My husband and I have been vegetarian for a few years now. Precisely, we are lacto-vegetarian, meaning no meat or no eggs.
More precisely we are learning to be lacto-vegetarian, which is in between being a vegetarian and being a vegan. I say learning, because it is my belief that you are never completely there. I think vegetarianism is a life style of doing no harm, and I still have a long way to go. My love for leather is just one example. I DO still live in a mostly non-vegetarian world; therefore, I try to adjust to others, and don’t expect others to adjust to me.
There are extensive health benefits from the vegetarian or plant-based life style. Studies have shown better heart health, lower blood pressure, better control over diabetes, cancer prevention, and better digestion.
Besides the health benefits, there are other benefits as well which may fall under the categories of ethics and pragmatic, besides just being logical.
Every year 500,000 animals are killed in slaughter-houses, painfully and in cruel manners, not to mention their living conditions prior to their demise. In addition to the inhumane living and dying conditions, body parts are used as fertilizer or fed to other animals. I would recommend watching the movie, “Food Inc.” It takes 2500 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat. Meat producers are the biggest polluters of water. The cost of all of this is supported through taxes.
Most food poisoning is caused by eating meat products.
All the proteins, vitamins and minerals the human body needs can be obtained through a proper plant-based diet.
There is very little waste in animal slaughter. We don’t often think about the actual animal parts we are eating such as intestines, rectum, tails, hoofs, etc. You get the picture.
Eating a plant-based diet could solve food shortages virtually overnight. While one hundred acres of land produces enough beef for twenty people, it produces enough plants for 240 people.
Vegetarians find it easier to stay slim. There are fewer calories in plant-based foods, and less fat.
Half of the rain forests in the world have been burned contributing to green-house gases and animal extinction, for the purpose of grazing cattle.
Sixty million people starve a year. These people could be eating the grain that is raised to feed animals.
By eating meat we are consuming antibiotics, growth hormones, and tranquilizers given to animals.
I’m thankful that more and more information is coming out about the benefits of vegetarianism. I’ve seen lots of young people making the switch. I’m surprised by the growing number of vegetarians where my husband works. Recently students at his school organized the showing of “Food Inc.” along with a panel discussion and vegetarian food samples. More and more, each day information advocating this type of lifestyle is coming out through celebrities such as Oprah and health practitioners.
It’s also more creative and colorful at mealtime. It’s always a challenge to be inventive and come up with new things.
I haven’t even mentioned organic. I will save that for another blog entry.