The Truth Behind A Vegetarian Diet Biology Essay

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Everyone has the right to choose what they eat and how they want to eat it, for instance some people like their meat well done other would prefer it medium rare and a few like it rare but those are the minority, just as people eat meat others choose not to eat meat at all or any of its products those people are called vegetarians. Some vegetarians choose to become a veggie or a vegan (which are other words meaning vegetarian) just because they do not like meat or they do not believe in the slaughter of animals just so they can eat, and others are forced to due to medical issues. Being a vegetarian has its benefits and its drawback, many people argue that a vegetarian lifestyle is healthier than a meat eating one but that is not one hundred percent true, a vegetarian lifestyle lacks many of the benefits of meat and the most important is vitamin B12. Some people argue that vegetarians live longer, and sometimes being a vegetarian can affect a persons social life as vegetarians are usually singled out in a crowd.

Vegetarianism can be defined as "the practice of not eating meat, poultry or fish and their products, or without the use of dairy products or eggs". Vegetarians have a short name that is commercially used which is veggies. According to the international vegetarian union (IVU), the term vegetarian originated near the year 1840 and was firstly used officially in 1847 at the inaugural meeting of the Vegetarian Society in the United Kingdom by Joseph Brotherton and others. Before the year 1847 non meat eaters were known as "Pythagoreans" or adherence of "Pythagorean system" after the ancient Greek "vegetarian" Pythagoras.

There are a lot of other different types of vegetarians present all over the world. One of these types is halal vegetarians which is the most common type of veggies in the Middle East. The halal vegetarians eat and drink animal products which generally obey both the definitions of halal and vegetarian. Halal is the meat that is approved by Islam. The lacto vegetarians and ovo-lacto vegetarians are the two main types of vegetarians. The ovo-lacto vegetarians like vegans exclude animal flesh, meat, poultry, fish and sea food, animal products like eggs and dairy milk. According to an article named "definitions" on the website of the IVU, they also usually exclude honey because honey is made by bees. However, vegans eliminate the use of animal products like leather, silk, wool, lanolin, gelatin and more. However, ovo-lacto vegetarians may eat eggs and drink milk which is the only difference between them and the vegans. The ovo-lacto vegetarians are most commonly found in western countries. Lacto vegetarians are similar to vegans but they drink milk and eat milk products such as cheese and yogurt,

The other types are somewhat a variation from the vegetarians. Semi-vegetarians eat less meat than normal people, pseudo vegetarianism is normally applied or said to semi-vegetarians and pescarians. A pescarian is a person that has a diet similar to vegetarians but eat fish. Fruitarians are also similar to vegans but eat what doesn't kill a plant. This means that fruitarians can eat apple and mango but can't eat carrot or potato. A vegetable consumer is a person that eats vegetables but isn't necessarily a vegetarian. The non-meat eaters don't eat meat but this mostly includes other stuff but in this definition it means that in their diet fish, poultry or seafood are accepted to be eaten. Moreover, animal fats and oils, skin and bone meals are not considered as meat. The people that only eat herbs or plants are called herbivores.

Religion can also be a reason for a person to become a vegan. In Judaism some dietary rules have to be followed they act as a guide line to Jewish people, on what is allowed to be eaten and what isn't allowed. This doesn't mean that they are vegans or ovo-lacto vegetarians. This type of diet is called a kosher. Kosher products can contain milk or animal containing products there are sub divisions to kosher: pareve/parve where milk and meat are eliminated from the diet. Eggs and true fish are allowed in pareve while shell fish are not and there is also a non-dietary and a non-meat type. Contains a small dose of milk not considered dairy but may contain milk derivatives while the others may exclude milk, eggs and cheese.

There are many reasons why people become vegetarians either its because they think it is unfair to slaughter animals just so we can eat because they feel sympathy for the animals but there are new humane techniques that have been devised and they will be discussed later, while others are forced to become vegans because of a dietary problem, and others just do not like eating meat. There is a type of vegetarians which don't eat meat because they can't eat it. Some stop eating meat because they have pain while digesting. This is because they either have a sensitive stomach or they can't digest meat due to some digestive disorders. The first type stop eating meat when they find themselves in pain when they eat it. Some of them don't even go to the doctor to help them. They just stop the stimulating factor which is meat. The ones that have a sensitive stomach have pain with a heavy meal whatever it was. This requires going to the doctor to know how to treat this problem. Some doctors just advise the patient about what to eat and what not to eat. This mostly includes excluding meat. Other doctors try to treat the problem itself by giving the patient drugs to help make their stomach resistant or stronger. The third type is a type where a doctor gives an order to the patient to stop eating meat because it will effect the treatment they are having. In this type the patient doesn't have any pain associated with eating meat. It is just that they have a disease which recommends not eating meat or reducing it.

The vegetarian diet lacks many benefits related to health. The most important one is vitamin B12. . According to an article named "Vitamin B12" on the website of the International Vegetarian Union (IVU), Vitamin B12 is very important for cell division and blood formation, it is also important for pregnant women and children to get enough vitamin B12. Plants do not contain vitamin B12 unless they are contaminated by microorganisms. So vegans need to look to other sources to get vitamin B12 in their diet. Although the minimum requirement for vitamin B12 is quite small, 1/1000 of a milligram (1 microgram) a day for adults, a vitamin B12 deficiency is a very serious problem leading ultimately to irreversible nerve damage. Vegetarians claim that they can get the required RDA of vitamin B12 from non-animal sources that include Nutri-Grain cereal of which 1.4 ounces is enough to supply an adult RDA and Red Star T-6635+ nutritional yeast of which 1-2 teaspoons supplies the adult RDA, also the use of vitamin pills can compensate for the lack of vitamin B12 in a persons diet. Another important benefit lacking in a vegan diet is Omega 3 which is a fatty acid obtained mainly from fish. Omega 3 has been known to help avoid and treat Alzheimer, while a vegetarian diet lacks Omega 3 there are many nutritional pills that can supply Omega 3 to a person.

Current anthropology research is beginning to prove that early humans that ate meat had larger brains and smaller stomachs than those that did not eat meat. According to an article in the Harvard Gazette, Leslie Aiello is a writer who co-wrote the widely used text "An Introduction to Human Evolutionary Anatomy". She claims that early humans 1.5 million years ago began to eat meat which is a high energy source of calories that doesn't require a large digestive system. That high energy supported the energy needs for the growth of the brain where 1 gram of brain tissue needs 20 times more energy needed than what is needed for the growth of a kidney, so with the growth of the brain the energy requirement became very high thus having a reverse effect on the digestive systems of early humans so they got smaller.

Some People become vegetarians to avoid killing animals. However, "vegetarian diet kills animals too" according to researcher charges vegetarian diet not blood-free. Everybody in the world is considered guilty in killing animals even vegetarians. To prepare lands for crops. There is a need for deforestation. And when deforestation increases more animals become homeless. Deforestation is done to provide land for cropping the vegetarians food. These animals are somewhat invisible to people because they are small in size these animals are mice, moles and rabbits.

Vegetarians believe that they live longer healthy lives. "Vegetarians have similar mortality to comparable non-vegetarians, although a vegetarian diet may confer an additional 1-2 years of life" according to oxford vegetarians. However longevity of life is not the only measure of health. Vegetarians also have lower cholesterol levels in blood than non-vegetarians. A healthy vegetarian diet also needs to compensate for the deficiencies that are in meat and fish by using nutritional pills.

Vegetarians face many obstacles in their social life. People usually find it awkward to interact with a vegetarian because they are afraid that they might offend vegetarianism in some way. Also vegetarian children are often made fun of at school or are forced to eat meat by bullies or just to gain popularity. Vegetarians are also usually singled out in the crowed and people tend to act differently when a vegan is around.

There are two methods that are followed during animal killing mainstream slaughter method and ritual method. In the mainstream there are some rules that are followed which states that the animal should be unconscious before killing it this rule is specially applied in the United Kingdom. The scientific veterinary committee of the EU is the committee that provides the method to be used while killing animals which mainly involves stunning animals before cutting its throat. There are three methods for stunning the animal, mechanical, gas and electric stunning. The mechanical stunning method involves here sub types. Captive bolt is the main type used, it consists of cartridge, compressed air and an under tension spring applied to the skull of the animal. The main problem of this method is that it might not be applied correctly, and animals either regain their consciousness or don't be unconscious at all. This method is applied to farmed animals and rabbits. The second type is conscious stunning. It is done by a device used to provide a strong hit to the brain of cattle's, sheep and rabbits. The main problem of this type is that it might not be performed correctly and the animals are not concussed and remain conscious while their throats are being cut. The third and final type of mechanical stunning is free bullets. This type is mainly used in emergencies with animals which are hard to be handled. The shot should be in the head, to be correct if it is done to the neck or chest it might cause more pain and distress.

Gas stunning is the second type used for stunning animals before cutting their throats. There are two types of gas stunning, carbon di-oxide stunning and carbon di-oxide and Argon stunning. The use of carbon di-oxide stunning is mainly used for stunning pigs in the United Kingdom. Normally pigs die after five minuets of exposure to 90% carbon di-oxide. The main fear of this type is that pigs have a great fear and breathlessness while exposed to this carbon di-oxide. Sometimes pigs even try to escape it. Carbon di-oxide and argon is the second type of gas stunning. Mainly used for chicken and turkey. If these birds are stunned in a carriage or a transporter, birds may not be fully stunned while their throats are being cut.

The last type of stunning is electric stunning. Head only electric stunning has a wide range of use upon animals. Where electricity passes through the animals head and renders them unconscious. The problem here is that the animal might have insufficient exposure to electricity and regain consciousness. Cardiac arrest stunning which has a narrower range of use among animals. An electric current passes through head and body to brain and heart. Or the head then the chest. The main problem in this type is that in most cases it requires a second stun so the animal in this type encounters a lot of pain during cardiac arrest. The last electric stunning type is the water bath. Its only used for poultry and bird. Where the birds are turned upside down and enter into an electrified water bath. Where birds may or may not get a heart attack due to different anatomical variations of birds. Some difficulties may encounter this type. Because some birds don't get immersed in the water at all while others get only their wings immersed and that is even more painful. This happens to birds with large wings. The types of stunning are according to the article "going for the kill" published in Viva magazine Ritual slaughter is done with different rules than mainstream slaughter. In the United Kingdom people don't need to stun animals before cutting their throats if it is a ritual kill. The rules state that the knife must be large and sharp, the cut must be done in a single, fast and strong stroke. Where both jugular veins and both carotid arteries are included. Nowadays, it is said that removal of blood from a killed animal is mandatory before eating it in Islam and Judaism.

To conclude, vegetarian people have better health than non vegetarians because of less fat and cholesterol consumption but they need to take pills to compensate for the deficiencies. However, this doesn't render in making their lives a lot longer. They have similar life intervals. On the other hand they miss the pleasure of eating meat and animal products. All religions allow the eating of meat but each one has its own laws on how to eat it. People should have mercy on animals they kill, at least by making it less painful. If a person turns to be a vegetarian just to save animals from being killed he is wrong because animals are also killed for making vegetarian food.