The decision to undertake a vegetarian lifestyle can be the result of a variety of factors; from religious beliefs to standing up for animal rights to seeking a healthier diet.
Whatever the case, the choice to forego meat is ultimately a health decision.
According to the Heart and Vascular Health Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, there are four types of vegetarianism.
Semi-vegetarian usually eats everything except red meat. Poultry is often excluded, but fish and dairy products are almost always included.
Lacto-ovo-vegetarian will eat all dairy products including butter, cheese and eggs but no meat, fish or poultry.
Lacto-vegetarian will eat dairy products, but no eggs, meat, poultry or fish.
Vegan eats only plant foods and excludes all foods of animal origin, like gelatin.
While it may seem like the switch to a vegetarian diet would be healthier, Dr. Monika Juszczyk, a specialist in internal medicine for Warren Medical Group, disagrees.
"By eating just a vegetarian diet, I don't think it would be the perfect diet," she said. "The best diet to my knowledge is a Mediterranean diet."
Although, Juszczyk said she was not inferring that vegetarians are unhealthy, she did note that lacto-ovo-vegetarians may eat more cheese and eggs than non-vegetarians.
"Those people often have higher cholesterol," she said.
Also, there is a possibility of a "too much of a good thing" scenario.
Juszczyk said excess consumption of fruits can lead to diabetic problems in the future because fruit contains natural sugars.
While she maintains a favorability for a Mediterranean diet, Juszczyk recommends consuming natural foods, especially locally grown produce.
According to Agnes Mckenna, a registered dietician at Warren General Hospital, vegetarians can have side effects from avoiding meat.
"Sometimes (vegetarians) develop anemia," she said.
In this case, anemia is caused by the lack of the vitamin B12 found in red meats.
Mckenna said that some vegetarians will need a B12 supplement later in life.
As for other lost nutrients, like protein, she pointed to the mainstreaming of vegetarian-friendly food.
"Soy milk is a lot more common now than it was 10 years ago," Mckenna said.
"It's not like (vegetarians are) malnourished," she said. "As long as they choose the right foods."