What do you think the value of being a vegetarian?
Man needs food to live. Food can be classified into two groups - vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Man perhaps started as a non-vegetarian because we know ancient times man hunted for food. Then he learned to eat fruits. Much later he mastered agriculture and began growing grains to make food and these were used as supplements to meat. In most of the countries even today non-vegetarian food forms the major part of the normal diet.
Both types of diets go to build the body and supply the necessary energy. In certain aspects the non-vegetarian diet may be better in that it supplies the necessary protein and fats required by the body easily. Liver content from non-vegetarian food may be helpful to keep the liver functioning well and supplies certain types of vitamins. Those who argue in favor of non-vegetarian diet point to milk which is in a sense non vegetarian and which every vegetarian takes without objection. But extreme vegetarians like Ganhi were against even milk. In fact for a very long time Ganhi went without taking milk though later he took goat’s milk on doctor’s advice. Why milk is tolerated is because it does not involve the cruelty of killing, though milking the cow at the cost of the calf may involve cruelty.
A vegetarian diet can supply all the necessary food items needed by the body except that it may be deficient in the required amount of protein in our food. Vegetables are harmless to the body compared to a non-vegetarian diet. For instance, meat, if not carefully kept and handled may carry diseases. A vegetarian diet is definitely deficient in Vitamin B and C for which a vegetarian will have to depend on a supplementary such as pills and tablets to keep up his strength.
Another point in favor of vegetarianism is man’s denture and the long intestines point to the fact that man could best be a vegetarian. Economically vegetarian food is cheap; vegetables and fruits and greens are delectable and beautiful to look at.
The argument that non-vegetarian food makes one strong is shallow. There are great intellectuals among vegetarians. Gandhi and Shaw were great vegetarians. It is a matter of habit if one could overcome being a slave to tongue, vegetables can do as much good as a non-vegetarian diet.
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