In today’s world, a lot is said about adopting a vegetarian diet or veganism. In the face of many debates, the important thing is to be able to recognize if your body really needs this change or if it is not just temporary because it is something that is currently in “fashion”.

To understand what vegetarianism and veganism are all about, they are two different themes for example; vegetarians do not eat meat but can eat products that come from animals, such as milk, cheese and eggs. Veganism, on the other hand, does not feed on any animal products, and some may even not use leather or any object of animal origin.

But to understand a little of this philosophy of life, let’s go back to the roots of vegetarianism/veganism.

The earliest records of vegetarianism as a concept and practice among a significant number of people are from ancient India, especially among Hindus and Jains. Later records indicate that small groups within ancient Greek civilizations in southern Italy and Greece also adopted some eating habits similar to vegetarianism. In both cases, the diet was closely linked to the idea of non-violence against animals (called ahimsa in India) and was promoted by religious groups and philosophers.

Adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet is far beyond being just a dietary habit, in addition to causing countless benefits to your health, it is also linked to moral ethics, respect for life and the environment, you are not consistent with violence and the pain caused by the death of these animals.

Chickens occupy the first position in the slaughter line, totaling 1.47 billion deaths for food purposes. The accumulated weight of the carcasses was 3.45 million tons. And did you know that more than 15 million chickens are killed each day in Brazil?

Usually, chickens consumed in Brazil are killed when they are 40 to 45 days old. In other words, in a period of at most a month and a half, a chicken is conditioned to reach a weight of three kilos, which is considered ideal for slaughter.

In second place are pigs – 11.67 million pigs were slaughtered in the country in the same period, with carcass weight reaching 1.05 million tons. These are data that draw attention, considering the sentience, consciousness and intelligence capacity of these animals.

The total number of cattle killed for consumption in the third quarter reached 8.35 million, totaling 2.16 million tons in carcasses. Cattle are being sent more and more young to slaughterhouses in Brazil, according to IBGE. This is related to the demand for the export of meat mainly to Asian countries like China that are not interested in meat from animals over 30 months of age.

According to data from Animal Pharm, the pharmaceutical industry profits five billion dollars a year from the production of antibiotics for animals raised for consumption – such as cattle, pigs, poultry, etc.

Antibiotics are widely used in the production of beef, pork and chicken, and the continued use of these drugs in animal husbandry can cause bacteria to become resistant, thus making animal and human antibiotics less effective in the treatment of illnesses.

“This is a very sophisticated industry with a long history of lobbying. The problem is that much of the data used by regulators is generated by scientists linked to pharmaceutical companies”, emphasizes Animal Pharm editor Joseph Harvey, adding that the excessive use of antibiotics has raised particular concern in Latin America, Asia and Southern Africa.

It is also worth mentioning the deforestation caused by cattle. Here in Brazil, 65% of deforestation is caused by livestock, initially for the increase of areas for pasture and then for the cultivation of grains that predominate in the diet of cattle and cows, such as soy.

Comparing the water consumption needed to produce various types of food, cattle are also extravagant and unsustainable. To put a kilo of meat on the butcher or supermarket shelf, it is necessary to use 15,400 liters of water.

This is just data to be thought about and evaluated, it is not advisable to stop consuming meat overnight, this can take your body to a great shock, the correct thing is to start reducing consumption to maybe 1 time per week, knowing that when consuming red meat, your body takes from 24 to 72 hours to complete the digestion.

In addition, vegetarian food is cleaner and highly antioxidant, since animal products often contain hormones and inflammatory substances. That way you are likely to feel lighter and less bloated.

It’s no use replacing the meat you would eat before with pasta, carbohydrates or heavily processed foods. Thus, in addition to going against what the philosophy values, your health will not be thankful either, it is super important to have the help of a nutritionist or a health mentor.