How does vegetarianism stack up? After adopting meatless diets, the great majority of people report improvements in health, including increases in stamina and energy level, the alleviation of earlier health problems, fewer colds, improvements in complexion, decreases in weight, and more regular bowel movements. Psychological benefits are also the rule and include less guilt, an increase in self-esteem, an enhanced sense of morality, feeling less aggressive, feeling more compassionate, an increase in sense of self-control, and greater emotional stability. In addition, many people feel more spiritual after eliminating flesh from their diets. In the light of all these benefits, vegetarianism stands out as a viable and positive lifestyle for the majority of people who embrace it.
However, as we have seen, the road to vegetarianism is not always smooth, and most people encounter practical problems along the way. Many individuals have a difficult time adjusting to vegetarianism. Some have cravings for meat that last for months or even years; others don't know what to cook and wind up with monotonous, boring diets. Most vegetarians experience difficulty when eating out and traveling. And conflict between job expectations and vegetarian beliefs and practices is not uncommon.
Social problems also occur. Resistance from families and friends is the rule for new vegetarians; many, in fact, find they lose old friends during the transition. And dealing with new