No more hate on the no-meat diet


Digital cartoon by Katie Kerrigan on Sept. 26.

Those who opt for a meat-free diet do so out of compassion for the environment or individual health goals, yet the ideas of vegetarianism and veganism are often targets for snarky comments or judgment. 

Not only do these diets not only offer extensive health benefits, but also remain one of the best ways for an individual to fight climate change.

The positive health results that result from abstaining from meat have been proven through rigorous scientific study. These include a lower risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and multiple forms of cancer.

In fact, those who argue that a meat-free diet lacks in protein, iron, and vitamin B-12 would be surprised to learn that these diets easily meet the needed amounts of nutrients through a combination of careful planning and vitamins. 

Additionally, while most are aware of the positive impacts these diets have on the environment, the supporting research is quite astounding. 

A study done by the United Nations University demonstrated that the livestock industry produces more emissions than all forms of transportation combined and uses more than 30 percent of the global landmass. The Vegetarian Society cites that a vegetarian diet produces two and a half times fewer carbon emissions. 

It is true that meat-free diets are not the only choice for environmental efforts. Other options include less travel via planes and cars, reduced use of single-use plastic, and less energy consumption. Additionally, not all can afford a meat-free diet and financial pressures make environmentally friendly options much more difficult. 

The benefits of these diets far outweigh the drawbacks, and the goal of these individuals is primarily self or societal improvement. As this is the case, individuals should make an effort to find compassion or respect for those in favor of a no-meat diet.