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Word Count: 2,297
You are what you eat goes a famous saying And if that is truly the case then a lot of Americans would appear to be unhealthy chemically treated commercially raised slabs of animal flesh And while that is not a particularly pleasant thought it is nonetheless an description of the typical American omnivore who survives on the consumption of Big Macs and steak fajitas But there are individuals who do not follow this American norm and have altered their diets so that they do not consume any meat These people are vegetarians and they are the new breed of healthy Americans who refuse to poison themselves with fats cholesterol and the other harmful additives that come from meat And while once thought to be a movement that would never gain much momentum it has nonetheless moved itself to the forefront of Americans healthy diets The word vegetarian used to describe the diets of people who do not consume animal flesh was not used until around the mid-1800s The concept of vegetarianism however dates back much further The Greek philosopher Pythagoras considered by many to be the father of vegetarianism encouraged a non-meat diet among his followers as a diet that was the most natural and healthful Messina 3 A vegetarian diet excludes the consumption of meat and can be exercised by people for a number of reasons The largest majority of individuals chose vegetarianism for health related reasons For example someone with an ulcer might be prescribed a strict diet of vegetables in order to promote the healing process Or someone with a dangerously high level of cholesterol might be advised to follow a vegetarian diet to lower his or her fat and cholesterol intake The immorality of consuming animal flesh is another argument touted by a smaller group of vegetarians RG Frey describes this moral argument for vegetarianism and the effect that meat eating might have on the character of
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