image

Is too much made of going vegetarian and vegan?

Vegetarianism and veganism is growing in popularity all over the world as more and more people switch to a plant-based diet.

There are many reasons for doing so; some don’t like the taste of meat or find it hard to digest. Others are persuaded for environmental reasons or out of concern for animal welfare.

Critics of the movement argue many vegetarians and vegans use their diets as a way of virtue signalling; what once was a personal lifestyle choice is now seen as a political decision.

Veganism in particular also draws criticism for its close alignment with the clean eating movement, which many argue is simply a form of disordered eating.

Many argue that meat is an important part of a balanced diet and something humans have always done.

On the other side of the argument, vegetarians claim that modern farming methods mean we no longer need to rely on meat and can get all the nutrients we need without sacrificing animals in the process.

What do you think? Is too much made of going vegetarian and vegan? Or should more people be encouraged to adopt this lifestyle?

Is too much made of going vegetarian?

101 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

We'd love to hear your comments

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password
viking
20th Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Unfortunately I have suffered greatly recently. The roof of my cave fell in, and the forest where I used to gather fruit and nuts has been sold to a house building company, this has resulted in my having to go to Tesco in my loin cloth to purchase man made provisions.
regmon
4th Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I think the terms vegan or vegetarian are just a little off the mark. What we should be concentrating on instead is eating in the most natural way possible. To my mind, tinned, preserved, reconsituted, concentrated, etc. fruit and veg are all moving away from eating as nature intended and are just as unnatural as enormous range of preserved meat and animal matter.
regmon
11th Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
While I fully appreciate the moral reasons people go vegan or vegetarian it is important to remember that mother nature does not work that way. Every living creature on earth must eat other living creatures in order to survive; whether that be humans, animals, birds, fish, insects or even microbes. By eating a varied diet, including meat on occasion, we are only doing as nature intended. The design of our mouth and teeth are firm evidence of that. In fact man is the only creature on earth that deliberately kills it food by cooking, boiling, frying, etc.
Calli
27th May 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
As someone who was a vegetarian and a vegan for over 15 years, and as someone who has also tried most of the crazy diets out there, let me just say that I have learned that the key is eat whatever you like in moderation, moderation, moderation. I also wonder why at this time of my life I should have to give up anything I enjoy?
MrsPat
22nd May 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
It has to be a good thing to eat less animals. Crulty is not right and we can produce more food with vegetables than raising cattle and pigs. Veg is proven to be good for you and we now eat more than ever and less red meat at least than we ever did.
Jax118
19th May 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I'm a pescetarian - eat fish but no meat - and I chose to do so just over a year ago (aged 56). My main reason was animal welfare - intensive farming, cows now being forced into constant pregnancy, having their babies taken away from them within a few days of their birth, mass slaughter with sometimes a long and upsetting journey. Animals aren't stupid. Science has shown that animals portray many of the emotions as humans and I've witnessed this for myself. A meadow at the bottom of our garden is owned by Hillside Animal Sanctuary and I've studied heir rescued horses and cattle. Every one of them has a personality. They show fear and concern if their best friends are out of sight. They play, they argue... all the things we do. We wouldn't treat a child in the same manner we treat livestock so what's the difference? There are so many great vegetarian foods out their and I ensure I drink soya milk and cereals with added Vitamin B12 which is mainly found in meat. I've even discovered that Bisto gravy granules are vegan so I can enjoy a vegetarian roast dinner!! So give it a go - it's healthy, it's tasty and I'm finding it's much cheaper.
Wilf
14th May 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
We do not eat too much meat nowdays and I must say we feel better for it..Quite a lot of chicken and fish but I do worry about "plastic fish" with all the fibres etc in it. Veg has got to be better for you...BUT...what about all the chemicals sprayed on them. Think best to go organic or just get on with our lives and realise that we are lucky to eat while many others in the world are hungary.
Leb
14th May 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
I am allergic to eggs and dairy, have been for over 30 years. Hubby is coeliac.
I have not eaten pork for over 40 years.
As i got older i have found other meats harder to digest. In january this year hubby and i made the decicion to eat healthy. We still eat fish but have stopped eating meat.
We are healthier, spend less money on food and have lost weight.
Win all round.
Irene88
14th May 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
It's hype, sick of hearing it. I eat plenty of veg but NOT giving up meat. Off to cook a nice juicy steak!
Yodama
14th May 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
How lucky we are in the Western world to be able to choose what we eat. Poorer people become opportunistic eaters, eat what they can get without a thought of whether it is good for them or not, they just need to fill a hungry space and relieve their gnawing hunger pains.

Too much bleating about these subjects is divisive. A war of words between carnivores, omnivores, vegetarians and vegans.... oh, what about the Breatharians??
The think tanks who posit these questions, or watchers of the stock market will have the population led, confused and in some cases... guilt ridden!

Whatever it is that you eat and find satisfying...eat it, don't make a crusade of it. (Although I am guilty of mentioning my love for chocolate more than once!)
If it is good for you so be it, if it is bad for you, you will soon find out.
Some think killing animals for food is cruel; some have an affinity with plants and think it is cruel to kill them too.
Coca is a plant, so is cocaine okay?

How about insects? Mopani worms, ants, locusts, mud cakes, all these things are eaten by people who cannot find anything else to eat.
What about cup cakes or cookies the list is endless.

Balance is the key.
We are all different, have different choices. No one person is completely right or wrong.
If it suits you ..Eat it; don't denigrate others for their choices.
Bon Appetite all.
PolarJo
14th May 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
Interesting reading this thread - I think that listening to others and being willing to hear ‘all voices’ is wonderful!
I didn’t hear my thoughts so will say this: I think talking and learning about veganism is valuable because it gets us talking about where our food comes from; is that what we want; what impact is animal agriculture really having on the earth; what foods are best for us healthfully; how much and what kinds of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy is good for us! The discussion is important. Yet while today each individual in many parts of the world can decide for them self, I think facts and evidence not funded by Industry or special interest groups needs to be recognized as having much more value than our personal opinions. I am not vegan, but reducing my consumption as studies are clear that the only sustainable way we can. continue to eat animals is if we reduce by 90%. The WHO came out the past few years with the fact based info that we all must eat more fruits and vegetables; in the western world that lack is the number one of all cause mortality and early deaths. So while I can respect any opinions I try to make more and more decisions based on reasonable evidence when it impacts my own future and that of future generations. I think vegans can be passionate about their views which makes it easy to feel offended... most I know are not superior or arrogant, so I don’t think it’s the label of the group who generally just want us to ask more questions about our food. We used to know the answers, not so much anymore....
Lionel
13th May 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
I get awfully pigged off with people hailing their virtues in public. Mostly they're life style choices, which they're free to make, but these choices do not give them supremacy over others who have not made their choice.

With the Peta Campaign - they did some pretty raunchy videos at first which my wife needed to explain to me - and magazine endorsements veganism has headlined.

A Silver Surfers member last year heralded the virtue and piety of being a vegan. She, I think it was a she, claimed the Bible entirely endorsed her views. No it does not!! I've been reading the Bible for 50 odd years and it doesn't endorse any dietary regime. In Genesis there are some restrictions, but these are quickly lifted after the Great Flood. Since Pentecost we all may eat anything.

Let's just be glad we've got food to eat. Many of us Silver Surfers grew up in a time of rationing. I did. You ate what was available. That time i s almost upon us again. Yes, famine is coming our way.
Pam1960
13th May 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
Being vegan, vegetarian or a meat eater is a choice. I don't really need to know of your choice unless I am preparing a meal for you. Why in today's society is it so important to label everything. I don't eat pork purely because I don't like it but I don't feel the need to tell everyone. Labelling people plays a part in discrimination. We should be working towards an equal society where everyone can be what they are without having to justify themselves
Alicia
13th May 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Vegetarian/vegan are healthy eating styles - better than stuffing your faces with burgers and chips! It is our choice and our health.
Lionel
13th May 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Alicia, there's a middle path between burgers and chips and veggie/vegan. Good quality meat is available and if eaten in modest quantities is as healthy as a veggie/vegan diet. In fact I think it's better.

We only believe veggie/vegan life styles are healthy choices because someone told us so. 45 years ago we were told to eat margarine as the healthy option. In the last couple of years that has been debunked and butter declared the healthy option. (Actually I didn't change from butter). I now read many vegetable oils cause more vascular damage than good old beef dripping. Again, I didn't change.

I feel we pay too much heed to what so called experts tell us, without asking, who are these so called experts and who is paying them. Ah, there's the tag line, who's paying them?
Denys1954
13th May 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
Being vegetarian, vegan or omnivore is a personal choice and like many other personal choices someone always has to try to influence it. If you want to be a vegetarian feel free but don't tell me I have to be one and I won't tell you that you need to eat meat.

I know several people who are either vegan or vegetarian and to be honest, none of them look well, if their bodies are their temples then all I can say is their body must be one of the Angkor crumbling temples. So I think I will stick to my meat and 2 veg, it never did my grandmother any harm and she lived until she was 98.
jeanmark
13th May 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I agree Denys1954 that being vegetarian or vegan is an individuals choice of life style, it is just recognising that so is being an omnivore. I understand peoples concern about animal welfare, but do get a little tired of the arguments, both for and against their welfare. But I'm not sure if being a vegan makes you the only person who understand the issues.

I dislike alcohol but do not I call myself a teetotaller as I don't need to label myself, it is my life choice. Neither do I preach about the dangers of drinking it, despite having witnessed the terrible tragedies it can cause.

Interestingly I have many friends who are either vegetarian or vegan and they are all wonderfully healthy and none are obese. They do not feel the need to carry a label either, they just accept their diet works for them. Recently, I did have the 15 year old daughter of a friend tell me she was now a vegan - but she thought it was probably a phase she was going through!
Lionel
13th May 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
May I pick up your point about animal welfare Jeanmark.

I know I've written this before on SS but it needs saying again.

Having been in the livestock business for many years I can safely declare animal cruelty is well below the thresholds claimed by rather irresponsible press reporters who are looking to get a by-line.

Animals thrive when they are well kept, fed on their appropriate food stuffs and kept clean and healthy. That's just the way livestock men want it. The animals make good prices at market. That's the bottom line, market prices.

I can assure everyone, it is not in a farmer's interests to practice animal cruelty. Neither are slaughter houses cruel to animals. I been there many times so may vouch for that.

This matter of animal cruelty is a silly, girlie emotional thing used to justify a vegan diet. Veganism doesn't limit so called animal cruelty, it doesn't limit the number of animals slaughtered because if there's a surplus of, say beef, then the price goes down and omnivores like me buy more. So no useful purpose is served by veganism.

But, it's a choice people have, however unwise that choice and I respect their views but don't share them.

It's a passing dietary fad. Ban the Bomb has faded to obscurity and so will veganism.
jeanmark
14th May 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
Oh I don't know Lionel, I believe both veganism and vegetarianism have been around for centuries so I don't think it is a passing fad, but I do think some believe it is 'fashionable', now that may pass, as most fashions (and diets) do. Oh, and I still have friends who continue to wear their Ban the Bomb badges and talk about their days at Greenham Common!!
Lionel
16th May 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Hah! Ban the Bomb badges. Yes, I've had a couple. Never could quite commit to pacifism although I know I should.

Yes, both veganism and vegetarianism have been around for centuries. Today, as you rightly say, they have become fad diets.

In my late teens I was a vegetarian for two years, following the diet recommend by Francis Chichester. It was OK while my life was sedentary. As a student I was a book worm. But, when called upon to put out vast amounts of young energy it failed me. I just hadn't got what was required of me.

Thus I reverted to an omnivore diet; everything except shell fish. Then I could meet the demands placed upon me.

The same is true today.

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!