The Benefits of Vegetarianism


marilyn barbone -

Health food for fitness concept with fresh fruit, vegetables, pulses, herbs, spices, nuts, grains and pulses. High in anthocyanins, antioxidants,smart carbohydrates, omega 3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins.

Maria Menjivar, Staff Writer

Climate change is a huge debate in the media and in politics right now. There are many proposals as to how we, as a nation, can work to fix this issue and better our planet by taking care of it. We hear a lot about cleaning up our plastic waste and reducing carbon emissions. One thing that is less talked about is our diets. There are many advocates out there for veganism and vegetarianism, promoting both the health benefits and environmental benefits of this type of diet.

It sounds crazy but if individuals across the country took the liberty of tweaking their diets, according to Time Magazine, global greenhouse gas emissions could be cut down by up to 70% by 2050. That requires drastic change between millions of people, but it could be a necessary one. Time Magazine credits researchers with the fact that livestock accounts for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Also, animal waste, antibiotics, hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers, and the pesticides used to spray feed crops often get into waterways and pollute them, which also contributes to global warming. Finally, a lot of non-livestock animals lose their homes and habitats due to deforestation. However, many forests are not being cut down solely for limber but rather to create more space to keep livestock. Therefore, those trees are not able to be replanted and habitats are destroyed permanently.

Personally, I have been a vegetarian for my entire life. In other words, I have never had meat… ever. Some people do not believe me, but it is true. My mom wanted to raise my siblings and I to be vegetarian, but I have been the only one to continue that legacy. The real reason I continued is because I was picky and did not want to try new foods, but I have grown out of that and I am used to not eating meat. I did try being vegan for a few months, but it was very difficult. That is why I recommend vegetarianism because it is not as demanding as veganism is.

Finally, cutting your diet back does not hold you back from doing anything like sports. I love playing sports and running, therefore, I make sure to get enough protein for energy. You can get plenty of protein and energy from foods such as beans, quinoa, dairy products and eggs. Also, many vegetarians eat fake meat products and many are made of tofu, which is also a good source of protein. There are many alternatives to fulfill dietary needs whilst cutting down on meat products in order to help better the environment. It is important for everyone to be conscious of all of their actions and their consequences. That is why I recommend, not for everyone to become vegetarian, but rather to be mindful about their amount of meat intake and how it can affect our planet.