There is an endless debate about which diet is more healthy. Vegetarian or non-vegetarian? While many of the people believe that a non-vegetarian diet is more healthy, there are some who argue that a vegetarian diet is healthier. Those who say that a non-vegetarian diet is more healthier usually are of a view that eating fruits, vegetables and dairy products is not sufficient and they require meat and protein food group in their diet for gaining sufficient energy and nutrients.
The meat and protein food group includes : eggs(chicken eggs, duck eggs), fish(anchovies, cod, mackerel, salmon etc.), shellfish, game meats(rabbit, deer), meats(beef, lamb, pork), poultry(chicken, duck, goose, turkey), nuts and legumes.
While it may be true that some of these food items like nuts and legumes are very good for our health but non-vegetarian foods like fish and meat cause a lot of health problems. According to the WHO report non-vegetarian food causes 159 different types of diseases. The most common disease caused due to it are heart diseases, high blood pressure, kidney problem, gall bladder problems, eczema, paralysis, tuberculosis, constipation, arthritis, hysteria etc. In comparison to this the vegetarian food is totally harmless, beneficial and cures diseases.
There are vegetarians, non-vegetarians and then there is another group of people called the “eggetarians “people who follow a nearly vegetarian diet but eat eggs, because they think that eggs have high nutritional value. While the truth is entirely opposite. Eggs have little amount of nutritional value, they are totally deficient in carbohydrates. The eggs are full of poisonous and harmful elements. Eggs are a cause of several serious diseases ; the high cholesterol content increases the risk of heart diseases. The hens eat sputum, phlegm , nose secretions ,worms, germs and other such filthy things. The eggs are produced from these things. Do you think with all these things can eggs improve the mental and physical quality of a person?
After analysing this table we can safely conclude that eggs have lowest amount of nutritional value.
Most of the non-vegetarians also argue that meat has more energy and nutrition than plants and vegetable have, well this is not correct. Let us understand how.
We are all a part of this ecosystem and the flow of energy in a eco system takes place through the food chain and it is the energy flow which keeps the ecosystem going. The most important feature of this energy is that it is unidirectional (moves in one direction). This energy is not reused in the food chain. The flow of energy in a ecosystem follows the two laws of thermodynamics
FIRST LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS
This law states that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed but it can be trans formed from one form to another. The solar energy captured by the green plants gets converted into bio chemical energy of plants or producers and later that of consumers. So in simple words we can say that the plants and vegetables derive their energy from the sun and when the plant eating consumers like goat, cow, humans etc consume these plants and vegetables that energy from the plant is transferred into these organisms. Now when the carnivores animals eat animals like sheep and goat the energy from them is transferred to these carnivore animals and the flow of energy takes place so on.
SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS
It states that energy dissipates as it is used or in other words it gets converted from a more concentrated to dispersed form. As energy flows through the food chain some of it is lost at every trophic level. This loss of energy takes place through respiration, running, hunting and other activities. At every level there is about 90% loss of energy and the energy transferred from one trophic level to the other is only 10%. This is also known as Lindeman’s 10% Law(1942).
Therefore we can conclude that that the maximum amount of energy is present in the producers i.e. the plants and the vegetables that derive their energy directly from the sun because at each transfer about 80-90% of energy available at lower trophic levels is lost as heat and only 10%-20% is available to the next trophic level.
From this pyramid of energy it is evidently clear that the amount of energy keeps on decreasing at every trophic level.
Therefore we can undoubtedly say that a vegetarian diet can give us more energy than a non-vegetarian diet ever can.
So all the people out there who still think that it is important to include meat in your diet, think again!
International Vegetarian Association(IVA), Jammu, India