There are many reasons for adopting the vegetarian lifestyle:
- Meat consumption and its long term effects
- Religious beliefs
- The overuse of land and water resouces
- Animal cruelty
- The fear of disease
- World hunger demands
Whenever the question of vegetarianism comes up, it is closely followed with the rationale that, since B-12 is found only in animal proteins, vegetarians must have a deficiency. This, too, has been dealt with separately (see Vitamin B12).
REASONS FOR EATING MEATS:
Most reasons given for the eating of flesh foods can be put into three categories: habit, conditioning, and taste. Habit is routine. It is usually learned from one’s parents and passed from one generation to another. There are those that do break with tradition and form new ways of eating through necessity or by choice, but this is rare. It is much easier to cook a piece of meat than to figure out combinations of vegetables in order to balance the diet. Even this reasoning is now obsolete.
People have become conditioned to the eating of meat. It is virtually impossible to avoid it in most restaurants. Not only that, people do not want to be singled out as being different. For one to exclude meat often brings stares or comments from others, reminiscent of those given when someone has just wandered away from a Tibetan monestary. In addition, advertisements overwhelmingly promote the “good” taste, cheap prices, and a fun atmostphere. With such a variety of ways to prepare a meat dish available, one rarely runs out of ideas for its preparation. Consumers are inundated with the nutritive value of eating animal products, without realizing the source of the promotions or the risks behind following such lobbying.
(Updated June 2012)-1>