Universitatea Tehnică din Cluj-Napoca,Centrul Universitar Nord din Baia MareFacultatea de LitereSpecializare: L.R.E III   ...
Februarie 2013Abstract:         Nowadays more and more people decide to adopt a vegetarian diet.Some of them are driven by...
To Be or Not To Be a Vegetarian          Food has represented more than the fulfillment of a physiologicalnecessity throug...
nutrient-rich, cholesterol-free, and low in fat. A well-balanced vegetarian dietincludes lots of fresh vegetabes, fruits, ...
build a strong, healthy body” (18).          In order to support his arguments,Havala comes up with examples form the spor...
Another argument that supports vegetarianism is certain spiritualand    religious   connections.   Many   people    decide...
sector (which provides draft animal power, leather, wool, milk, eggs,fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, etc., in addition to mea...
Therefore, Faur notes that “meat has never been one of the bestfoods especially because animal diseases are a common threa...
Reference List     Augenbraun, Harvey. "National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  "GISS ICP: Global Methane Invento...
Simpson, Mark. "How To: Argue Against Vegetarians." AskMen. N.p.,n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013.    The Holy Bible, Containing th...
Reference List     Augenbraun, Harvey. "National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  "GISS ICP: Global Methane Invento...
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Accademical essay to be or not to be a vegetarian mla sem 2

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Accademical essay to be or not to be a vegetarian mla sem 2

  1. 1. Universitatea Tehnică din Cluj-Napoca,Centrul Universitar Nord din Baia MareFacultatea de LitereSpecializare: L.R.E III To Be or Not To Be a Vegetarian Student: Carmen Agoşton
  2. 2. Februarie 2013Abstract: Nowadays more and more people decide to adopt a vegetarian diet.Some of them are driven by spiritual and environmental issues, others gomeatless out of health reasons. In the past few years, it has been a subjectmatter of debate - whether it is a healthy or a harmful practice.Both sides of the argument are emphasizing facts about the health of eachdiet and whether people should be vegetarians or not.Key words: vegetarianism, meatless, environment, health, nutrition. 2
  3. 3. To Be or Not To Be a Vegetarian Food has represented more than the fulfillment of a physiologicalnecessity throughout times and across cultures. A valuable insight isprovided into our conceptions of sickness and health, morality, personalidentity, recreation, and family life according to the ways that human beingsproduce, market, prepare, and consume food. As individuals and as membersof a global society, or attitudes toward food also have profound meaningsand consequences. (Puskar-Pasewicz 5) Nowadays more and more people decide to adopt a vegetarian diet.In the past few years, it has been a subject matter of debate - whether it is ahealthy or a harmful practice. Both sides of the argument are emphasizingfacts about the health of each diet and whether people should be vegetariansor not. In the past few years, scientific literature has extensively reportedon the health effects of plant foods such as whole grains, legumes,vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Although they are essential components, thesedietary factors are not unique to vegetarian diets. Thus, the informationreviewed on plant foods and health has direct applications for all persons.The primary focus is on the human health implications of consumingvegetarian diets. Besides personal health, however, one may follow avegetarian diet for a plethora of reasons that may include religion, ethics, orthe sustainability of our food supply. The chapters in the concluding sectionof this text address these issues. From a global, inclusive perspective,personal and public health are most influenced by the manner in which wetreat our fellow inhabitants and the resources of our planet.( Dhillon 57) When discussing the health benefits of vegetarianism, mostsupporters point out that non-animal based diets tend to be high in fiber, 3
  4. 4. nutrient-rich, cholesterol-free, and low in fat. A well-balanced vegetarian dietincludes lots of fresh vegetabes, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.These foods all have nutritional benefits - they provide roughage, containingless fat than a diet centred around meat products. They also contain health-promoting phytonutrients not found in any animal product. (De Sukhraj 4-5) Vegetarian diet supporters emphasize that not only is vegetarianfood better for people, but the consumption of non-vegetarian food has beenlinked to a number of health problems. “These include obesity, heart disease,hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, and several kinds of cancer. Accordingto the American Dietetic Association, vegetarian and vegan diets areassociated with reduced risks for all of these conditions.” (Rubin) Virginia Faur argues that after a meal rich in meat, the bloodpressure increases and the thyroid gland activity is stimulated. She goes onsaying that a diet rich in meat has a negative role in atherosclerosis,thrombosis, embolism, in psoriasis, cancer. She concludes that a vegetariandiet stops and removes most allergic conditions, prevent the occurrence ofappendicitis and that many people die from diseases caused by meat eating.(55) Therefore increasing the intake of vegetarian foods is a guarantee thatyour body will be in a better and healthier shape. On the other hand, studies have pointed out that a well-balancedomnivorous diet is a far healthier choice. These studies have shown thatvegetarians who fail to supplement their diets with Vitamin D, B12 and ironare prone to becoming dangerously anemic. “’Vegetarians also typically missout on omega-3 fatty acids. These unsaturated acids have been proved toslow the progression of atherosclerosis, reduce triglyceride levels, act asanti-inflammatory agents, and potentially help with depression and somepersonality disorders.” (Chitra) On the contrary, studies related to vegetarianism point out the factthat people wrongfully connect protein with strength, muscle, stamina, and,of course, meat. They argue that vegetarians get enough protein to survive.Havala notes that “some of the worlds most powerful animal, like gorillas,elephants, and some types of whale, are strict vegetarians. These animalsdemonstrate that protein from animal sources is not absolutely necessary to 4
  5. 5. build a strong, healthy body” (18). In order to support his arguments,Havala comes up with examples form the sport world. Some very activehuman athletes are vegetarians. Among them he mentions Linda McCartneyInternational bicycling team, which is made up entirely of vegetarians. Hedraws the conclusion that the cyclers prove that one not only receivesstrength from a vegetarian diet, but also the stamina required to ride a bikeat high speed for long distances. (19) Nonetheless, Faur notes that meat eating gives a state of mentalinstability and irritability. especially in children, protein intake comes not onlyfrom meat. proteins can be equally well provided by vegetables, eggs andmilk, without being accompanied by the intestinal putrefaction phenomenon.Those who eat meat on a daily basis, due to lack of enzymes, trace elementsand vitamins in the diet, are prone to muscular dystrophy, cancer, skindiseases, poisoning. After an apparent feeling of well-being there is anunnatural state of fatigue. residues that can not be metabolized disruptsacid-base balance. while balancing function stores uric acid and causes manymetabolic disorders. Those who eat meat have an energic and aggressivetemperament, while vegetarians are calm and distinguished by a permanentbalance. (56) However, Peterson argues that “vegetarians rather than improvingtheir health and building up resistance against disease, often suffer frommalnutrition and become even more susceptible to various physicalailments than before they gave up flesh foods because in most cases fleshfood is discarded without supplementing the diet with a satisfactorysubstitute. Many have the mistaken idea that by merely increasing theirfoods - nuts, legumes, and grains, they adequately replace the deficiency.”(27) By doing so they do not at all replace the deficiency, but insteadunbalance the nutrients. Peterson also notes that “biological experiments unmistakablydemonstrate that animals cannot thrive on whole grain proteins divorcedfrom associated leafy plants. An unbalanced diet is followed by dreadful anddestructive diseases.” (28) 5
  6. 6. Another argument that supports vegetarianism is certain spiritualand religious connections. Many people decide to go meatless forenvironmental or health reasons, but there are also some spiritual andreligious beliefs that can give one a deeper reason to embrace this newchoice. Havala argues that “many spiritual practices encourage a lighterdiet. Some are based on the premise that as our soul evolves, our bodies,needs, and desires become lighter (closer to being spirit-like - as the soul ismore etheral). The idea is that if the body is busy digesting heavy meats andlifeless foods, it is not able to allow the mind to aspire to a higher purpose“(47)Many vegetarians argue that: God’s creatures shouldn’t be sacrificed simply to appease ourcraving for a thick, juicy rib eye. While there may be some merit to theirarguments, their rationale also reeks of hypocrisy. Although vegetariansopenly decry the slaughter of animals, they think nothing of tearing carrotsand spuds out of the earth or of sticking a zucchini into a high-speed blender.Like it or not, plants are also living organisms that respond to stimuli likelight, gravity and touch. In fact, some groups even believe plants can feelpain. Take the Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology, for instance.This Swiss group recently came out in defense of our leafy green friends in areport on “the dignity of the creature in the plant world.” They argued thatplants deserve respect and that killing them arbitrarily is morally wrong.(Simpson) Another reason why people decide to go meatless is because ofenvironmental and economical concerns. Those who want to help conservethe earth’s natural resources can do so by avoiding meat. The primaryenvironmental concerns with animal products are pollution and the use ofresources such as fossil fuels, water, and land. According to a 2006 Food and Agriculture Organization report,industrialized agriculture contributes on a “massive scale” to climate change,air pollution, land degradation, energy use, deforestation, and biodiversitydecline. “The FAO report estimates that the livestock (including poultry) 6
  7. 7. sector (which provides draft animal power, leather, wool, milk, eggs,fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, etc., in addition to meat) contributes about 18percent of global GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions expressed as 100-yearCO2 equivalents. This estimate was based on life cycle analysis, includingfeed production, land use changes, etc., and used GWP (global warmingpotential) of 23 for methane and 296 for nitrous oxide, to convert emissionsof these gases to 100-year CO2 equivalents.” ( Augenbraun) Another agricultural effect is on land degradation. Much of theworlds crops is used to feed animals. With 30 percent of the earths landdevoted to raising livestock, a major cutback is needed to keep up withgrowing population. A 2010 UN report explained that “Western dietarypreferences for meat would be unsustainable as the world population rose tothe forecasted 9.1 billion by 2050. Demand for meat is expected to double bythis date; meat consumption is steadily rising in countries such as China thatonce followed more sustainable, vegetable-based diets. Cattle are a knowncause for soil erosion through trampling of the ground and overgrazing.”(Kirby) Pimentel, on the other hand, points out that “a widely adoptedvegetarian diet, in and of itself, may not be enough to make the food systemsustainable, unless greener agricultural practices, such as the adoption ofrenewable energy, are also implemented. The support of alternative farmingpractices (e.g. well husbanded organic farming, permaculture, and rotationalgrazing) and the avoidance of certain plant commodities such as rice, alsohave a beneficial impact on environmental health and sustainable agriculture,though this would have little effect on animal welfare and rights.” Accordingto Cornell scientists, "the heavy dependence on fossil energy suggests thatthe US food system, whether meat-based or plant-based, is not sustainable.”(qtd. in Pimentel) Moreover, fear can also determine people adopt a vegetarian diet.“Fear is a strong motivator, and concerns over Mad Cow disease, foodpoisoning, hormones, chemicals, antibiotics in meat and animal products,pesticides, and E. coli contamination can be reason enough for many to giveup meat.” (Havala 4) 7
  8. 8. Therefore, Faur notes that “meat has never been one of the bestfoods especially because animal diseases are a common thread. People oftenuse meat filled with germs of tuberculosis and cancer. In most of thecases animals are taken to the slaughterhouse or at the fair being so sickthat those who sell them are afraid to keep them longer. Away from thesunlight and fresh air, fed on rotting, these animals become foci of infection,their bodies being clogged with toxins. In many places even fish are poisonedthread of filth on which they feed; this is also the cause of disease. Thishappens especially where fish get in touch with filth that floods from thesewers of the big city.” (54) Moreover, even in the Old Testament, God tells us “ Behold, I havegiven you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth,and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shallbe for meat” ( Oxford Bible Gen. 1:29) All in all, a vegetarian diet can prove to be the best lifestyle choice,since it is benefic for both our bodies and souls. 8
  9. 9. Reference List Augenbraun, Harvey. "National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  "GISS ICP: Global Methane Inventory. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. Cherry, Reginald B. The Bible Cure. Orlando, FL: Creation House, 1998.  Print Chitra, Robert. "Vegetariansisnothealthy - Lacks of Vitamins and  Minerals."Vegetariansisnothealthy - Lacks of Vitamins and Minerals. N.p., n.d. Web.17 Feb. 2013. Dhillon, Jack. The Entering Wedge: The Genesis of Diet and  Health. [U.S.]: Entering Wedge Society of America, 1946. Print. Faur, Virginia. O instanta a sperantei de viata. [Bukarest]: Ed. R.A.I.,  1994. Print. Havala, Suzanne. The Complete Idiots Guide to Being a  Vegetarian. New York: Alpha, 1999. Print.. Kirby, Alex. BBC News. BBC, 16 Aug. 2004. Web. 17 Feb. 2013.  Pimentel, David. "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  " Sustainability of Meat-based and Plant-based Diets and the Environment. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. Puskar-Pasewicz, Margaret. Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism.  Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2010. Web. Rubin, Nina. "Beyond Milk and Honey: The Vegan Controversy." The  Vegan Controversy: Veganism. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. 9
  10. 10. Simpson, Mark. "How To: Argue Against Vegetarians." AskMen. N.p.,n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments: Translatedout of the Original Tongues, and with the Former Translations DiligentlyCompared and Revised, by His Majestys Special Command. Appointed toBe Read in Churches. Authorized King James Version. Oxford: Oxford UP,1995. Print. 10
  11. 11. Reference List Augenbraun, Harvey. "National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  "GISS ICP: Global Methane Inventory. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. Cherry, Reginald B. The Bible Cure. Orlando, FL: Creation House, 1998.  Print Chitra, Robert. "Vegetariansisnothealthy - Lacks of Vitamins and  Minerals."Vegetariansisnothealthy - Lacks of Vitamins and Minerals. N.p., n.d. Web.17 Feb. 2013. Dhillon, Jack. The Entering Wedge: The Genesis of Diet and  Health. [U.S.]: Entering Wedge Society of America, 1946. Print. Faur, Virginia. O instanta a sperantei de viata. [Bukarest]: Ed. R.A.I.,  1994. Print. Havala, Suzanne. The Complete Idiots Guide to Being a  Vegetarian. New York: Alpha, 1999. Print.. Kirby, Alex. BBC News. BBC, 16 Aug. 2004. Web. 17 Feb. 2013.  Pimentel, David. "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  " Sustainability of Meat-based and Plant-based Diets and the Environment. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. Puskar-Pasewicz, Margaret. Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism.  Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2010. Web. Rubin, Nina. "Beyond Milk and Honey: The Vegan Controversy." The  Vegan Controversy: Veganism. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. 9

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