Why Become Vegetarian?

Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of cutting out meat.


By Arthur Bookstein


A majority of people agree that becoming vegetarian is a healthier choice for your body than the average omnivore’s diet, and physicians agree too. They describe it as a “powerful and pleasurable” method of improving your health, and there are many vegetarians who will wholeheartedly second that notion. Going vegetarian or vegan is becoming increasingly popular today for various reasons, including some attractive health and lifestyle benefits.

Sadly for us meat-eaters, this means avoiding meat, fish, and poultry of any kind – though there are subtypes of vegetarians who are more lax with their restrictions on protein sources. Regardless of how stringent vegetarians are with their diets, there is no doubt that becoming and staying vegetarian can be very challenging for many who attempt it. Vegetarians also face unique diet debacles that carnivores tend to not have to worry about, which all boils down to the essential question: why then should you become vegetarian?

Advantages of Becoming Vegetarian

One of the biggest benefits of becoming vegetarian includes avoiding the many negatives of eating meat. The processed meats of the modern food industry are a source of high fat content, high sodium content, lead poisoning, and even cancer for American consumers.

The meat industry is also a major climate change contributor, producing thousands of pounds of toxic waste and air pollution every day. On top of that, the cow that your hamburger came from may have been mistreated as part of an inhumane system within the meat industry.

Eating meat is also associated with a heavier weight, since its high protein density is also accompanied by a high density of saturated fat which contributes to an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. A vegetarian diet, in comparison, is far less detrimental to your health since vegetarians tend to substitute fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and other natural ingredients into their meals. Vegetarians enjoy a diverse, tasty selection of vegetarian dishes, and according to studies, are even supposed to live longer.

Disadvantages of Becoming Vegetarian

Now that you’ve heard about the many benefits of a vegetarian diet, it’s important to also understand the various reasons why going vegetarian might be arduous to maintain. Vegetarian diets do not necessarily imply guaranteed improved health; eating junk food and having overall poor eating habits will bring your health down, regardless of how much meat is in your diet.

Many vegetarians tend to suffer from certain nutrient deficiencies, including essential proteins, fats, and minerals that most omnivores get from meat. In order to make up in those areas that are lacking, substitutes like “tofurkey,” tofu, beans, and dairy are employed to bring vegetarians their complete nutrients.

Even if the lack of a particular nutritional factor isn’t what ultimately dissuades you, it takes a lot of willpower to refrain from indulging in meat, especially if you’re used to devouring a steak for dinner on a regular basis.

However, if you’re really serious about becoming vegetarian and reaping all of its benefits, then you shouldn’t have too much trouble exercising the self-regulation needed to make your goal of becoming a vegetarian come true. Give it a try! Impress your friends by dramatically changing your diet, if only for a brief period. You may just discover the joy of eating vegetarian. You can use Azumio’s Argus mobile life-tracking application to track your food intake as well as share your explorations of vegetarianism with other users who are also interested in health and fitness.

Arthur is a second-year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley studying Biology and Computer Science. He enjoys playing tennis, biking, hiking, running, and exploring in his free time to destress and relax.

Main Photo Credit: stockcreations/; Second Photo Credit: Dream79/; Third Photo Credit: otc/