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Disadvantages of Vegetarianism

Defenders and opponents of vegetarianism often get carried away in endless battles of arguments at the end of which both sides claim the victory while the truth is somewhere in the middle. Vegetarianism is not equally good or bad for everybody. It is a lifestyle choice that has its advantages and disadvantages and it is up to every individual to either choose it or ignore it.

I focused on advantages of vegetarianism in my previous article. Now it is time to focus on the cons of vegetarianism. It is entirely up to you, the reader to decide which side you like best or to opt for any one of numerous other alternative dietary theories. So, here are the disadvantages of vegetarianism:

Unnecessary and difficult to keep up

While some people might laugh at this disadvantage of vegetarianism, it is true that many people fail because they either miss the taste of meat too much or cannot compose a well-balanced menu. Getting enough of all nutrients human body needs is much more difficult for vegetarians. Simply eating everything that grew out of the ground will not do it. This difficulty also leads us to the next disadvantage, but first a few thoughts on necessity of vegetarianism for your health.

Also, big disadvantage of vegetarianism is that it is not necessary for a healthy life. Regardless of what some vegetarian zealots preach, normal meat is not unhealthy or toxic for human body. Only meat from livestock fed by stuff they do not naturally eat can be unhealthy. Though, quality fatty meat can also be dangerous for one’s health, but mainly because it is high in calories and our body will most likely store all the fat. Some stuff, such as liver is actually very beneficial to one’s health. Also, some nutrients/substances are absorbed and used much more effectively when taken from meat – our body can make them, but getting them readily available in your food saves your body the trouble.

Vegetarianism is potential danger to one’s health

Since many vegetarians fail to eat a balanced diet their health suffers. Thus vegetarianism is not a healthy choice for everyone. Also, food supplements necessary for many vegetarians are not as effective as getting said nutrients from meat. People who eat fish can manage to avoid these problems. However, many vegetarians do not eat fish and do not consider fish eaters to be vegetarians.

Excessive weight loss

Another problem that many vegetarians experience is excessive weight loss, although, this is the biggest issue among more extreme groups such as vegans. Regardless, imbalanced vegetarian diet can easily lead to excessive weight loss too. I personally met several long-term vegetarians (regulars, not vegans or other extremists, some of them even ate fish) who looked like they just got liberated from Nazi death camp and I mean that seriously.

Health problems

Another big problem is that vegetarianism can lead to bad health and shortened life-span. This is, of course, only result of ill-balanced vegetarian diet and does not occur when person gets all the needed nutrients. Regardless, it is a disadvantage of vegetarianism usually connected with excessive weight loss.

To conclude, while vegetarianism is a healthy choice for some, it has exactly the opposite effect for others thanks to its disadvantages. Most disadvantages of vegetarianism originate from the fact that eating a well-balanced diet is very difficult for vegetarians since vegetable foodstuffs lack some nutrients our body gets from meat. The fact that vegetarianism is unnecessary for healthy lifestyle is yet another big disadvantage. After all, most people do not like to give up so much and live a more difficult lifestyle if it is not necessary.

Note – please read!: This article on disadvantages of vegetarianism was written as a counter-balance to my article on advantages of vegetarianism that can be found here – . Anyway, while I am not a vegetarian and I love meat, I also do not condemn vegetarian way of life. It is a thing of personal preferences and choice that can be beneficial to some people but not to everyone equally. There is no single best lifestyle. Please keep that in mind.

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User Comments
  1. KittyK

    On September 12, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Excellent writing and a nice compliment to your previous article. For approximately 5 years, I followed a vegetarian diet but like you pointed out, some can look too thin and as I was thin to begin with, I lost at least 10 pounds quickly on that diet and life style. I love meat and yet do eat many vegetables and fruits for a balanced diet.

  2. SharifaMcFarlane

    On September 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I think the biggest disadvantage is planning meals that are both tasty and nutritious. I know some vegetarians who are slim, but I also know a few who are slightly overweight. It’s all about how the food is prepared.

  3. Karen Gross

    On September 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    For people in most of Canada, vegetables can only be grown for a few months of the year, and vegetables (especially fresh produce) are expensive here.

    Great job on both articles. We all need to pay attention to what we eat over the long term and make sure we are getting all of the nutrients we need.

  4. FX777222999

    On September 14, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I read the other article, and this one too. As always, a balanced diet is great.

  5. Starpisces

    On September 15, 2011 at 12:23 am

    will read about the advantages after this.
    You are right, Michal, there are many disadvantages, otherwise I would have been one, but very dififcult.

  6. The Bling

    On September 15, 2011 at 6:37 am

    These disadvantages are the reasons why my vegetarian aunt cannot influence her siblings to go vegetarian. But my uncle has just been diagnosed with colon cancer and is now radically shifting to a vegetarian diet. Maybe I will just take everything in moderation.

  7. Deirdre

    On March 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I’m a vegetarian because I can’t process animal fat because of medical problems. I haven’t lost weight, am much healthier than I was when docs couldn’t figure out why I was so ill and on the few occasions when I have eaten meat to be polite, it tastes disgustingly bland.

  8. Sheila

    On December 22, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    I feel this article is based on biased & personal opinion. There are no hard facts provided, lacking proficiency particularly when referring to a vegetarian as a Nazi camp survivor.

    I comment this, knowing that there was an article based on ‘The Advantages’, (which were incomplete).

  9. Sheila

    On December 22, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    I feel this article is based on biased & personal opinion. There are no hard facts provided, lacking proficiency particularly when referring to a vegetarian as a Nazi camp survivor.

    I comment this, knowing that there was an article based on \’The Advantages\’, (which were incomplete).

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