After I stopped cringing and gagging at the title I realized that this article did some some very interesting work. This list of 10 reasons why we should be vegetarian would make PETA so proud! I suppose guilting, pressuring, and using iffy “facts” to prod people into vegetarianism is the new hip thing.
It’s not that I neccessarily disagree with vegetarianism; people can eat whatever they want. It’s the incessant scolding of people who are not vegetarian that I cannot stand. In any case let’s make this less of a rant and more of a rebuttal, shall we?
1) “Having a vegetarian diet doesn’t mean you can only eat vegetables.”
Dios Mio! So you mean we’re not vegetarians after all? By the way, it’s interesting to note that this writer includes fruits and foods that are made only with vegetables (potato chips?) as completely out of the scope of vegetarianism. Dairy is an up toss. Also, she mentions that vegetarians are free to consume eggs which is kind of hilarious.
2) “You’ll live longer.”
“Studies show..” is apparently a pretty decent citation. I guess we’ll just take her word for it then?
3) “You’re more likely to lose weight.”
I guess potential weight loss is always a good enough reason to do things. Or is the assumption here that most omnivores are morbidly obese, steak-eating sweat-pigs whose only salvation is a lifetime of tofu salad with lemon juice dressing?
At least she cited she cited a study, although I don’t think most of us needed proof to figure out that cutting an entire food group from our diets would lead to weight loss.
4) “You’ll be smarter with your money.”
The implication here is that spending less money automatically makes you a smart spender (why not just stop paying the gas bill). Also she notes that by purchasing veggies at farmer’s markets you’ll be supporting local business, as if meat products aren’t sold at farmer’s markets and veggies aren’t sold at Target.
5) “You’ll be at a lower risk for serious health issues.”
Oh where, oh where have the citations gone? She wantonly invokes cancer, and heart disease, which is super scary for a naive college girl like me. *clutches celery stalk*
6) “You’ll avoid toxic chemicals found in meat.”
Oh no! More scary stuff! She again invokes big words like “carcinogen” and “arsenic”, but fails to mention E. Coli, which has been found in meat as well as veggies like spinach, kale, and collard greens. She also ignores salmonella, which often infects eggs, something she said “vegetarians are free to eat”, so there’s that.
Also, influenza is found on doorknobs and you can get Lyme Disease from your dog. The world is full of diseases, honey; and vegetarianism is no safe bubble.
7) “You’ll protect the welfare of animals.”
Ah, the almighty guilt trip. Used by manipulative spouses and desperate politicians since the dawn of time. While it’s true that animals are sometimes subject to cruel living conditions, it’s possible for meat consumers to purchase from companies that treat their stock humanely. For example, she can purchase her “vegetarian” eggs produced from cage free chickens.
8) “You’re protesting environmentally unsustainable “factory farm” practices”
I could mention water pollution as a result of dairy farming, veggie pesticide leaching, and greenhouse gasses released from fertilizers but then we’d all just start arguing about global warming.
9) “Vegetarian-friendly restaurants are more popular than ever.”
This is by far the most convincing reason I’ve ever had to go vegetarian. It’s the dope new trend, y’all. Anyway I wouldn’t mind going to my recently gentrified Northeast DC to enjoy some brown rice and lentils at a restaurant built specifically to attract young, trendy college kids with too much money on their hands.
10) “You get to enjoy amazing recipes.”
I admit that there are some great veggie recipes, but is that enough reason to ditch meat completely? I don’t know, however, it is the new hip thing…
I respect and admire the vegetarian diet, but it’s kind of a turn off when people turn down one lifestyle to justify another. Just cause you’re a veggie doesn’t mean you have to deny the deliciousness and health benefits of meat products.
And in the final act of my efforts to restore the honor of meat, I’m gonna go to Five Guys.