larger controversy is whether or not it is right to claim that meat production is unfair or is it just the natural part of life intertwined with our idea of the food chain. The argument against the activists is the idea of “eat or be eaten” and many say that that is what humans must do in order to survive, as we are technically a part of the food chain, that just so happens to be at the top.