The following essay is extracted from Achieve IELTS 2 (Student’s Book). Read the essay and then try to summarise the points for and against vegetarianism. By summarising what you read, you can develop your paraphrasing skill, which is extremely important in IELTS and studying at international university.
- Why, according to the author, some people choose to become vegetarian or vegans?
- Why, according to the author, not everyone should turn to vegetarian diet?
Today many people are vegetarian of some sort of description, from people who eat mainly vegetables, along with dairy products such as milk, cheese and eggs, to vegans who do not eat animals or any animal products at all. In this essay I am briefly going to look at the argument for and against eating animals from moral, health and environmental perspectives.
The first and foremost reason is that eating meat is murder. Some people think it is wrong to take the life of another creature for pleasure, and as we can get the same proteins and nutrients from other food sources that can get from eating meat, the only reason to eat meat is for pleasure. Alternatively, it could be argued that what we eat is a matter of personal choice according to how we feel and what suits our bodies best. Some people enjoy life more and feel healthier when they eat meat.
This brings me on to the second point: health issue. It is said that we can get all the nutrients from plants that we can get from meat. In other words, we can obtain the same proteins and nutrients from other food sources that we can get from eating meat: proteins from pulses like lentils and beans; calcium, protein and other vitamins from dairy products; vitamins, minerals and fibers from vegetables. However, plants on the whole are very poor sources of protein, especially protein containing amino acids. These are available in some plants, but not in great quantities. Conversely, there are plenty of proteins containing amino acids in milk, eggs and fish which is why many vegetarians still eat animal products.
Now let’s look at the environmental issues. Perhaps the most serious reason for becoming vegetarian is ethical. People go hungry because a lot of land is used to grow food for animals rather than people. For example, in the US, 157 million tons of food per year – all suitable for human consumption – is fed to animals. This produces just 28 million tons of animals protein in the form of meat. Then again, if we look at this more closely, it is clear that millions of animals on farms are bred for food. To put it simply, if people became vegetarian, there would be no need for these animals and we would have to kill them all. Rather than saving these animals, it would result in killing them instead of looking after them responsibly and killing them for a good purpose at the end of their natural life cycle.
In conclusion, I believe that is it everyone’s right to eat what they want. However, cutting down on the amount of meat we eat has benefits for our health and our environment and is fairer to other animals.