All About Animals: Vegetarians and Vegans

Do you know what a person who doesn’t eat birds, fish or other animals is called? A vegetarian! And a vegan is a special kind of vegetarian who doesn’t eat or drink anything that came from an animal. Can you think of something a vegan wouldn’t eat or drink? Cow’s milk, cheese and eggs are some things vegans do not eat, but vegetarians might. There are lots of reasons why people decide to become vegetarians or vegans:

  1. They love animals. A big reason is that some people don’t want animals to die for them. They read about factory farming or see pictures of animals being hurt and decide that it’s not fair to kill animals when there are so many other things to eat. Lots of kids are vegetarians, too. Some decide by themselves that they love animals and don’t want to eat them. Other kids have mums and dads who are vegetarians, so they don’t eat meat either.
  2. They care about their health. Some people don’t eat meat because they want to be healthy, have more energy, feel good and live for a long time. Eating meat can make people fat and sick and can give them cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure or diabetes.
  3. They care about the environment. Factory farms aren’t good for our land, air or water either. Farming animals for food makes global warming worse. Global warming is the heating up of the Earth. It is a problem because the Earth is slowly getting warmer and warmer, and it is getting too warm for some plants and animals to stay alive.

People have reasons for eating meat, too. They might say that they like the taste or that it’s easier to find foods with meat than vegetarian food, but most people eat meat because that’s how they were brought up, and it is what they are used to.

Vegetarians eat lots of things – even many of the same kinds of things that meat-eaters eat. There are veggie sausages, burgers, pies and pasties, soups, stews and roasts that have no meat in them at all. Do you ever eat lasagne or ravioli? What about Indian, Chinese and Thai food? Well, vegetarians eat all those things, too! Whatever your favourite food is, there’s probably a way to make it without meat.

Talk About: Topics to Chat About!
1. Are you a vegetarian or do you know someone who is?
2. What are some vegetarian foods you can think of?
3. What do you think about the reasons people go vegetarian? Are they good reasons?
4. What are some reasons people eat animals? Are they good reasons?