Filed under Health

Dietary decision: To be or not to be a vegetarian

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Being a vegetarian, according to the Google dictionary is “a person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products.” There are three main reasons why people are or become vegetarians, for morals, religious reasons, or for health reasons. Some other reasons are simply not liking it, for ethical or philosophical, environmental, political reasons.

“I don’t believe in what the slaughter houses do, and think that it is harmful,” freshman Peyton Vannoy said.

A person who eats no other meats except fish is considered a pescatarian, or pesco-vegetarian.

Just a step further is a person who is vegan. Vegans do not eat meat, animal products or use animal products. Some people are vegetarians because of their morals, who believe it is wrong to eat animal meat.

This ties back to animal cruelty. Ever wonder exactly what the process is that meat goes through to get to your fridge?

Let’s use poultry as an example. According to Veganpeace.com, “Every year, more than 9 billion chickens raised and killed for their meat in the United States.” From the moment a chick hatches from its egg, it starts its life in an incubator drawer, until it is delivered to the “boiler house”. After being born chicks go through a process were the ends of their beaks are permanently burned off.

Until they fully mature, they are forced to live in huge sheds called “grower houses”, where they are genetically altered by manipulating them to grow until their bodies can’t keep up their heart and lungs and their legs break from no longer being able to support their weight. The use of artificial lighting causes them to eat as much as possible.

After they reach the desired weight they are transported to the slaughterhouse were a percentage of them die off from freezing temperatures or suffocation in the summer.

This is where they are hung by their feet from shackles on a moving rail to be stung by electrified water, while still fully conscious.

Although because poultry is excluded from the Humane Slaughter Act, lower currents than necessary are used and stunning them is not necessary.

This is the simple answer to why some people choose to not eat poultry.

Many become vegetarians for religious reasons. Religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Seventh Day Adventists encourage vegetarianism.

Other religions such as Christian Orthodox have food restrictions were they are not allowed to consume meats, dairy products, or sweets curtain periods during the year; called fasting, as a sign for self-discipline and respect towards god.

Other reasons people become vegetarians are because they just don’t like eating meat, this is also considered a physiological reason.

They might not like the taste or the look of the meat. Some feel that it is disgusting thinking that they are eating what was once a living thing. As for ethical or philosophical reasons, many believe that animals are not ours to eat, should not be raised for slaughter, and that animal cruelty is wrong.

Environmental reasons are that raising livestock takes up half of all food grown and water used in the United States. It also produces more greenhouse gasses than all the cars in the world.

Others people become vegetarians for health reasons, such as dietary health problems and to protect themselves from diseases carried by animals.

One of the leading causes of heart failure in the United States is high consumption of meat or animal products such as, pork or eggs.

These foods can cause humans’ arteries to clog up with fat, from high cholesterol.

Due to the amount of chemicals fed to the animals for them to grow in the short period of time they do, they carry chemicals dangerous to humans in high quantities.

There can also be food poisoning cases due to the unsanitary production places and under cooked meat products.

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