National Vegetarian Week Doesn't Address the Problems of a Meat-Free Diet


This week is National Vegetarian Week as named by the Vegetarian Society. The week is an attempt to increase global awareness of vegetarianism and to promote a meat-free lifestyle. 

In the United States today, approximately 2.5% of the citizens consider themselves to be strict vegetarians which, by definition means that they follow a diet that excludes any red meat, poultry, or seafood. While it is important to respect thata routine like this plays a major role in a large number of people’s lifestyles, it nevertheless remains critical to consider that a life without too many extreme positions, (be them related to food, hobbies, or daily activities,) usually leads to a more balanced standard of living.

From the moment their children are born parents stress the notion that “too much of one thing is bad.” While such a mantra may seem juvenile at first glance, it has proven time and time again to be true. Obviously, watching too much TV, eating exorbitant amounts of candy, and drinking nothing but soda will cause problems. However, even performing a task such as jogging, can have negative impacts if done excessively. Jogging too often can put extreme pressure on the body and often leads to knee, ankle, and lower back injury. If doneone in moderation, jogging has a widely positive impact on a person’s heart condition, weight, and ability to combat disease.

Food regimens, like jogging, must also be balanced and well rounded. While strict vegetarianism does have several advantages, it also can lead to a number of health problems. Many vegetarians suffer from deficiencies in vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids as a result from an unbalanced diet. Lacking these crucial vitamins and minerals can cause trouble within the bones, cardiovascular system, and mental health of a person. While it is possible to obtain these vitamins and minerals without eating meat, poultry, or fish, finding alternative sources of these vitamins and proteins creates many more difficulties and unnecessary stress in the lives of those who are vegetarians.             

While it would be irresponsible to openly question the personal decisions that lead someone to become a vegetarian, it remains important to emphasize the fact that a well-balanced lifestyle ensures good health while also lowering the stress and anxiety that accompany a life lived with limited options. This is not all to say that vegetarianism is bad, it is just to say that being a vegetarian undoubtedly limits one’s alternatives in life.