The debate rolls on about whether its is healthy to be a vegetarian, but there are other considerations as well. Is it an environmentally sound practice as so many proponents believe, and can it thus reduce our carbon footprints as individuals?
Becoming vegetarian is not an easy decision, and sometimes just eating less meat can be a start. There are compelling reasons to eat less meat, from the way billions of factory-farmed animals are treated to the growth hormones and antibiotics they often contain. The subject of whether or not it is wise, ethical or healthy to consume animal products in general brings out much passion in people from all sides of the debate, and yet what is really needed is solid research and data, so we can make our own informed decisions. The media coverage seems to bend to one extreme or another, making it challenging to get real, valid information on any of these aspects of the issue. More often than not, people opt for doing whatever their friends and family are doing, rather than investing time to become aware of he issues and make their own decisions. After all, they may be afraid of what they'll learn and what the new knowledge will compel them to change in their lives.
As with any lifestyle decision, being a vegetarian comes with its own list of pros and cons, which is different for each individual but may include challenging conversations with friends and family, confusion over the realities of what is best, and difficulty finding foods that meet one's criteria for healthy eating, depending on choices. Because this is becoming more and more common, however, there are more resources than ever available to anyone who wishes to take their health into their own hands and make personal decisions about vegetarianism.
For the record, this author has become a vegetarian but is still on the fence as to what's best overall. There is interesting research and evidence to suggest that eating meat is biologically good for humans, but the thought of it now seems repulsive, especially in light of how the animals are treated and the immense negative environmental impact. Vegetarianism has its own impact, of course, and the jury is still out. For more from all sides of this debate, visit the vegetarianism section of Breathing Prosperity.