Why are more people becoming Vegetarian?

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SCIENCE :D
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An increasing number of people I know seem to be turning to vegetarianism, is it fashionable to become vegetarian now, or are peoples morals changing?
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0123456543210
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Probably just a fashion thing, so as people get dumber/more attention-seeking, more people become vegetarian.
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Absent Agent
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(Original post by 0123456543210)
Probably just a fashion thing, so as people get dumber/more attention-seeking, more people become vegetarian.
Is that your excuse not to become a vegetarian?
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Cal-lum
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Knowledge of the ethical side of the debate, alongside the implications on the environment and how that is effecting us. I wouldn't describe it as fashionable, I often get snide comments and such for being veggie. I think it's just young people educating themselves more and making their own decisions.
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Jonathan Crane
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(Original post by Mehrdad jafari)
Is that your excuse not to become a vegetarian?
Humans are naturally omnivorous, choosing to be anything else makes no sense.
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SCIENCE :D
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(Original post by Cal-lum)
Knowledge of the ethical side of the debate, alongside the implications on the environment and how that is effecting us. I wouldn't describe it as fashionable, I often get snide comments and such for being veggie. I think it's just young people educating themselves more and making their own decisions.
Fair enough, I can understand why someone would become Vegetarian, but I just wandered why there was such an increase all of a sudden
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Bupdeeboowah
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(Original post by SCIENCE :D)
Fair enough, I can understand why someone would become Vegetarian, but I just wandered why there was such an increase all of a sudden
Must be Jeremy Corbyn.
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SCIENCE :D
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(Original post by Bupdeeboowah)
Must be Jeremy Corbyn.
That could actually be part of the reason haha
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Absent Agent
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(Original post by Jonathan Crane)
Humans are naturally omnivorous, choosing to be anything else makes no sense.
Just because we are capable of digesting different types of food doesn't give us the right to eat whatever we wish to. It's like saying we are naturally capable of doing whatever we can regardless of whether that's justified. Of course you can decide not to be a vegetarian but the fact that you are not forced to be shifted to one side is because no animal is able to defeat themselves.
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Bupdeeboowah
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(Original post by SCIENCE :D)
That could actually be part of the reason haha
I can't support a Prime Minister who is not willing to touch meat. David Cameron I can support however, since he is especially fond of pigs.
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(Original post by Bupdeeboowah)
I can't support a Prime Minister who was not willing to touch meat. David Cameron I can support however, since he is especially fond of pigs.
Haha oh god, but I can't support someone who wouldn't defend are precious foxes.
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Mr Flak Jacket
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It's the better option in the long run.I used to occasionally eat meat, but switched to complete vegetarianism a couple of years ago and haven't looked back.
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Farm_Ecology
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(Original post by Jonathan Crane)
Humans are naturally omnivorous, choosing to be anything else makes no sense.
Glad you found that computer of yours running in the wild....

(Original post by SCIENCE :D)
An increasing number of people I know seem to be turning to vegetarianism, is it fashionable to become vegetarian now, or are peoples morals changing?
I think it is partly peoples morals changing. For one, as a country becomes more wealthy, it's citizens have more time and money to consider the moral and environmental effects of their actions.

This, and more is being understood about animals and the effects of the meat industry. For example, many are starting to realize that animals are complex and intelligent being, which puts the morality of eating them for pleasure into question.

Finally, there is a big focus on eating healthy. And many assume that a vegetarian diet is more healthy.
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viddy9
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(Original post by SCIENCE :D)
An increasing number of people I know seem to be turning to vegetarianism, is it fashionable to become vegetarian now, or are peoples morals changing?
It's currently the cultural norm to eat the flesh of other animals. Cultural norms often change, particularly as morality progresses due to the triumph of reason over dogmatism, emotion and greed. As the moral philosopher Peter Singer put it, we've witnessed an expanding circle of moral concern: from giving weight solely to the interests of people close to us and similar to us to taking into account the interests of people of different races, sexes and sexual orientations, as well as people far away from us in different countries.

Now, the next step is to equally consider the interests of nonhuman animals and all sentient beings. We already consider the interests of some nonhuman animals at certain points in time: people are outraged when dogs and cats have cruelty inflicted upon them, for instance. Yet, as a society, we have not fully rejected speciesism: the irrational discrimination against members of other species solely because they are not a member of the species Homo sapiens. We continue to slaughter 58 billion animals each year, most of whom are kept in appalling conditions, transported under great deals of stress on long journeys and then slaughtered, slaugher which, even in countries with the strictest welfare regulations, goes wrong, and therefore inflicts suffering, in a significant proportion of cases.

What you have witnessed is most likely the acknowledgement that unnecessary suffering is wrong, regardless of the species of the victim. Jeremy Bentham, the founder of modern utilitarianism, lived in the 1700s, but was far ahead of his time. He was an advocate for, abolishing slavery, abolishing the death penalty, women's rights, and abolishing physical punishment inflicted on children. The two examples that best demonstrate his insightfulness, however, was his advocacy for gay rights and animal rights. As he wrote:

What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog, is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?
The shift to vegetarianism may also be the result of acknowledging that the huge environmental damage caused by the meat industry cannot be justified (see the documentary, Cowspiracy, on Netflix for an excellent illustration of this). According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the meat industry is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and this is a conservative estimate. For reference, the entire transportation sector is responsible for 15% of emissions - that's all the cars, planes, buses, trains and boats. This has led the UN Environment Program to state:

"Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products."

The people you know may also be aware that 40% of the world's grain is fed to nonhuman animals reared for meat, and that if it were kept for humans instead, we'd have enough to feed around 1 billion people. Furthermore, the meat industry is one of the main sources of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

So, given all of this, and combined with the fact that vegetarian and vegan diets are just as healthy, if not more so, than diets containing animal products in them, it's unsurprising that the moral arc bends towards vegetarianism. As the American Dietetic Association have stated:

...appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.
(Original post by 0123456543210)
Probably just a fashion thing, so as people get dumber/more attention-seeking, more people become vegetarian.
Interesting assertion, but studies have found that, the higher the IQ, the more likely it is the person will be a vegetarian.

(Original post by Jonathan Crane)
Humans are naturally omnivorous, choosing to be anything else makes no sense.
Making a logically fallacious appeal to nature makes no sense, actually. Just because something is natural, doesn't mean it's right.
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MindTheGaps
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(Original post by Mehrdad jafari)
Is that your excuse not to become a vegetarian?
I wasn't aware anyone needed to be excused.
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MindTheGaps
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(Original post by Farm_Ecology)
I think it is partly peoples morals changing. For one, as a country becomes more wealthy, it's citizens have more time and money to consider the moral and environmental effects of their actions.

This, and more is being understood about animals and the effects of the meat industry. For example, many are starting to realize that animals are complex and intelligent being, which puts the morality of eating them for pleasure into question.

Finally, there is a big focus on eating healthy. And many assume that a vegetarian diet is more healthy.
I think wealth is the factor. In the not too distant past when most food was grown at home, a vegetarian diet would have been particularly restrictive and not especially nutritious. With the increasing and year-round availability of a wide variety of more exotic plants and vegetables, it is a more feasible option, though the health benefits remain contentious.

Which explains why it's mainly middle-class hipsters.
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ivy.98
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I started to read a lot about the meat industry until I came to the point where I could not enjoy meat anymore. At first my parents convinced me to at least eat fish, but that wasn't really an option, having feelings of guilt every time you eat something.
I have had that feeling come and go with regards to egg and dairy products, but for some reason I still haven't been able to switch to a completely vegan diet
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MindTheGaps
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(Original post by viddy9)
It's currently the cultural norm to eat the flesh of other animals. Cultural norms often change, particularly as morality progresses due to the triumph of reason over dogmatism, emotion and greed. As the moral philosopher Peter Singer put it, we've witnessed an expanding circle of moral concern: from giving weight solely to the interests of people close to us and similar to us to taking into account the interests of people of different races, sexes and sexual orientations, as well as people far away from us in different countries.

Now, the next step is to equally consider the interests of nonhuman animals and all sentient beings. We already consider the interests of some nonhuman animals at certain points in time: people are outraged when dogs and cats have cruelty inflicted upon them, for instance. Yet, as a society, we have not fully rejected speciesism: the irrational discrimination against members of other species solely because they are not a member of the species Homo sapiens. We continue to slaughter 58 billion animals each year, most of whom are kept in appalling conditions, transported under great deals of stress on long journeys and then slaughtered, slaugher which, even in countries with the strictest welfare regulations, goes wrong, and therefore inflicts suffering, in a significant proportion of cases.
A society which rejected 'specieisism' would be so full of contradictions it's hard to know where to begin. I guess the obvious place to start is that human society is a human construct, and a preference towards humans is absolutely inherent.

Secondly, where do you draw the line? So slaughtering a cow is bad, but what about the mice who are killed by combine harvesters? Or the insects killed by pesticides? Or the animals whose habitat is lost when grassy fields for raising sheep or cows are turned over to high-density crop production? Or how about when I kill a wasp which is trying to steal my lunch and/or sting me? Or if I tread on an ant without noticing when I walk down the street? Or when we destroy habitat, again, to build houses or roads or harvest natural resources?

Let's face it, of all the animal suffering caused by humankind, meat production of the tip of the iceberg.

What you have witnessed is most likely the acknowledgement that unnecessary suffering is wrong, regardless of the species of the victim. Jeremy Bentham, the founder of modern utilitarianism, lived in the 1700s, but was far ahead of his time. He was an advocate for, abolishing slavery, abolishing the death penalty, women's rights, and abolishing physical punishment inflicted on children. The two examples that best demonstrate his insightfulness, however, was his advocacy for gay rights and animal rights. As he wrote:
I'm not sure I accept the premise that animal suffering is unnecessary.

The shift to vegetarianism may also be the result of acknowledging that the huge environmental damage caused by the meat industry cannot be justified (see the documentary, Cowspiracy, on Netflix for an excellent illustration of this). According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the meat industry is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and this is a conservative estimate. For reference, the entire transportation sector is responsible for 15% of emissions - that's all the cars, planes, buses, trains and boats. This has led the UN Environment Program to state:
At best, this is an argument against certain methods of rearing animals. Rearing sheep on the North York Moors has negligible environmental impact compared to intensive beef production in the Americas. Actually, in the UK, most of the beef and lamb which we eat is grown in the UK and uses radically different methods to those exposed in Cowspiracy.

The people you know may also be aware that 40% of the world's grain is fed to nonhuman animals reared for meat, and that if it were kept for humans instead, we'd have enough to feed around 1 billion people. Furthermore, the meat industry is one of the main sources of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
What, so you are suggesting we all just eat grain? One of the main reasons in favour of rearing animals it that it turns a pretty boring, starchy, not particularly nutritious food source (grain) into a much more appetising and nutrient rich one (meat). In any case, one could switch to eating grass-fed animals for whom this is much less of a thing.

The antibiotic-resistance stuff is true, but once again we mostly have those in the Americas and developing countries to thank for that, rather than our own meat industry which faces sensible restrictions.
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RF_PineMarten
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Increased awareness of various issues with meat production is probably a big factor, especially in the age of the internet when that information can be spread widely and loads of people know about it. Some people think it's healthier, but that's highly questionable.

I myself have absolutely no intention of cutting out meat from my diet. But I can understand why some people choose to go vegetarian.
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Bupdeeboowah
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(Original post by RFowler)
I myself have absolutely no intention of cutting out meat from my diet. But I can understand why some people choose to go vegetarian.
But we don't like it when they go all full-out Birmingham Islamic hate-preacher/Floridian Islamaphobic pastor when they try to make you change your diet choices. Why can't these vegans be more like the Mormons?

Must be the lack of meat.
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