June 6, 2008
“Because it’s healthy”, “Because it’s part of my religion”, “Because I’m an animal rights activist”, “Because the thought it was once alive gives me the heebie-jeebies”, the list of reasons why people are vegetarian is endless. But some people know these things and decide to think that they’re stupid or have no purpose to be vegetarian.
But first, the true meanings to the words vegetarian and vegan.
Someone who is a vegetarian is a person who doesn’t eat any meat (sometimes not including fish and/or chicken). Someone who is vegan however does not eat any animal products whatsoever. The difference? Vegetarians still eat/drink things like milk, ice cream, cheese, eggs, and any other product that is produced from an animal. Vegans do not eat anything at all that once came from an animal. They only eat plants, herbivores, if you will.
Many people follow trends of the stars, right? That’s how tabloid magazines make their profit. Well, what if the trend was giving up meat? Would you do it? Most people you ask say that there are barely any celebrities that live a meat-free life. I can name a couple hundred. Forest Whitaker, Casey Kasem, Bob Barker, Sir Paul McCartney, Pamela Anderson, and so many more. Carrie Underwood is a vegetarian for goodness sake! What do you think now?
A lot of people are vegetarians because of their health. Either they want to be healthier, or because their life depends on it, or whatever. Fruits and vegetables have all the vital nutrients to keep the body healthy. Animal products have loads saturated fat and cholesterol packed into one “healthy serving”. But who knows Americans better than an American? All of us know that most Americans don’t eat the “healthy serving”. The most common killer diseases and illnesses these days include heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and strokes. And all can be traced back to meat-related diets. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America today, and it is caused by the build-up of cholesterol and saturated fat from animal products in our arteries. The only two doctors in human history who have successfully reversed heart disease have included an exclusively vegetarian diet as a part of their programs. Someone who is vegan can on average have a cholesterol level of 133 (compared to 210 for meat-eaters); there are no documented cases of heart attacks in individuals with cholesterol under 150. Other health problems tied to clogged arteries, like poor circulation and atherosclerotic strokes, can be virtually eliminated with a vegan diet.
There are many religions that believe to be a better worshiper; you have to give up meat and sometimes all animal products too. Buddhism, Hindu, Hare Krishna, Sikh, Jain, Judaism, Islam and sometimes Christianity are all meat-free religions. Most Buddhist monks that are truly devoted do not eat fresh fruits or vegetables because there are living organisms in them. They can only eat fruits and veggies that have been dried for at least 10 years to make sure there are no living organisms left. Now that’s devotion.

Don’t even get me started on the farm factory industry. Smithfield Foods, the largest and most profitable pork processor in the world, 27 million hogs in 2005 alone died of either disease or contaminated food and water.

Yes, companies like McDonalds™ or Wendy’s™ depend on the carnivorous Americans. But Burger King™ now sells veggie burgers and I guarantee most, if not all, fast food restaurants sell salads. I’m not trying to convince the whole entire world to become vegetarian. I know re are big companies like Perdue™, Tyson™, and god forbid Smithfield Foods™ would all go out of business, vegetable sales would be through the roof, trees would be cut down for more crop fields and eventually we would have another Great Depression and Dust Bowl. I’m just trying to help people better understand the reasons why people decide to become a vegetarian or vegan.

Join the Discussion

This article has 11 comments. Post your own now!

Bones96 said...
May 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm
This is a good artical and I agree about the factory livestock. But any dietary extreame can be unhealthy humans where made to omvivores. Meaning not only vegetarians but vegans, raw and palo which is the best it depends on your health (such as food allergies). It's always just good to check with your doctor or with a nutritionist. 
AcrossTheUniverse said...
May 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm
Concise and explanatory. Well done. I finished this article with a new perspective on vegetarians. Have you ever seen the movie "Food, Inc.?" It explains factory farming.
andromeda13 said...
Aug. 28, 2011 at 6:07 pm
i want to be a vegatarian, but someone told me it's unhealthy to change your eating habits in such a major way well im still growing. is this true???
Janeyy replied...
Aug. 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm
Well, no, I don't think so. Lot's of people have done it, and most have only seen a change for the better. It depends on how much meat you eat, but it should be totally fine. If your still not quite reassured then take it in small steps. Cut out some meats until there are none left :)
andromeda13 replied...
Aug. 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm
thank you :)
Eman_Neercs This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 28, 2010 at 10:29 am
Cookies? Potato chips? French fries? Aren't there still plenty of unhealthy foods that don't come from animals? Besides, if you've ever stepped on an ant, picked a flower, or  eaten a celery stalk, you've killed something that was once alive- are they less important than livestock?
DawnMarie replied...
Dec. 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm

You are missing the point completely. Yes, there are plenty of unhealthy foods not made of meat, but she is saying that cutting meat out of your diet is healthier. 

Not only that, but yes, ants and celery stalks are alive. They don't have emotions. So yes, they are less important than livestock.

Okay? Okay. (: 

FroBro replied...
Jul. 15, 2011 at 6:48 pm
Our bodies are made to eat meat. For example, if it was bad for us our teeth would be more alike to those teeth of plant eating animals. But they're not, they are carnivores teeth.
Majika said...
Oct. 15, 2009 at 7:54 pm
Love it :3 Good job, fellow vegetarian! We're doing student congress right now, heh, and my bill is on the conditions and treatment of factory farmed animals =( kudos to you!
Elizabeth H. said...
May 24, 2009 at 2:05 am
First, thanks for writing this. It's good to hear a teenager who has real reasons for being a vegetarian/vegan. I would like to become vegetarian myself, but, alas, it would be unhealthy for me at this point. I hate it when people say, oh I'm a vegetarian, but I'm eating chicken today and if my mom makes hamburgers this weekend, then I'll eat just one.
Great article!
B-star7 replied...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I hate to argue with you, but not eating meat is healthier on a calories scale.. (if there is one) But what about all of the essintal nutrients you're missing out on? Protein? You DO need fat to survive and calories.

Yes, America is the most unhealthy nation, but that is also because of all of our unhealthy foods. Some like; sugar cerels, cookies, and cakes as listed before, and many others. It's not all of meats' fault.

And by the way... How do we know that bugs, like ants, or ... (more »)

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