Food From Mud or Blood?

When the topic vegetarianism or veganism is brought up in a conversation it is safe to say many heads turn and opposition is frequently strong and plentiful. This is a result of the fact that many individuals can’t stand the thought of life without including any animal products in their diet, such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, or even honey! However, for vegetarians or vegans, alike yet different, this is a normal way of life.

In order to clarify, a vegetarian excludes meat, poultry, and seafood from their diet. Some vegetarians also exclude dairy, some don’t, and some may consume eggs. Likewise, vegans avoid meat, poultry, and seafood. Vegans also take it a step further by eliminating all animal products from their diet. They do this by avoiding all food produced using animal or animal products in any way, including the clothing that they wear!

Vegetarians and vegans often go misunderstood because they tend to fall under stereotypes that individuals have established, no surprise. Even though Vegetarians or vegans are seen as people who have eating disorders or an undeniable passion for animal rights, we need to realize is that vegetarians and vegans choose to live a challenging yet rewarding lifestyle, which goes way beyond trying to stay skinny or their love for animals. The truth is, vegetarianism and veganism is advantageous to anyone who chooses to adapt it as their way of life.

Becoming vegetarian has become more appealing because of the year round accessibility of fresh produce, more dining options, and growing influences with plant-based diets. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally acceptable, but also a way to reduce the risk of many chronic illnesses.

There’s some evidence that vegetarians have a lower risk for cardiac events, such as a heart attack, and death from cardiac causes. In one of the largest studies  a combined analysis of data from five prospective studies involving more than 76,000 participants showed that vegetarians were, on average, 25% less likely to die of heart disease. Research also suggested that a predominantly plant-based diet can reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. Vegetarians risk of developing diabetes was half that of non-vegetarians, even after taking BMI into account.

“Becoming vegan is not as hard as you think it is. Ultimately, it is all about an individuals willingness to make such a dramatic change in their life and their understanding of what is best for them,” Ms. Vargas said. “I do not regret becoming vegan, if anything becoming vegan was something I needed to implement into my life in order to build my mental and physical health.”

A senior at Edison High School, Tanvia Sultana, on the other hand was completely against both, vegetarianism and veganism. Sultana said “I try to eat vegan food since I don’t eat dairy or I try to avoid it as much as I can. But even if I try, I have been eating meat since very young and giving it up would be a big change that I am not willing to make.”

Atiyya Baksh

I intend to inform and educate to the best of my abilities given the range of food diversity that exists today. Other than seeking pleasure through writing there is nothing I love more than getting lost in a book, spending time with the ones I love, or baking an huge amount of overly garnished cupcakes. My interesting cupcakes may even one day take the food section by storm, so please stay tuned!