Vegetarian, not deprivation


Kushi Zaver

Vegetarians do not have to settle for bland, tasteless food. There are numerous options available to make a vegetarian diet appetizing, such as this delectable veggie pizza.

Kushi Zaver, Op-Ed Editor

The idea of vegetarianism may seem unfathomable to most people, but it can be the easiest thing in the world. Vegetarianism is the practice of not consuming meat from animals, and it has numerous benefits. 

According to Harvard Health, a study of more than 76,000 vegetarians revealed that these vegetarians were on average 25 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease. Harvard also debunked the myth that most vegetarians lack protein because protein can be found in dairy, lentils and beans.

Another important benefit of this lifestyle is the cost. Vegetarian diets are typically more cost efficient than a traditional diet. A personal example of this would be eating out. 

Typically, if I go to a restaurant with my friends, my meal will be around 10 dollars while theirs may be twelve to fifteen. This may not seem like much, but it quickly adds up over time. 

Additionally, it is also cheaper overall; according to takepart, a vegetarian diet is more budget friendly largely because the cost of meat has been deducted. 

Skipping out on meat is also great for the environment. Cows, chickens and other livestock produce greenhouse gases that are released into the air, causing the greenhouse gas effect. 

If there are too many greenhouse gases, the world could overheat and  cause the human race to be driven to extinction. The livestock industry is one of the largest industries contributing to this effect, which is now known as global warming.

If everyone switched to a vegetarian diet, the risk of global warming would decrease. 

Furthermore, skeptics should consider the morality of eating meat.

Animals slated for slaughter are often beaten and battered to death. If eggs hatch and they are male chicks, they will often be suffocated in trash bags, pushed into a grinder or thrown away because they are useless to the operation. 

Cows and pigs are frequently forced to reproduce for their entire lifetimes to keep the cycle going, and the babies are separated from their mothers. I recommend watching the documentary “Cowspiracy” to see the reality of the cruelty prevalent in this industry. 

It is baffling how millions of individuals would cry at documentaries such as these but feel no remorse at eating the product.

I grew up hearing things like “Where do you get your protein?” or  “I don’t know how you do it” or the classic “I would die without meat; it tastes so good.” 

Personally, I have been a vegetarian since I was born; my family is Indian and traditionally we eat a vegetarian diet. I have never had any drastic medical issues or deficiencies. If you do it right, you will not only be healthy, you’ll thrive. 

According to a student at Coffee County Central High School, Austin Burch, “ I’m not a vegetarian because I find meat to be delicious, nutritious, easily accessible and inexpensive.”

Yes, I realize meat probably tastes good, but is it worth the environmental and physical effects? Meat consumption is often linked to heart disease, high cholesterol and the destruction of our planet. 

Burch himself even said, “ I have heard that there are numerous benefits, including  that vegetarians experience less B.O., lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure.” 

He acknowledges the benefits, so why can’t more skeptics?

Going vegetarian does not have to be drastic; it is a lifestyle change that you can adjust to gradually and in a way that is healthy for your body. It does not mean you will starve or be protein deficient.

 In fact, I encourage you to try it for at least a week. That is one week out of the approximately 4,000 in your lifetime. So, why not? A week without meat cannot hurt you; it can only open your eyes to a different, healthy way of life.