October is Vegetarian Awareness Month.
Reasons for adopting vegetarian lifestyles are as diverse as the types of vegetarianism.
“I did it for environmental reasons,” said junior natural resources major Jacob Cerminar. A self-identified ‘freegan,’ Cerminar chooses only to eat meat when it would otherwise go to waste.
“It is out of respect for the animal,” Cerminar said.
Another reason people switch to vegetarianism is to improve their health. Moving toward larger portions of fruits and vegetables provides nutrients for the digestive system.
The biggest hurdle is compensating for the protein intake normally gained from meat. This transition is often what turns people away.
Current dietetics and nutrition information has shown that we get the necessary protein from a vegetarian lifestyle and may not need as much protein as we once thought.
“It has been a lot easier than I thought it was going to be,” said junior accounting major Kyle Tamboli. Tamboli has only recently switched to vegetarianism.
“There are a lot of different and better alternatives available,”Tamboli said. He is a pescovegetarian and will eat fish on occasion.
Raising livestock is one of the most labor and resource intensive industries, and leaving aside ethics, the rising price of meat due to water demands and transportation costs makes financial pressures another reason to switch.
For others, it is not much of a switch at all.
“I have been vegetarian all my life,” said junior chemistry major Liam Hicks. Hicks’ parents were both vegetarian.
“They always said if I wanted to I could eat meat, but I really don’t care for it,” said Hicks.
Many are switching to vegetarian lifestyles. Whether it is to support the environment, save a little money, meet a fitness goal or any combination of reasons would be up to person.