Top Pro & Con Arguments

Pro

A vegetarian diet is healthful.

According to the American Dietetic Association, a vegetarian diet can meet protein requirements, provide all the essential amino-acids (the building blocks of protein), and provide all the necessary vitamins, fats, and minerals. And, a vegetarian diet can improve one’s health. [1] [2]

According to the USDA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, meat is not an essential part of a healthy diet. Further, studies have linked heme iron found in red meat with an increased risk of colorectal, stomach, and esophageal cancers. Vegetarian sources of iron like leafy greens and beans contain non-heme iron. [3] [4] [68] [123] [150]

Meat also has high renal acid levels which the body must neutralize by leaching calcium from the bones, which is then passed into urine and lost. There are many sources of healthy vegetarian calcium including tofu, dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens, as well as fortified cereals. [5] [128]

Vegetarian diets can reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance to bacteria, kidney stones, gallstones, death from heart disease, high blood pressure, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [40] [64] [102] [122] [132] [140] [148]

Several studies show that vegetarian diets increase the lifespan of adherents by 3.6 to 7.28 years. [76] [86] [121] [130]

Read More