Vegetarian Diet Vs Meat Consumption: Discursive Essay

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In the modern life, health eating tendencies become more and more important. There are two main tendencies, vegetarian diet and eating meat. Eating meat, a traditional eating tendency, eats animal flesh, commenced for thousands of years, from our ancestors to present. Vegetarians diet are known as low rate of cancers or diseases, good at controlling weight, etc. But some researches indicate that non-meat eaters have to cope with deficiency of nutrients. That leads to argue between many scientists about adopting vegetarian diet or eating meat.This essay attempts to evaluate the importance of meat consumption for the human body compared to a vegetarian diet.

Vegetarian Diet and Deficiency of Nutrient

Inconvenient Life

According to Ostfeld (2017), a vegetarian diet is all fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, excepts all animal products and dairy products. Vegetarians are believed to be healthy, to have long lifespan and low rate of disease. However, being a vegetarian has a lot of difficulty to cope with. Using non-multimaterial will make vegetarians waste time to find way to eat enough nutrition. Moreover, becoming a nutritional person, vegetarians must get enough knowledge about vegetarian diet and have suitable lifestyle to adapt. For example, the Center for Disease and Prevention recommend that beans and nuts is provided enough 46 grams daily for women more than 19 years old and 56 grams per day for men. In a 2018 poll created by Gallup, which company are known for its public opinion poll conducted worldwide, only 5 percentage of United State adults consider themselves to be vegetarians. That brings difficulty for non-meat eaters to eat away from home since most of the country caters to those who eat animal products.

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Lack of Zinc, Iron and Vitamin

Some people argue that eating meat is linked with serious health problems, so they recommend that we should adopt plan-based diet. However, many researches show that non-eating meat can lead to dangerous health issue. In the 2018 research, Roman Pawlak shows that the rate of iron deficiency in vegetarians is 30,3% with females, 29% with males. In comparison with non-vegetarian, eating meat have lower iron deficiency rate, 0%-34% with women, 42%-47% with men. The Institutes of Medicine claim that plant-diet need providing iron at 1,8 times to compare with eating meat. The reason to answer this difference is iron absorption. Vegetables are regarded as source of iron, but iron in plant is poorly absorbed (Cereal Chem, 1981).

Difference of absorption is the same thing can be easily seen in zinc. Zinc is found in a lot of plant sources, such as grains, nuts and seeds. However, zinc from different sources is absorbed in different way. Cereal Chem demonstrated that nutrition of zinc is not bioavailability from plants (1981). In a long year study research, zinc in human body was reduced after 3 months not eating meat and it keeps stable at this rate after 6 and 12 months (Janet R Hunt, 2003).

Although vegetarianism brings many benefits such as low death rate, avoiding diseases, non-meat eaters are at a higher deficiency of some nutrient, especially children, women of childbearing and older people. People from this group is recommended that should not become vegetarians. Because they are in the process of development or losing nutrients, they need enough nutrients than anyone else. The shortage of nutrients will make them cope with many dangerous situations, even lead to death.

Plants are abundant intake of vitamins such as grain, vegetable, etc. But non-meat eaters cannot avoid the lack of vitamin B12. In 1988 Jadhav’s research, he indicated that lack of B12 leading to anemia, jaundice in infant and women of childbearing with plant-based diet. This study explains that the deficiency of B12 in childhood can make negative consequence for adulthood. Therefore, researchers suggest that vegetarians must be careful with deficiency disease.

The Role of Meat


Protein is an important component of every cell in human’s body. It is made from the chain of amino acids. Meat protein is distinguished by its essential amino acids. According to W.H. Freeman and Co (1987), meat includes 97% digestible and roughly 40% essential amino acids. That makes protein in meat totally different from other protein in others source.

Amino acids plays an important role in building and repair tissues (Worldwide Revolution Nutrition Diet, 1980). To make the body work properly, each person must have and balance 22 types of essential amino acids. However, if the body is not provided enough protein and it lasts in a long time, it can cause to adverse effects. First, not supplement enough protein, the human’s body can be cramping, weakness. The body will take protein from the tissue and use it as energy to complete function - maintain body. Second, the deficiency of protein will create a sensitive body. That means people have no resistance, all function of the body will lower. Thus, the human’s body need meat to complete all function, eating-meat cannot be replaced by other plant-diet tendencies.

Minerals and Vitamins

Meat is the best source of minerals and vitamins. 100 grams red meat supply enough energy for more than half of day (William, 2017). Another type of meat- chicken breast, it can maintain 56% of human’s body within 100 grams (USDA, 2011). Thank for richness of minerals such as zinc and iron, the human’s body can work with a small amount of meat. Iron is a compulsory factor to serve oxygen to hold on the body. Up to source of iron, it has difference of absorption. Iron in meat is more bioavailability and is absorbed better than any sources (J. Pediatr, 1976). He also compares the absorption iron in meat and plants or non-heme: approximate 25% and 5% to 15%. Thus, eliminating meat can cause many serious issues to the body. J. Pediatr shows that lack of iron makes bad influence for people, mostly in children. They can be diminished IQ, attention span and intellectual performance. Moreover, Nevin states that iron deficiency can result in blindness, retardation and deafness, even lead to death (1991). That is the same issue occur with deficiency of zinc. Zinc is needed for the body’s defensive system to work properly. According to Cereal Chem (1981), the best common source of zinc is meat. Particularly, zinc from plants is not bioavailability and cannot enough to supply for the body. If the body does not have enough zinc, immune system cannot work correctly, result in the ability of healing the wound is decreased (Cereal Chem, 1981).

Beside minerals, vitamins are also rich in meat, mainly B12 (Cereal Chem, 1981). Vitamin B12 is principal factor in DNA synthesis and neurological function. In Robert study (2003), the rate of B12 deficiency is increased with the age of people. If vitamin B12 is not supplied enough to the body, that can make a bad effect on heart and nerve. People with vitamin B12 deficiency can be irritability, personally change, depression and more and more mental diseases. In addition, deficiency for a long time causes higher risks of heart diseases and anemia (Robert, 2003).


Choosing the best eating tendency between plant-based diet and eating meat is the problem that many experts are arguing to find the answer. This essay has attempted to show the drawbacks of vegetarian diet and the role of eating meat in the human’s body. The advantages of eliminating meat cannot disclaim. However, becoming vegetarian must cope with lots of deficiencies of nutrient instead. The shortage of vitamins, zinc and iron can lead to dangerous health issue, even result in death. Thus, vegetarian diet cannot replace eating meat. Meat is an abundant source of vital components which uphold, protect, make the human’s body do all right functions.


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