When one chooses to adopt vegetarianism, criticism abounds. Criticisms are often based on the same argument: nutritional deficiency. Far from popular belief, ScienceAlert highlights a Brazilian study according to which vegetarians have about twice as many depressive episodes as meat eaters. But like it or not, nutritional needs are not the cause.
After identifying higher rates of depression in people quitting the omnivorous diet, researchers looked at a wide range of factors: total calorie intake, protein intake, micronutrient intake, and food processing… Unsuccessful: None No link established between the nutritional content of the diet and depressive episodes. So what correlation can there be? Is there a trigger?
Everything turns out to be psychological. According to scientific media, “Being depressed would encourage people to become vegetarian, not the other way around. Depression promotes rumination of negative thoughts as well as feelings of guilt. So assuming everyone is constantly confronted with the shocking reality of slaughterhouses and factory farms, which ones will be hit hardest? Those who are in a bad mood.
Long minutes of reflection will follow and desires to evolve towards a meatless diet will arise. “There is evidence that people with mild to moderate depression have more realistic judgments and perceptions of their own role and abilities.” ScienceAlert ends.
Mockery and indifference depress
Social relations would also influence the mental health of vegetarians, sometimes a source of ridicule and ostracism. The attack on the values that are dear to them can sometimes result in a feeling of exclusion, which can be the cause of depressive disorders.
To see if this theory turns out to be true, it would be interesting to look at the link between vegetarianism and depression in a country like India, where this diet is more of a social norm. An even more significant question: as the number of vegetarians increases in developed countries, will we see this correlation disappear there over the years?
As the barbaric treatment of animals continues due to the high demand for cheap meat, vegetarians have reason to feel overwhelmed. And so what could be more depressing than to ignore this cruelty?