A vegan is the strictest vegetarian diet and excludes all animal products including eggs, dairy and honey. Some vegetarian diets, however, do include fish or chicken, but not ‘red’ meat. After reading several articles on the pros and cons of being, or not being, a vegetarian, I came upon an article by William T. Jarvis, PH. D entitled “Why I Am Not A Vegetarian” that encompassed many of my same views. Dr. Jarvis, now retired, was a professor of public health and preventive medicine at Lorna Linda University, and founder and president of The National Council Against Health Fraud and he is a Seventh Day Adventist.
Seventh Day Adventists are strong believers in vegetarianism, which is one reason why I enjoyed his opposing viewpoint. In the article by Dr. Jarvis, several topics and theories are discussed including his observation on classifying vegetarians in two behavioral categories: pragmatic or ideologic. A pragmatic vegetarian is rational and most often are vegetarian out of health related concerns, but an ideologic vegetarian is one that is more emotionally rooted in the behavior ‘as a matter of principle’ so to speak. It is his views on the pragmatic vegetarian that closely mirror my own. In the article, Dr.
Jarvis points out that it is possible to obtain all the essential nutrients needed, except vitamin B-12, by eating a vegetarian diet; however, he also points out that the same can be said for eating an all meat diet, too. While I understand the need that some have to refrain from eating certain foods for health related issues, I believe that our body needs meat. Also, to me, meat tastes good. The quality of protein from meat exceeds the quality of protein from plants. Meat contains much more protein by mass, and this protein contains all the essential amino acids, in the correct balance.
Meat is also rich is Iron which is needed by pregnant women and middle-aged women approaching menopause. Many argue that there are certain health risks of eating meat, especially red meat, but they often tend to be exaggerated. Avoid processed meat and try to eat lean meat as much as possible, and meat can be very healthy in the diet, and does not increase risk of heart disease or cancer, as Dr. Jarvis also pointed out in his article quoting scientific data from nutrition-related research supports vegetarianism only tentatively.
Another reason I think eating meat is healthier than a vegetarian diet is that we, humans, are fully able to digest meat. We have canine teeth, which allow us to chew meat, and enzymes in our stomach and small intestine to digest it. In conclusion, eating meat tends to be an economical option for nutrition overall. While it is possible to get all the nutrients in meat on a vegetarian diet, it is much more difficult, often resulting in the need to obtain various types of grains to ensure that no vitamins, minerals, or amino acids are missing.
This can be inconvenient and costly, and difficult to prepare. Meat supplies us with the vitamins we need in everyday life. Although, the other articles I read are opposed to meat eating; they still share the health risks of not eating meat, and that meat does the body good. Work Cited "Why I Am Not a Vegetarian. " Why I Am Not a Vegetarian. N. p. , n. d. Web. 25 Sept. 2012. <http://www. quackwatch. org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/vegan. html>.