Vegetarianism has turned into a widely-spread philosophy within the past decades, engaging more and more people in a new lifestyle pattern. To understand the reasons underpinning the popularity of this movement, it is important to distinguish the triggers that make people turn into vegetarians. As such, it is suggested that vegetarians can be divided into flowing groups by their motivation: health-conscious, environmentally conscious, animal lovers, and trend followers. Each group has its own vision of vegetarianism that shapes its diet and other lifestyle attributes.
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Health-related motives are among the most popular drivers that make people shift to vegetarianism. As such, it has been empirically evidenced that cutting down on the animal fats consumed helps to prevent such negative outcomes as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, to name but a few (Weinstein 12). Therefore, vegetarian diets keep gaining popularity – statistics reveals that 12% of the U.K. population follows a vegetarian diet, while many more people try to reduce consumed meat although they do not exclude it completely from the menu (Young-Powell and Gil par. 2). Thus, health-conscious vegetarians consider this movement as an effective way to improve their health.
Environmental motives are less evident than health-related concerns although they remain a powerful driver for some people. As such, environmentally conscious vegetarians believe that they help to prevent the destruction of natural resources, such as water and land, by refusing to consume meat (Weinstein 13). Otherwise stated, they aspire to impede the progress of cattle breeding that is associated with soil destruction. According to recent research, environment-related motivation, along with concerns about health, are the top triggers that make people turn vegetarians (Young-Powell and Gil par. 2). Unlike the previous group, environmentally conscious vegetarians associate this movement with a lifestyle philosophy rather than merely a diet.
Animal lovers are driven by similar motives as environmentally conscious vegetarians. However, while the latter is against cattle breeding because it destroys natural resources, the former strive to prevent the violence this industry implies. As such, they regard vegetarianism as a way to show their protest toward killing animals for food. Likewise, they aspire that their refusal to eat meat will gradually reduce the cost-effectiveness of cattle breeding. This group receives active support from Green parties that approve vegetarianism for the idea of sustainability that it translates to the world population (Young-Powell and Gil par. 4). Therefore, this group of vegetarians considers this movement as a way of expressing their social position.
Finally, some people resolve to become vegetarians because they are attracted by the growing popularity of this movement. The desire to follow modern trends commonly relates to young people who are open to new impressions and experiences. As such, trend-followers adopt the new lifestyle in order to keep up with their friends and acquaintances and to examine this philosophy from within. It is rational to suggest that this group of vegetarians is less likely to adopt this lifestyle for the long haul.
The review of the motivation classification helps to understand the essentials of vegetarians’ life patterns. It shows that their attitude toward this philosophy can vary significantly in accordance with the reasons underpinning their choice. As such, for some people, vegetarianism limits to a healthy diet, while others regard it as a way of helping the environment.
Weinstein, Jay. The Everything Easy Vegetarian Cookbook, New York, New York: F+W Media, Inc, 2015. Print.
Young-Powell, Abby and Natalie Gil. Should Everyone Become Vegetarian? 2015. Web.