Puff Pie with Quorn
& Mediterranean Vegetables
There are many reasons why a vegetarian diet is preferable to a non vegetarian one: for reasons of health, ethics, the environment, economics.
Vegetarian nutrition has many health advantages over a meat-eating diet. The Vegetarian section of this site examines them in more detail.
Research shows that eating vegetarian is one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of developing the diseases which are the greatest killers in the Western world, like cancer and heart disease.
The vegetarian diet is closely in line with the nutrition recommendations given by both the medical bodies and the government health authorities in the USA and UK.
In the Vegetarian section we look at the many specific ways and cases in which eating vegetarian helps improve your health, and practical details on how to implement a vegetarian nutrition.
Ethically, eating meat in a world where we have a choice of many healthy and delicious alternatives is simply wrong. It's wrong to imprison animals in intensive farming conditions, which steals from them any possibility of a life fullfilling even the most basic needs, like movement. And it's wrong to deprive animals of their lives and cut them short, so even so-called "free range" methods of farming animals, even if better than the industrial, factory farming alternative, is still a crime. In addition to that, the agony, both physical and psychological, that animals have to endure in the process of slaughter is a thorny issue that has never been really resolved, not even with the so-called "humane" methods of slaughter.
All the above applies, mutatis mutandis, to fish as well.
People who object to the moral argument for vegetarianism by saying that plants have feelings too are both factually wrong and generally disingenuous.
We have no more evidence-based reasons to believe that plants feel pain or anything else than we have to believe in fairies.
Paradoxically, if somebody is really so concerned about the welfare of vegetables to use this as an argument against vegetarianism, this person should actually become vegetarian. A vegetarian is responsible for the death of only one tenth, on average, of the number of plants for whose killing a meat-eater is responsible.
This is because meat production is a vastly wasteful way of producing protein for human consumption. Farm animals need to be fed and, due to the loss of nutrients that each link in the food chain creates, it requires on average (depending on the type of meat and animal feed) 10 times more plants to produce the same amount of protein via meat than if eaten directly as vegetables.
So, people who claim to reject vegetarianism for the sake of plants, once they are made aware of this fact of nutrition science, should decide to go veggie. But, surprise surprise, they never do. The pseudo-argument they used reveals itself for what it is: an excuse.
So we have come to the environmental and economic reasons for vegetarianism: what is a waste in terms of protein production is also a dissipation of environmental resources and a squander of money, which helps to explain why meat products are generally more expensive than vegetarian products.
And vegetarian and vegan dishes are simply delicious.