Pros and cons of vegetarianism - all the facts for and


Vegetarianism is the common name for food systems that limit or completely exclude the consumption of animal products. It should be noted that diet is only a reflection of ethical attitudes. Vegetarianism is a refusal to support the animal killing industry worldwide and for any purpose. Therefore, a woman in a fur coat cannot be considered a vegetarian, even if she eats only apples.

Despite all the pros and cons, vegetarianism is called the diet of the future, because it is, among other things, an expression of high moral attitudes that put the value of life at the forefront. Albert Einstein argued that "nothing will bring such benefits to human health and will not increase the chances of saving life on Earth, like the spread of vegetarianism."

Vegetarianism and its varieties

It is necessary to distinguish between strict vegetarianism or "veganism" from other similar phenomena that they are not. Under the vegetarian diet is understood the complete exclusion from the diet of meat and fish, eggs (after all, in fact, the embryos of birds) and dairy products. It is strict veganism in addition to food installations, implies the adherence to certain ethical beliefs.

Within veganism itself, there is a division into fruktoryanstvo, where the priority products are fruits and nuts, and followers of macrobiotics, which are based on cereals.

Vitarianism is a special teaching about eating only raw vegetarian food. This current is also called "raw foods".

Lacto-vegetarianism (from lat - milk) - from products of animal origin only dairy products are used, including butter.

Lacto-vegetarianism (from the Latin. Ovo - egg), in addition to dairy products, allows for the consumption of eggs and products, and products prepared with their use.

Flexitarianism is a diet that is based on products of plant origin, but which allows a slight introduction to the diet of meat and fish.

This style of food has variations: peskotarianism - allows only fish and seafood to be eaten, and pollotarianism - poultry meat.

The last five varieties do not cause representatives of traditional medicine such objections as veganism, moreover, they are considered the most healthy. But, at the same time, they are only dietary systems, without any philosophical background.

The benefits of vegetarianism

A large amount of vegetable fiber in the diet contributes to the timely emergence of a feeling of fullness, improving the work of the intestine, preventing atherosclerosis and oncological diseases;

Fruits and vegetables contain huge amounts of vitamins (C and P, folate, beta-carotene) and anti-cancer terpenoids.

Vegetables and fruits contain a lot of magnesium, potassium, alkaline equivalents necessary to maintain health.

Vegetarian foods contain saturated and unsaturated fatty acids in an ideal ratio, which is the prevention of many diseases.

Phytoncides of plant foods inhibit the activity of bacteria in the human intestine, "disinfect" the gastrointestinal tract.

Plant foods lack cholesterol, and many vegetarian foods can even lower blood levels.

A vegetarian diet is a reliable prevention of diseases of the cardiovascular system and cancer. Diseases such as uric acid diathesis, appendicitis, arterial hypertension, diabetes, and gout are rare among vegetarians. Herbal diet is a concomitant method in the treatment of obesity, hypertensive and urolithiasis, gout, pyelonephritis, renal failure, hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver.

At the same time, there are a number of contraindications to veganism (see What is the danger of veganism?). In traditional medicine there is no consensus on this style of nutrition.


So that vegetarianism was not to the detriment, but to the benefit of modern dietetics recommends adhering to several principles:

- Before severely restricting the consumption of animal protein, you should consult with your doctor, for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (gastritis, ulcers, etc.), such a diet is contraindicated;

- the desired age for the beginning of vegetarianism is not earlier than 25 years, such a style of food is absolutely contraindicated for a child’s growing organism;

- doctors advise to be very careful during pregnancy and lactation (see. Is a vegetarian diet acceptable during breastfeeding?);

- periods of intense physical and mental stress, as well as the spread of seasonal flu and cold epidemics, and any painful conditions (including even a runny nose) are considered risky for an organism deprived of food of animal origin;

- dangerous vegetarianism and anemia.

(see also Tips for Vegetarians)

Fashion for vegetarianism

Vegetarianism gradually comes into vogue; this is promoted by the press, which advertises the experience of this style of nutrition, based on the statements of artists and show business. As popularity grows, the corresponding business develops around the world: specialized restaurants appear, products based on soybean substitutes become more and more accessible, etc. Manufacturers of clothing and footwear produce rulers without the use of animal materials. These are all positive trends. But when switching to a vegetarian diet one should not forget about the national mentality, i.e. take into account the historical dietary habits of this or that region (see. Is vegetarianism possible in Russia?).

Especially for - Olga Farusy