If you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian or have recently switched to this lifestyle, there is a lot for you to know. If it’s a difficult transition then you’ll probably wonder why you started in the first place. Lo and behold, this article is for you..Here is a list of the pros and cons of being a vegetarian! As you read you’ll realize that there are more pros than obvious and the cons can be easily fixed. Before you begin, you should know that a lot of this research comes from personal experience as I have lived a meat-free diet for 8 years. So take it from someone who has lived the transition and all the positives and negatives it has to offer.
Let’s start with the good stuff, what are the pros of being/becoming a vegetarian?
You will be living a healthier lifestyle….Those who say being a vegetarian is unhealthy, they don’t really know and are probably eating too much meat themselves! Cutting out meat can be very healthy, that is if you supplement your new diet correctly. When you begin a vegetarian diet you should automatically up your intake of healthy things like fibre and antioxidants. While you are doing this, your intake of cholesterol and antibiotics found in meat is likely to decrease. Harvard Health studies show a vegetarian diet can be linked to a reduced incidence of heart disease, cancer and obesity. PERSONAL TIP: I have found it easier to keep off weight since I became a vegetarian and in turn, healthier!
You can make up for lost nutrients, easily… A lot of vegetarians get flack because of the “lack of nutrients” in their diet (the haters are usually referring to B12, iron and protein). A lot of the nutrients you may be “missing” in your diet can be replaced by taking supplements and adding new foods to your meal plan. I have linked an article explaining easy ways to get your B12 as well as an article showing where vegetarians can find protein (that is not just tofu).
You save money…Meat is more expensive than vegetables, plain and simple. When you ditch the meat, you are also ditching the burning hole in your pocket. Even vegetarian dishes at restaurants are a few dollars cheaper than their meaty counterparts on the menu.
You’re literally saving the planet… So you’re not just doing it to save the cute, furry, helpless animals involved? Well, that’s interesting but you are helping them even if you aren’t trying to. Not only are you boycotting a murderous meat industry, but fighting against climate change. One of the main destructors of our planet is animal agriculture and if less people ate meat, this would be less of a planet. Oh well, one by one vegetarians can help to reduce the carbon footprint.
You have reduced your chance of eating risky foods…This is actually a benefit of being a vegetarian that I really enjoy, maybe too much. Before you get too comfortable, I want to make a public service announcement: please be careful with the eggs and dairy and make sure every vegetable and fruit you eat is washed. But whenever I am eating out or in a new country I know that I might be a bit more safe than my meat-eating compadres…I have seen chicken take grown men down! Just know vegetarian food is a little less risky and feel safer knowing that.
It’s time for the cons (with a rational explanation of how they can be overcome):
You have to read labels more often … To some people this is super annoying and I guess they don’t like to know what’s in the food they’re about to eat (beats me?). But when you turn to the vegetarian side, it’s inevitable that you’re going to have to be a bit more conscious of what you’re eating. However let’s look at the bright side, when you read the label for non-vegetarian ingredients you can face the reality of what’s in the product and what it may do to you. Are you regretting picking up that chocolate bar? You might after reading the ingredients…sorry, I am just trying to help you and your health.
It is harder to find food when eating out…Is it though? Once you become a vegetarian you may have a smaller selection on the menu at most restaurants. But I actually find this helpful because for me, a giant menu can be overwhelming. Though nowadays, there are so many vegetarian and vegan establishments (bakeries, shops and restaurants) that this excuse of it being difficult to find food gets pretty old, pretty quick.
The lack of protein and nutrients… Ok, this can be a real issue if you are not being conscious of what’s in the food you’re eating (bear in mind, I don’t know what shit people are putting in their bodies nowadays). Again you may lack iron or B12, but if you eat the right foods this shouldn’t be a problem! Or just take a visit to your doctor and see what supplements you need. You can find them at local natural foods stores for a more reasonable price than Whole Foods.
You may have to cook more… This falls into the whole issue of vegetarianism taking more time than a meat based diet. Again it’s a minor issue you may have to face. If you want to ensure you’re eating a vegetarian diet you might want to just skip all the antics and make your meals yourself. Is this really a bad thing? Eating in usually means eating healthier and there is nothing wrong with that.
You see, it’s not that hard to live as a vegetarian.Why not get started on your lifestyle change?