Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee


  • Lynette E. Sieger
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_89

Vegetarianism is the abstention from eating meat and fish. The risks to human health posed by eating meat, the environmental degradation and resource depletion that is consequent of factory farming of animals for meat production, commercial fishing, cruelty to animals, and the moral reasoning behind vegetarianism give vegetarianism worldwide significance.

Consumption of meat, common in affluent countries, poses a direct risk to public health. High levels of fat and protein in meat are linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer in colon, breast, and prostate, and type II diabetes in meat eaters (Horrigan et al. 2002). Additionally, the globalized production and consumption of meat increases the risk and spread of disease and death from food-borne pathogens (not exclusive to but most commonly associated with meat) such as Listeria, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Bovine Spongisorm Encephalopathy, Toxoplasma, and new emerging food-borne pathogens (WHO 2002). Water-borne disease such...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynette E. Sieger
    • 1
  1. 1.Gallatin SchoolNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA