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Giving up meat is healthy By KAITLIN LOUNSBERRY/VOICE CORRESPONDENT THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER Posted Sep 27, 2010 @ 11:00 PM On Friday, I got a hug and a celebration — but it wasn’t my birthday. Sept. 24 was dubbed International Hug a Vegetarian Day. After refraining from eating meat for more than a year, Friday was a day for celebration for me. Why? Because vegetarianism makes me feel close with others across the globe who practice the same eating habits as I do — and I didn’t realize I felt that way until Friday. People become vegetarians for different reasons, including religion, health or personal ethics. What a lot of people don’t understand is that vegetarianism is a healthy lifestyle that changes your outlook on a lot of things. As a vegetarian you’re less likely to get type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, experience a stroke or become obese. I find this extremely comforting because living in the United States, where obesity is a concern, being healthy is important. So, supporting a lifestyle that I believe is one of the healthiest choices to practice makes me feel better about myself. Now, I’ve heard just about every argument against vegetarianism. None have come close to altering my diet choices. Vegetarianism is a personal choice. Originally, my decision was an ethical choice. But as I learn more about the health perks of being a vegetarian, I see no reason to change. You do have to eat properly. You can’t just live on salads and grilled cheese sandwiches. Vegetarians should be eating as many soy-based products as possible, along with vegetables and fruits — not to mention taking lots of vitamins. You have to replace the proteins you’re cutting out of your diet. Not eating right and being a vegetarian can be bad for you. Many vegetarians lose weight once they’ve changed their diet plans. If you don’t eat properly, you could lose even more weight than expected and become malnourished. Vegetarianism isn’t easy, but if you’re passionate about what you believe —

whether it be that animals shouldn’t be on your dinner plate or that you’re wanting to improve your health — keep trying. Kaitlin Lounsberry is a junior at Williamsville High School.

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