- Which is healthier vegetarian or meat eater? Debunking a few myths about meat-eating and vegetarianism.
Recently PETA came under severe judgment for a very distasteful billboard featuring a picture of an overweight woman in a bikini that said, “Save the Whales, Lose the Blubber, Go Vegetarian.”
The comments on their choice of words have been many and diverse, and people are much divided over it. Even the people who think the message needs to be heard think that PETA is very misinformed about vegetarians being thinner though.
When we think of vegetarians, we often think of skinny, vegetable eating joggers, but when you consider what foods a vegetarian can eat, they can be just as unhealthy as any meat-eater out there, if not more sometimes.
Vegetarians don’t just eat vegetables and fruit; they can eat donuts, cake, and any other sweet treat, including all kinds of junk food. Vegetarian certainly does not equal thin and fit, just as eating meat does not equal obesity. PETA’s billboard wasn’t just in bad taste; it was completely wrong and misinformed.
Meat adds fat and calories to the diet, but meat can be a very good source of protein, so as long as you watch your portions and choose leaner meats, you can eat meat and be fine. A vegetarian diet can be very healthy as well, as long as it is a balanced diet.
Vegetarians still have to try to find ways to supplement protein in their diet to make up for the lack of meat. Chickpeas and beans are a great way to get more protein, and if you are the type of vegetarian who still eats eggs, they are a good source of protein as well.
So what is the verdict on whether or not vegetarians are healthier than meat eater?
Was PETA at least a little bit right?
The answer is a resounding no. There is no way to tell if someone will be healthier or thinner depending on if they stick to a vegetarian diet. There are obese vegetarians and thin meat-eaters and vice versa.
As for PETA, they seem to have gone off the tracks somewhere along the way, and their mission has become less about the welfare of animals and more about creating a stir and getting noticed. Their name stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, but what about the ethical treatment of humans?
Aren’t we more important than animals?
A lot of people were offended and hurt over that billboard.
The fact that PETA’s message was so misinformed only verifies the thought that they aren’t thinking too clearly about what they are saying. We hope that the people who run the animal rights organization will think more about their ad campaigns and the message they want to give to the public before their next major ad. It will help them and their mission to do this.
We also hope that they will turn back to their original purpose and make it more about the rights of animals than creating controversy and making a scene.
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Summer is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), freelance writer, and research assistant in Connecticut.