Most of us have probably thought about whether we should take up a vegetarian lifestyle at some point in our lives. Whether it was as a teen, wanting to rebel against family dinner night because your BFF was, or following college when those freshman 15 just wouldn’t go away. Or perhaps it was after watching one of the vegetarian and vegan friendly documentaries out there. You know, the ones that break down exactly what goes into your dinner plate and makes you want to go hug your cat or dog?
We’ve decided to throw our hats into the ongoing debate with some of the biggest pros and cons out there:
It’s better for the environment
Globally, half the rain forests have been destroyed in order to make space for beef cattle to graze. In turn, that creates green-house gases and the extinction of roughly 1,000 species a year. Meanwhile animal farmers use roughly 2,500 gallons of fresh water to produce one little pound of meat, and are notoriously big water polluters.
But then again, burgers …
— Salvatore JD (@SaysSal) March 9, 2015
Research says you’d cut your risk of developing a whole slew of diseases
Studies show that vegetarians are at less of a risk of developing certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, cholesterol and strokes, among others.
But then again, steak …
You’ll be thinner
On average, vegetarians are less likely to be obese than meat-eaters – 10 to 20 per cent lighter. Studies also show that a vegetarian diet keeps weight off long term, as opposed to many of the yo-yo diets out there.
But then again, bacon…
— The Bacon Chronicle™ (@BaconChronicle) February 24, 2015
It’s cruel to animals
Animals are smarter than we often think, and they also experience stress, pain and fear. There are many arguments that locking them up in crates, sending them to the slaughterhouse and fattening them up for human consumption is unethical.
But then again, wings …
It’s also cruel to fish
Aside from adding potentially harmful amounts of mercury to your body, eating fish is just as cruel as eating pig or baby calf. That’s because according to research, fish feel pain when they are injured.
But then again, sushi …
— Simply, Nadine (@Trinipapillon) February 2, 2015
Going vegan still meets all your nutritional requirements
According to the Canadian Dietitians Association, it doesn’t matter if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or an older adult — you can get proper nutrition without meat. If you’re cognizant enough to ensure you find alternative sources of B12 and omega-3 fats from foods and supplements, of course.
But then again, pork belly…
Vegetarianism could lower world hunger
It takes roughly 10 pounds of plant protein — exported from countries where hunger is a huge problem – in order to produce one pound of beef. Imagine what would happen if the countries exporting that grain actually used it to feed their own people.
But then again, t-bones…
— BierMarktKingWest (@BierMarktKing) April 12, 2013
So there you have it — welcome to the argument in many households across Canada.