Discussing Vegetarianism

 
 
I have prepared a unit about vegetarianism for you. I spoke to different people arguing for as well as against a vegetarian diet. Watch many interesting videos, get to know diverse arguments and learn the vocabulary you need for discussing vegetarianism.
Before we start, I would like to make sure that everything is clear about the terminology. Take a look at the explanations!
 
  • Vegetarians = People who don't eat meat or fish. They do eat milk, eggs and other animal products.
  • Vegans = People who don't consume any animal products, neither meat, nor milk or eggs.
  • Pescetarians = People who eat no meat but fish.
In this video, Poorna talks about why she thinks it is morally wrong to eat animals. Watch the video!
 
Here is a list of words she uses that you might not know. Take a look!
 
   
NEW WORD
 
   
DEFINITION
 
   
EXAMPLE SENTENCE
 
awareness
 
Being conscious of something.
 
This project is supposed to raise awareness for children in danger.
 
condition
 
A particular state of being; circumstances
 
The conditions under which animals are held are often terrible.
 
to breed (bred, bred)
 
To keep animals and have them reproduce in a way that improves the next generation's qualities.
 
Animals are bred by farmers.
 
 
Here is Natalie's video. She talks a little about healthy nutrition. What are her arguments about vegetarianism?
 
Which of these statements are true for the video?
 
  •  
    • Natalie says that a lot of Vegetarians think that humans are herbivores.
       
      • false
         
      • true
         
       
     
     
  •  
    • Natalie made a YouTube video about making a vegetarian burger.
       
      • true
         
      • false
         
       
     
     
  •  
    • The Atkins diet tells you to eat almost only meat and animal products.
       
      • false
         
      • true
         
       
     
     
  •  
 
Can you match these words with their definitions?
 
 
  • Carnivore
     
  • Herbivore
     
  • Omnivore
     
  • Any animal that eats only vegetation (i.e. that eats no meat).
     
  • Any animal (that includes humans) that eats meat as the main part of its diet.
     
  • An animal which is able to consume both plants and meat.
     
 
 
 
 
People tend to discuss the topic of vegetarianism rather heatedly. T.J. here makes fun of vegetarians… See for yourself!
 
Here are some of the more difficult words that came up in the video:
  • proliferate = To increase in number or spread rapidly.
  • genes = A unit of heredity; a segment of DNA or RNA that is transmitted from one generation to the next, and that carries genetic information such as the sequence of amino acids for a protein.
  • genome = The complete genetic information (either DNA or, in some viruses, RNA) of an organism.
  • infamous = having a bad reputation, disreputable; of bad report; notoriously vile; detestable; widely known, especially for something bad
Were you able to follow T.J.'s argument? Which of these statements does he make and which statements are not part of his argument? Highlight the correct answers! If you cannot remember everything, .
 
  •  
  •  
 
Marc here also argues against eating meat. Find out why!
 
Now you have watched quite a few videos already. It is time to check what vocabulary has been used in these videos. Take a look!
 

Word List: Vegetarianism

    • vegetarian(noun)
    • Definition:
      • a person who does not eat animal flesh, or, in some cases, animal products
    • Example:
      • Sam doesn't eat meat, he's a vegetarian.
    • vegan(noun)
    • Definition:
      • a person who does not consume, use or eat any animal products; a supporter of veganism
    • Example:
      • Would you like some milk? - No, thanks, I'm a vegan.
    • pescetarian(noun)
    • Definition:
      • a person who consumes no animal flesh with the exception of fish or seafood
    • Example:
      • I'm a pescetarian, that means I don't eat meat but I eat fish.
    • awareness(noun)
    • Definition:
      • the state or level of consciousness where sense data can be confirmed by an observer
    • Example:
      • We have to raise awareness for human rights violations!
    • condition(noun)
    • Definition:
      • a particular state of being
    • Example:
      • Is he in a good condition?
    • to breed(irregular verb)
    • Definition:
      • to sexually produce offspring
    • Example:
      • The foxes are breeding.
    • carnivore(noun)
    • Definition:
      • any mammal that eats meat as the main part of its diet
    • Example:
      • Dogs are carnivores.
    • omnivore(noun)
    • Definition:
      • a mammal which is able to consume both plants (like a herbivore) and meat (like a carnivore)
    • Example:
      • Bears are omnivores, they can eat plants but they enjoy eating fish.
    • herbivore(noun)
    • Definition:
      • an organism that feeds chiefly on plants
    • Example:
      • Herbivores don't eat meat.
    • red meat(noun)
    • Definition:
      • meats such as beef that are dark red in colour when uncooked
    • Example:
      • I will eat less red meat in order to have a healthier diet.
    • to be supposed to(phrasal verb)
    • Definition:
      • to be intended to do something
    • Example:
      • He's supposed to be here by now.
    • spectrum(noun)
    • Definition:
      • a range; a continuous, infinite, one-dimensional set, possibly bounded by extremes
    • proliferate(verb)
    • Definition:
      • to increase in number or spread rapidly
    • Example:
      • The flowers proliferated rapidly all spring.
    • gene(noun)
    • Definition:
      • a unit of heredity; a segment of DNA or RNA that is transmitted from one generation to the next, and that carries genetic information such as the sequence of amino acids for a protein
    • Example:
      • It's in her genes.
    • genome(noun)
    • Definition:
      • the complete genetic information (either DNA or, in some viruses, RNA) of an organism, typically expressed in number of basepairs
    • offspring(noun)
    • Definition:
      • all a person's descendants, including further generations; an animal or plant's progeny, an animal or plant's young
    • Example:
      • Artists often treasure their works as their immortal offspring.
    • obscure(adjective)
    • Definition:
      • hidden, out of sight or inconspicuous
    • Example:
      • What an obscure place!
    • to be confined to(phrasal verb)
    • Definition:
      • to be not free to move
    • Example:
      • Each is confined to their own small space.
    • dominant(adjective)
    • Definition:
      • ruling; governing; prevailing; controlling; as, the dominant party, church, spirit, power
    • Example:
      • The dominant party controlled the government.
    • force(noun)
    • Definition:
      • anything that is able to make a big change in a person or thing
    • Example:
      • The law will come into force in January.
    • to outnumber(verb)
    • Definition:
      • to be more in number than somebody or something
    • Example:
      • The population of China outnumbers the population of Germany.
    • dietary(adjective)
    • Definition:
      • of, or relating to diet
    • Example:
      • He makes reasonable dietary choices.
    • to be acceptable(phrasal verb)
    • Definition:
      • to be capable, worthy, or sure of being accepted or received with pleasure; pleasing to a receiver; gratifying; agreeable; welcome; as, an acceptable present, one acceptable to us
    • Example:
      • This behaviour is not acceptable!
    • a strong argument(Chunk)
    • Definition:
      • an argument of good quality
    • Example:
      • He made a strong argument there.
    • a poor argument(Chunk)
    • Definition:
      • an argument of bad quality
    • Example:
      • What a poor argument!
    • contradiction(noun)
    • Definition:
      • a logical incompatibility among two or more elements or propositions
    • Example:
      • That statement is a contradiction in itself.
    • nutritional(adjective)
    • Definition:
      • of, pertaining to, or providing nutrition
    • Example:
      • It is important that your diet contains all important nutritional elements.
    • hunter(noun)
    • Definition:
      • one who hunts or seeks after anything
    • Example:
      • Tigers are hunters.
 
 

Vocabulary trainer

 
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vegetarian
vegan
pescetarian
awareness
condition
carnivore
omnivore
herbivore
spectrum
proliferate
gene
genome
offspring
obscure
dominant
force
dietary
contradiction
nutritional
hunter
 

     
       

      Guessed right:

         
         
         
        • Word and Definition

           
          Tries: 0

          dietary
          of, or relating to diet
          condition
          a particular state of being
          to be confined to
          to be not free to move
          herbivore
          an organism that feeds chiefly on plants
          vegan
          a person who does not consume, use or eat any animal products; a supporter of veganism
          offspring
          all a person's descendants, including further generations; an animal or plant's progeny, an animal or plant's young
          nutritional
          of, pertaining to, or providing nutrition
          to outnumber
          to be more in number than somebody or something
          to breed
          to sexually produce offspring
          obscure
          hidden, out of sight or inconspicuous
          contradiction
          a logical incompatibility among two or more elements or propositions
          omnivore
          a mammal which is able to consume both plants (like a herbivore) and meat (like a carnivore)
          hunter
          one who hunts or seeks after anything
          to be acceptable
          to be capable, worthy, or sure of being accepted or received with pleasure; pleasing to a receiver; gratifying; agreeable; welcome; as, an acceptable present, one acceptable to us
          red meat
          meats such as beef that are dark red in colour when uncooked
           
           
           
        Train the words with the vocabulary trainer now.
         
         

        Vocabulary trainer

         
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        Here is a more neutral statement about why vegetarianism is supposed to be bad. Lierre Keith, who wrote a book about the topic, is interviewed here. See for yourself!
         
        Below you can find a list of different statements. It is not your job to decide which of them are true and which are false. Your job is to find out which of these arguments are used in the video. Mark the statements that Lierre mentions!
         
        •  
          • What does Lierre say?
             
            • A vegetarian diet does not provide all the nutrition we need.
               
            • A vegetarian diet is the right way to go.
               
            • Historically, it is clear that humans were herbivores and therefore we shouldn't eat meat.
               
            • The bad things that people say about animal breeding are not true.
               
            • Historically, it is clear that humans were hunters and therefore we have to eat meat.
               
             
           
           
        •  
         
        In our last video, you will get to know Mimi, who has been a vegetarian for many, many years. She was recently voted the "sexiest vegetarian over 50".
         
        What does Mimi tell us?
         
        •  
          • For how many years has she been a vegetarian?
             
            • 38
               
            • about 40
               
            • 72
               
             
           
           
        •  
          • Why does she not eat animal products?
             
            • Because of the way animals are treated.
               
            • Because she didn't like the taste of it.
               
            • Because she had high cholesterol.
               
             
           
           
        •  
          • Does she think that eating meat is necessary to be healthy?
             
            • No, she says that historically it is evident that we are not supposed to eat meat.
               
            • She is not sure – she feels fine, but because she lacks certain proteins she takes pills, but they are on a natural basis.
               
            • No, she says she is in perfect health although she doesn't eat meat.
               
             
           
           
        •  
          • What does she eat to get protein?
             
            • Lots of nuts and green vegetables.
               
            • She doesn't need protein because she is already over 70.
               
            • She gets her protein from cheese and milk.
               
             
           
           
        •  
         
        Here is a sample dialogue about two people talking about vegetarianism in a friendly way. Do you think the video includes all there is to say about that topic?
         
        I wrote a similar dialogue for you. Fill in the gaps with the missing words!
         
        These are the words that you have to use to fill in the gaps: dairy, vegan, diet, vegetarian, ethical, pescetarian
         
        1.  A: Would you like to come to our BBQ party on Friday? B: Yes, I would like to, but you should know, I'm a 
           . A: Oh, okay. So you don't eat red meat? B: Actually, I don't eat any meat, not even chicken. A: Do you eat fish? B: No, if I ate fish, I would be a 
           . A: Why do you not eat meat? For 
           reasons? Or do you just want to have a healthier 
           ? B: A little bit of both. But there are loads of other things I could bring to the BBQ, like vegetables, cheese and salads. A: So you eat cheese and other 
           products? B: Yes, I do, I am not a 
           .
           
         
         
        Now I want you to write a text about vegetarianism. What do you think? Here are some tips on how to structure your text:
         
        • Summarize the facts that you know about vegetarianism.
        • Mention some of the arguments for and against this diet without including your own opinion.
        • State your own attitude towards vegetarianism and explain briefly why you support this point of view.
        Vegetarians are people who don't eat meat or fish. There are other variations of this diet, namely pescetarians, who eat no meat but fish, and vegans, who eat no animal products at all.
        People who think that vegetarianism is a good idea argue that it is cruel to breed animals in mass production factories, or that it is unhealthy for us to eat so much meat, or that it is bad for the environment. People who oppose vegetarianism say that it is natural for us to eat meat, and therefore we should. They say that our body needs the nutrition that meat gives us, and we shouldn't live without it. They say that it is not unethical to kill animals, because it is natural that some animals eat others. I think that both sides have good arguments. While I enjoy eating meat and think that it is good for our health to consume moderate amounts of it every week, I agree that the way animals are bred in our society nowadays is cruel and unethical. I would rather reduce the amount of meat I eat and pay more money for it, so that farmers can afford to keep their animals in better conditions, than continue the production as it is now.

         
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