Vegetarianism Essay: Can People Live Without Meat at All?


Nowadays, there are hundreds of debates concerning the usefulness and harm caused by meat-eating. The question about what diet is healthier seems to be unanswered. Each of the sides has strong arguments which can be taken into account. Many people refuse from eating meat products, joining one of the groups among vegans, vegetarians, lacto-vegetarians, flexitarians, fruitarians, and some others.

The current food and supplement market offers dozens of supplements which can substitute vitamins and minerals which are present in various types of products. That is why it is possible to claim that nowadays people can live without meat, but sometimes it is better to include non-fat meat in the diet in order to prevent such diseases as anemia.

Pros and cons of eating meat

The adherents of vegetarianism and veganism have many arguments concerning their decision not to eat meat. The majority of arguments are of ethical character, because such people can not kill animals for eating. Others believe that a non-meat diet will improve their well-being and will allow to remain young and healthy for a longer time. On the contrary, the adherents of meat-eating argue that meat gives power and energy due to the proteins and amino acids present in meat. Moreover, people have eaten meat during all periods of human existence. It is true that meat is an excellent source of proteins and all of the 20 available amino-acids, which participate in all the processes in the body. Twelve of these amino acids can be synthesized in the human body, but the other eight cannot. That is why they should be consumed with the food people eat. These can be both plant and animal proteins.

Some types of vitamins can hardly be found in plant food. For example, vitamin B12 is contained only in meat and dairy products. This vitamin participates in the formation of blood cells and other cells’ growth. A diet low on this vitamin can cause some neurological disorders (Agnoli et al. 1040). Moreover, it can cause anemia especially in children who are breastfed by vegetarian mothers. Also, those people who do not consume enough vitamin B12 have fragile bones from the reduced growth of bone tissue. Of course, it is possible to claim that there are many supplements which can substitute the source of this vitamin. But the problem lies in the fact that many people do not know about this deficit and that they have such problems. That is why the only solution here will be the increase of health literacy among the population.

Those who argue against meat consumption underline its adverse effect on the cardiovascular system. Here, they mean only red and fatty types of meat. For example, the American Heart Association (AHA) says that people can eat some kinds of meat without significant harm to health. Thus, they recommend to “choose poultry and fish without skin and prepare them in healthy ways without added saturated and trans fat” (AHA par. 4). In such a way, it is recommended to use the leanest cuts which are available. Also, the same article argues that people can live without meat and remain healthy.


From the variety of discussions concerning the use of meat in the diet, it is difficult to make some unanimous conclusion because both opponents and proponents of meat consumption have strong arguments. With the development of the pharmaceutical and supplement industry, people can get all the macro and micro-nutrients from various food supplements. But not all people know enough about balanced diet principles. That is why people can live without meat nowadays, but it would be better to consume all types of food. However, when choosing meat, it would be better to prefer lean kinds of it.

Works Cited

Agnoli, C., et al. “Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets from the Working Group of the Italian Society of Human Nutrition.” Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, vol. 27, no. 12, 2017, pp. 1037–1052., doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2017.10.020.
AHA (The American Heart Association). “The American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations.” About Heart Attacks, 2015,

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