One of the most recurring debates is whether a plant-based diet is better than a meat diet. The discussion between carnivores, vegetarians, and vegans starts from the health impact to the possible environmental consequences and animal ethics.
Some claim that a vegetarian or vegan diet is better; others that eating meat has more excellent nutritional benefits. As in any dilemma, the problem must be analyzed from all points of view.
This article analyzes the pros and cons of each type of diet to determine which one is better. Vegan diet, vegetarian or carnivorous?
Carnivores against vegetarians against vegans to debate
On the one hand, those who do a carnivorous diet defend the theory that a vegetarian can have nutritional problems, arguing that it is impossible to supply a sufficient quantity of proteins and vitamins in this diet.
On the other hand, vegetarians argue that red meat is carcinogenic and that contamination from the meat industry is a problem that must be urgently addressed worldwide. In addition, they affirm that animal suffering is not necessary to achieve a healthy diet.
Finally, omnivores are people who position themselves in the middle. They argue that eating meat and vegetables is part of human nature.
Vegetarian Diet – Benefits or Lack of Nutrients?
A vegetarian diet is where foods of plant origin are mainly consumed, but some derived from animals are also allowed, for example, eggs and dairy products.
While itaccuratereal, it requires greater dedication, skill, and concepts in nutrition. Several investigations have confirmed that all the necessary nutrients can be obtained by dispensing with meat.
On the other hand, people who eat a vegetarian diet are at greater risk of lacking iron, vitamin B12, and Omega-3 fatty acids than those who eat meat. For this reason, those who carry out a vegetarian diet must carefully monitor the vitamins and minerals they consume.
Ideally, a vegetarian monitors their values through clinical tests semi-annually or annually. Taking multivitamins without consulting a professional is not recommended; it can lead to hypervitaminosis.
What about vegans?
A vegan diet is based on foods of plant origin only (vegetables, cereals, nuts, algae, and fruits), mushrooms, and all products derived from plants.
Vegans do not eat foods from animals, including dairy foods and eggs.
Compared to carnivores, vegans tend to be slimmer, have lower harmful cholesterol levels, and have lower blood pressure. This translates to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
However, eliminating all animal products from the diet has increased the risk of certain nutritional deficiencies. Vegans should be well informed before starting this type of diet. Otherwise, a lack of certain essential nutrients is likely to occur.
The vegan diet is the eating plan that best suits veganism. Veganism is a philosophy of life that tries to exclude all forms of exploitation and animal cruelty. Whether for the consumption of food, clothing, or entertainment.
Why vegetarian or vegan?
Vegetarians don’t eat meat, but they do eat eggs and dairy. For some, it is a choice for health; for others, for ethical reasons or a combination of the two. An average vegetarian believes that the natural order cannot justify everything. If we reason everything with the idea of “a lion eats a deer to survive,” there is no place for mental evolution.
Vegetarians question the animal instinct, arguing that human beings are the only ones with the ability to reason, calculate and at the same time feel empathy. This is the most excellent quality of the human race that must be exploited.
Science has confirmed sufficient evidence that animals raised for productive purposes are organisms capable of experiencing emotions like humans. Even some species can develop social skills.
According to research, the benefits of a balanced vegetarian or vegan diet are:
- 1. Lower body weight
- 2. Lower risk of diabetes
- 3. Less chance of cancer
- 4. Less risk of inflammation and osteoarthritis
What do carnivores say?
Eating meat is more practical and can perhaps be tastier. Carnivores argue that it is healthy and that our ancestors always did it this way.
In addition, in a carnivorous diet, it is easier to reach the amount of protein and vitamin B12.
For a person who consumes meat frequently, this is something natural to the human race. Sensitivity to other species is seen as secondary.
One of the fundamentals of carnivores is “you have to live on something,” and plants feel. Some research suggests that plants are capable of creating communities and experiencing a pain threshold similar to that of animals, which has kicked vegetarians. Now, what about in terms of health?
Is it wrong to eat red meat?
It is essential to distinguish that they are not the same when discussing meats. In terms of health, white meats like chicken and fish are considered suitable for health. However, this is not the case with red meat.
The World Health Organization has classified processed meat products, sausages, cold cuts, and salami as type 1 carcinogens. In other words, they increase the probability of having cancer.
According to this organization, diets rich in red meat could be responsible for 50,000 cancer deaths a year worldwide.
There is enough evidence to avoid avoiding processed meats and reduce red meat. They have been classified as group 2A carcinogens. This means that the probability of a higher likelihood of cancer is increased. However, there is not enough evidence to confirm it.
Meat Diet – A New Fad?
In the United States, a diet analogous and opposed to a vegan diet has gained new adherents. The motto of the meat diet is: if you are hungry, eat a piece of meat. In some ways, it is similar to the ketogenic diet. For example, carbohydrate consumption is limited to the maximum.
Plant-based foods are not allowed. Followers of the meat diet claim that it can have notable benefits: increased libido and reduced blood pressure. However, no scientific studies support following this type of diet.
Is being a vegetarian or vegan better for the environment?
In 2017, Nature published a study comparing the impogy of a vegetarian, omnivorous, and vegan on the ecology diet. These studies affirm that vegetarian or vegan diets are less expensive regarding water and charcoal consumption. In other words, diets that do not include meat are friendlier in ecological footprints.
Different factors must be considered to compare the impact of each diet on the planet. According to science, the elements to be measured are soil conservation times, water preservation, air pollution, and the impact on the native fauna and flora, known as biodiversity.
The ecological impact of a vegetarian diet vs. a carnivorous diet is more than evident in the following graph:
Final thoughts – vegetarian vs. carnivorous diet in terms of health
In the scientific journal Public Health Nutrition, a complete investigation (referring to 250 different studies) has been published comparing the types of diets and their impact on health.
This analysis argues that people who ate a plant-based diet were less likely to get cancer and type 2 diabetes.
In the case of diets in which meat (not red) was consumed in moderate quantities, it was mainly vegetable-based; the same results were obtained regarding health, hormonal and nutritional balance.
A lack of nutrients is expected in a vegetarian diet where foods are repeated repeatedly.
In conclusion, in terms of health, a properly balanced vegetarian diet; and an omnivorous diet, where vegetables predominate, are the best choice for disease prevention. As well as to slow down the aging processes.
Finally, it is essential to know that diet is influenced from childhood, just as the influence of marketing strategies is undeniable.
At NutritionUstad, we believe it is vital to question why we bring a particular food to our table. We support the theory of philosophers like the German Ludwig Feuerbach of Hippocrates himself. At the end of the day: “We are what we eat.”
Famous people on a vegetarian diet
Great Hollywood personalities like Uma Thurman and Michelle Pfeiffer are vegetarians. Some like Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman have become more strict and follow a vegan regimen. Eliminating meat, as well as all animal-derived foods, including eggs and dairy
Inspired by her pets, Adele has also switched to this diet. “When I’m about to eat meat, I always see my dog’s little eyes.” – declares the artist.
Great scientific personalities like Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Pythagoras were vegetarians. To quote Einstein himself: “nothing will benefit human health so much and increase the chances of survival of life on Earth as the evolution towards a vegetarian diet. “
One of Da Vinci’s most famous phrases is: “There will come a time when human beings will be content with a vegetable diet, and the killing of an animal will be considered a crime, just like the murder of a human being.”
- A vegetarian diet is one where the consumption of meats is restricted. Animal derivatives such as eggs and dairy are allowed.
- Vegans do not eat animal-derived foods; the extreme opposite is the meat diet: meats of all kinds at all times.
- Both a balanced vegetarian diet and an omnivorous diet are equivalent to health.
- The main disadvantage of carnivores compared to vegetarians is having cancer when consuming processed meat products and high fatty red meat.
- A vegetarian diet has a lower environmental impact compared to a carnivorous diet.
- A vitamin and mineral deficiency will likely occur if a vegetarian diet is not balanced correctly. If you decide to make a transition, we recommend this regimen; we suggest consulting with a nutritionist.