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Vegetarianism: A Truly Healthy Lifestyle

Katie Baker, Writer

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Vegetarianism, a lifestyle in which one does not eat meat, grows in popularity in many countries and cultures. Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, and poultry, but unlike vegans, some consume dairy products (lacto-vegetarians).  Rather than living recklessly and wantonly, many vegetarians choose this lifestyle to dedicate and devote their lives to eating healthy.

Unlike what most people mistakenly believe, vegetarians easily meet their protein needs by consuming a varied diet. Many beans and grains have a good protein amount, and this shows meat does not have the only source of this needed nutrient. Notwithstanding the erroneous belief that humans must eat meat to obtain good quality protein, nutritional science has shown it sufficiently exists in beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds, tempeh, chickpeas, peas, and other fine foods.

Maintaining a mixture of proteins throughout the day will also provide enough essential amino acids to meet one’s dietary needs, keeping people healthy and practicing good, nutritious eating habits. Although vegetarians can maintain a healthy diet, they still must exercise caution when consuming fatty and high calorie foods.

Vegetarianism does not only exist as a radical lifestyle, but also offers a similar variety as omnivore food choices, such as pizza, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, eggplant parmesan, meatless lasagna, bread, yogurt, peanut butter and jam, corn flakes, oatmeal, pancakes, French toast, vegetable soup, fruit salad, French fries, vegetable pot pies, grilled cheese, bean tacos and burritos, vegetable lo mein, fruit shakes, and much more. Vegetarians do not shun from eating delicious favorites, but accommodate themselves by eliminating meat from the recipe.

Not only do people choose a meatless lifestyle for improved health, but also many vegetarians find eating meat cruel and disgusting. Meat processing and packaging also shows a strong reason why many chose to live a vegetarian lifestyle. In 1906, Upton Sinclair published The Jungle, a popular book about Chicago’s filthy, unhygienic meat-packing facilities and their exploited immigrant workers.

The book’s revelations led to a government investigation and promulgating the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. This act improved the overall meat processing standards, yet many vegetarians still refuse to eat meat because of its unhygienic qualities when consumed.

Progressive people find a vegetarian lifestyle an excellent way to live a healthier and possibly more fulfilling one, but this diet may cause difficulty for some. Vegetarianism not only requires some lifestyle adjustment, but also it makes people exercise discipline with their food choices. Nevertheless, it can produce phenomenal results, decreasing risk of obesity, lowering blood pressure, and lessening risk of a heart attack.

Vegetarianism stands as a superb diet and splendid, healthy lifestyle!

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Vegetarianism: A Truly Healthy Lifestyle