Have you ever wondered how much you really know about vegetarianism? Being a vegetarian is not just about what you eat, it’s a lifestyle, so in this article I’m going to tell you what vegetarianism is and what’s the difference between vegan, the different types of vegetarian, how it helps the planet, how it affects our body and how to become a vegetarian. There are going to be some personal notes from my experience and official references as well.
First of all, what does vegetarian mean? It’s important to know before discovering more about it. The dictionary definition would be „A person who does not eat meat or fish, and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious or health reasons”, while vegan is slightly different and because of this there are some confusions between them. Vegans are people who don’t eat or use any animal products. It’s important to keep the difference in mind before getting into the types of vegetarianism.
I’m going to present to you seven types of vegetarianism.
None of the types is better than the other. You need to choose the one that best fits you and your needs.
Another really important thing about vegetarianism is that it helps the planet. But how? There are a lot of reasons but this is my top 3 most important ones. To begin with, it avoids global warming. In its 2006 report, the United States reached the conclusion that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the vehicles in the world taken together. Furthermore, it saves a large amount of water. The approximate quantity of water necessary for a kilogram of meat is from 13 000 litres to 100 000 litres while for 1 kilogram of wheat, it’s somewhere between 1 000 and 2 000 litres. The difference is significant. Moreover, it helps limiting deforestation. For this, I chose an example - the Amazon forest. 1 350 square metres are being cut every second. There are many reasons behind these action, but the main one is to make space for soya agriculture, the product of which is then fed to animals that are later killed so they can be sold to us. This is not the only place affected by this kind of deforestation.
As I already pointed out, there are various reasons. You can check this site for more information on this:
You should know that being a vegetarian affects our health, either in a positive, or a negative way. If we are careful and we get proteins from other sources, then there should not be any negative effects, but that is not always the case. I am going to present to you both the good and the bad aspects of adopting a vegetarian lifestyle.
We should start with the positive ones. This diet is mostly chosen by athletes because it will give you a boost of energy. You will also get more nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats. Another benefit is lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart attack. And, of course, as I mentioned earlier, it helps the enviroment, which is very important nowadays.
Now, although I am a pro vegetarian, I consider it is my duty to warn you of what could go terribly wrong if you do not pay enough attention to all the implications.
According to certain studies, vegetarian nutritionists and mental health reaserchers found out that vegetarians are 18% more likely to suffer from depression, 28% are more prone to anxiety attacks and disorders and 15% are most likely to be in a depression mood. Unfortunately, there have not been found any specific reasons to this. On a personal level, although I had a mild form of anxiety prior to going vegetarian, I found it did not worsen
You may also have vitamin defficiency, so you need to be really careful to replace the proteins from meat. If not, you may suffer from fatigue, diarrhea, loss of taste and smell.
You may as well have heavy gas. Excess gas is a really annoying side effect as it can make you feel uncomfortable and lead to awkward moments in public.
To learn more about this negative side you can go to https://lifesum.com/health-education/going-vegetarian-be-aware-of-some-possible-side-effects/#:~:text=Choosing%20a%20vegetarian%20diet%20is,heart%20attack%20and%20other%20ailments.
These are a couple of sites that will help you learn more about what aliments you should eat to replace meat:
I have been a pescatarian for half a year and a flexitarian for over two years. Personally, I didn’t experience any of the negative side effects.
Now, if you do want to become a vegetarian, how do you actually do it?
First of all, you need to talk to someone. It can be a doctor, a nutritionist, a member of your familly, or even a friend. They can warn you when you are not eating enough or if you should stop.
You cannot become a vegetarian overnight. It’s a process that takes time. You could start by limitating the animal products you eat or use. Then, cut them off completely, but not all of them at the same time. You can start by being an ovo-lacto vegetarian or a pescatarian. You need to choose based on what fits you the best.
You need to gather as much information as possible because it is very important you know what you are getting yourself into.
You should also be aware of the fact that you can’t make the people around you vegetarians so you might end up eating next to someone who eats meat and it’s ok to eat some if you really want to. You also need to know that if you eat meat after a long time your stomach might not be able to digest and you will feel sick.
Going vegetarian is more complex than people think, but it is easier to give up on meat if you take it step by step. As in most cases, there are positive and negative sides to it. You need to be careful and make sure you’re well informed on your choice. From my experience, I can tell you that the positive change can be felt and the planet will thank you. 😊
 owntoearth.org/go-veggie/environment/top-10-reasons#:~:text=First%2C%20greenhouse%20gas%20reductions%20through%20a%20vegetarian%20diet%20are%20limitless.&text=Second%2C%20a%20shift%20in%20diet, technologies%20that%20emit%20carbon%20dioxide