There are a number of reasons that people choose vegetarianism. The main reasons can be summarized into health, ethical, and environmental concerns, explained below, as well as religious and cultural reasons.
|1.||Health Reasons for Vegetarianism|
|The most common reason for vegetarianism is for better health. A well-balanced vegetarian diet is very healthy, and can help to prevent/control a number of health problems, including
Note, however, that vegetarianism is not fool-proof. A decision to stop eating meat will not automatically give you good health; you need to plan your meals and eat a wide variety of the foods included in your type of vegetarianism.
|2.||Ethical Reasons for Vegetarianism|
|Some vegetarians believe that it is unnecessary and/or cruel to raise animals for food. There are two parts to this belief:
Ethical vegetarianism can be based on either or both of the above beliefs.
Examples of questionable treatment:
*Those concerned about the latter may be semi-vegetarians, choosing to eat free-range chicken and other humanely-treated animals if and when they are available.
|3.||Environmental Reasons for Vegetarianism|
|Raising animals for food wastes resources, because food gives up only part of its energy to the eater. When chickens eat grain, they get part of its energy. When humans eat chicken, they get only a part of the energy that the chicken got from the grain. By cutting out the "middle chicken" and eating the grain directly, humans get more energy, and more people can get fed.
Land produces much more food when used for farming rather than grazing.
Other problems caused by raising animals for food:
Religious and cultural reasons for vegetarianism are discussed in my article Who are vegetarians?
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Laura K. Lawless
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