Vegetarianism is a good idea.
Debate Rounds (3)
I'd like to start out by stating my position on the subject of vegetarianism. While I certainly don't think it is bad, I don't believe there is anything wrong with someone who wants to (or does) include meat in their diets and believe that that position can be supported from both an ethical and health perspective. I will attempt to prove that an omnivorous diet is just as good, if not better than a vegetarian lifestyle.
I will start by addressing some of Leekatya's comments and adding support for my position.
"...most people think that we are in need of meat, in my opinion, it's wrong and people should be vegetarians."
Before commenting on this statement, I need you to provide me with reasons as to why you believe it is wrong in order that your concerns can be properly addressed. Are you talking from a health position or an ethical position?
"According to research of KEDEM, vegetarian diet helps to reduce probability of death from such diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease."
I did google KEDEM, but did not find any results for vegetarian research. Perhaps you could supply a link for that? The information that did come up, however, seemed to contradict at least one of those points. According to a study done by the JAMA Internal Medicine, "Eating plant foods didn't seem to protect participants against cancer, which struck both the vegetarians and non-vegetarians in roughly equal measure." 1
As for diabetes and heart disease, when they are caused by dietary issues, it often stems from an imbalanced nutrition. Meat eating is not the primary cause of such diseases, but rather (and note the difference) *too much* meat can play a role. As with everything, moderation is the key. Just because someone eats more meat than is healthy for them and they get sick does not mean that the solution is to abstain from it entirely.
"Besides, vegetarians feel themselves better. Bill Clinton, who was a vegetarian, once said to interviewer - "All my blood tests are good, and my vital signs are good, and I feel good, and I also have, believe it or not, more energy." "
An important point to mention here is that a primary concern of those who don't eat meat is health. *Which means that they are already aware and conscious of health issues in general*. It's like saying that someone who exercises is more likely to be healthy than someone who does not. Of course they are! When someone is proactively taking steps towards a specific goal, they will be more likely to achieve it than someone who does not. While people who exercise have a greater chance of being healthy, that does not by definition mean someone who does not exercise is not healthy. So too with vegetarianism. And proof of the fact that vegetarians are more conscious about a healthy lifestyle is the following statistic: "75 percent of vegans abstain from alcohol, as opposed to 8 percent of omnivores; 94 percent abstain from smoking, as opposed to 67 percent of omnivores; and 80 percent of vegetarians exercise in their free time compared to 70 percent of omnivores."2 (it is significant to note in those statistics that only about 5% of Americans identify as vegetarians. 3) All those factors, especially abstinence from smoking also contribute to being healthier in regards to disease. And once again, just to reiterate my point, the above simply means that vegetarians are more conscious about living a healthy lifestyle. It reflects a lifestyle but does not mean that the plant-eating itself is what causes one to be healthy.
Though I personally have no problem with people being vegetarians, for the sake of completeness here is an argument concerning health issues in a vegetarian lifestyle:
The lack of certain nutrients in plant-based foods requires many a vegetarian to take additional supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, just to name a few. If a vegetarian lifestyle was truly what we were intended to be living by, we would be able to source all the necessary nutrients in plants.
In addition, studies have shown that there is a slightly lower bone mineral density in vegetarians as opposed to omnivores. 4
Thank you for taking the time to have this debate with me and I look forward to your response.
Here are my sources, in order:
In the beginning, I want to answer on your question "Are you talking from a health position or an ethical position?". I'm talking from a health position. When I wrote about disease, I based myself on this article: "Limit the animal-fare and you'll be reducing your likelihood for heart disease, the number-one killer of women. "Fatty red meats and many processed meats are high in saturated fat, which raises LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases risk of coronary heart disease," says Dr. Rachel K. Johnson, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association and professor of Nutrition and Medicine at the University of Vermont. Studies, including one of more than 500,000 people published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, have shown that eating high quantities of these meats (e.g. a small steak every day) also increases the risk of death from cardiovascular disease." of course, you are right when you wrote " It's like saying that someone who exercises is more likely to be healthy than someone who does not.". However, I wanted to say that people can reduce risk.
Besides, I have this position because of environment. For instance, people cut trees down in order to create new pastures for animals. Everybody knows that trees are the planet's lungs, so when we lose it, carbon dioxide is released. Consequently, it leads to the global rise in temperature. Also, there is a problem of shortage of water in the world. According to VITA (it's russian site) farming uses 70% of all using water in the world. It means that everyday one farm uses water as one city which has approximately 10000 population.
To address your arguments, you quote from the article, 'Limit the animal-fare and you'll be reducing your likelihood for heart disease.' The key word here is 'limit.' The meat itself doesn't cause these diseases - rather a large quantity of meat is the source of the problem.
"Studies... Have shown that eating high quantities of these meats (e.g. a small steak every day) also increases the risk of death from cardiovascular disease."
Once again, it's the high quantities of meat that cause the problem.
"I wanted to say that people can reduce risk."
Yes, people can reduce the risk by becoming vegetarians, but then they also open themselves up to a host of problems. In order to be a vegetarian, people must be very conscious about what they're eating in order to make sure they are getting a wide range of nutrients and often still needing to take additional supplements. For example, vitamin B12, which can only be found naturally in animal products, can lead to anemia and depression even with just a slight deficiency. People can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases (and others) simply by eating in moderation. It is not necessary to fully remove meat from your diet. Meat is high in iron, protein and vitamin D, all nutrients that are more difficult to come by in a vegetarian diet.
You also address environmental issues, which I would like to thank you for because it was not something I had previously thought about. After some time researching farming effects on the environment, here's what I found. First of all, the 'cutting down trees', is done not just for animal pastures but also for farming. So the same land that has its trees cut down to produce beef, might also be there to produce carrots. But in a study by the World Agroforestry Centre (WAC), scientists have recently found that many farms are planting and protecting trees spontaneously. To quote from the article, "Based on data from satellite images, the report is the first global study of tree cover on farms. It found tree canopies made-up more than ten percent of farmland spread across ten million square kilometres. The researchers' calculations indicate this quantity represents 46 per cent of all agricultural land - an area the size of China." Dennis Garrity, the director of WAC, says that it is a realistic fallback.
I don't speak Russian, so I'll take your word for it, but it's important to note that *farming* uses 70% of water, not specifically farming animals. So to do away with eating meat would not help the problem very much - we do need food. In such a case, we need to use better irrigation systems to make sure that all the water consumed is not being wasted and that the water can be reused.
Also, thank you for this debate. I'm learning a lot.
Leekatya forfeited this round.
I have nothing to add to my arguments at this point but should someone have any comments or criticism, I'd be more than happy to address them in the comments section.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TeaPartyAtheist 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forefit
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