Have you been thinking about giving up meat? Do you need to know a little more first or that you need a final push before making the decision to go meat-free? If you want to become a fully-fledged vegetarian, here are 13 amazing reasons to embrace the veggie lifestyle.
1. Have compassion for animals.
Many people give up eating meat based on this alone and it’s true that farming practices are very cruel. When you become vegetarian, you are making a statement that there is no excuse for animal cruelty and you are not participating in it. Approximately 10 billion animals meet their fate just for human consumption and this is on an annual basis. Many of these animals live appalling lives. Kept in small cages, these animals can barely move. They are fed a diet filled with pesticides and antibiotics.
2. Environmental concerns.
By giving up eating meat, you’ll also reduce the amount of waste and air pollution. Methane gas is emitted by pigs, cows and poultry. This greatly contributes to the greenhouse effect. Ammonia gases occur through urine too. Famine will be reduced through not eating meat. Not sure how? Approximately 70% of grain produced in the United States is given to those animals raised just for slaughter. If the grain was used to feed people, it would ward off starvation.
3. Ready to live longer?
On the whole, vegetarians live longer than those who continue to eat meat. This may be by six years or more so, it’s definitely worth doing. When you become a vegetarian, your diet is more nutritious. There is an abundance of vitamins and minerals and these help slow down the aging process while boosting health and function of the immune system.
4. There are lots of toxic contaminants in meat products.
Toxins include pesticides, herbicides and hormones and these remain in the flesh of the animal and so by becoming a vegetarian, you avoid eating these harmful elements. Of course, there are other reasons to be glad you don’t eat meat any longer – you won’t be consuming parasites either.
5. Reduce the risk of heart disease.
This is so important. A vegetarian diet is typically much lower in saturated fats and cholesterol than a meat-based diet. Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. It makes sense to avoid meat due to the high levels of saturated fats. A vegetarian diet has an abundance of antioxidant nutrients and this protects the arteries and the heart. Cholesterol levels are 14% lower for vegetarians by comparison to meat eaters.
6. Prevent cancer.
We are all scared of contracting the big C and so, when you embark upon a vegetarian diet, you can reduce the risk of this disease substantially. This is because meat, in particular, red meat or processed meats carry a much higher risk of cancer.
7. If you have been wanting to lose weight, a vegetarian diet can help.
Many vegetarians will have a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who eat meat. This is because they eat more fruit and vegetables. This is great if you have been looking to lose a little weight. You do have to be careful as to the types of vegetarian foods of course. If you love to eat lots of cream sauces, no doubt, this will pile on the pounds.
8. The cost of food reduces.
It’s true that vegetarian food tends to cost much less than if you are buying meat. You do have to be careful not to replace one set of processed foods with another as there are many off-the-shelf vegetarian products which can be expensive but, in the main, you will save yourself a lot of money per month.
9. More nutrients.
When you opt for a plant-based diet, you will be consuming a great many more nutrients but because your diet has more water and fiber, you’ll find it is easier to digest food too. In fact, your digestive system will not have to work as hard and your system will be far more ‘regular’ as a result. Oh and, when you are on your plant-based diet, know that oxygen works more efficiently in the blood sending nutrients to the cells.
10. Give your body a spring clean.
If you are currently relying on a large amount of meat in the diet or, you have done so in the past, by giving up, you are helping your body to get rid of all the toxins that you may have consumed. Vegetarian food – vegetables and fruits contain phytochemicals and these help to detox your system.
11. A vegetarian diet can reduce some symptoms of the menopause.
Fed up with hot flashes? When you eat vegetables, grains and soy products, the phytoestrogens within can help to reduce those annoying symptoms of menopause. Sleep may improve, fatigue and mood swings will all reduce.
12. Embarking upon a vegetarian diet is fun.
You have many more ways in which to be creative with food plus, vegetarian foods look so much more appealing. It’s much more colorful as a start and when you cook using color as a guide, you will eat lots of disease-fighting nutrients as well as boosting your immune system.
13. Worried about bone loss?
People tend to rate protein far too highly, in fact, too much protein can affect the absorption and retention of calcium and, as such, it makes your body excrete it. When you eat meat proteins, it turns your blood acidic and so, your body tries to compensate by extracting calcium from your bones. Vegetarians obtain calcium from their dark, green leafy vegetables.
So, if you are seriously thinking about giving up eating meat, you’ve just seen 13 amazing reasons as to why you should do so. Many people give up eating meat because they feel bad about animal welfare and rightly so. Animals are treated very badly due to intensive farming practices. Billions of animals meet a terrible end because of peoples’ need to eat meat. But, if this isn’t sufficient reason for you to stop, consider the needs of the planet and all the environmental issues too.
Your health is also important. It will play a key role in the decision-making process. There are numerous reasons as to why a plant-based diet is the healthy option. Of course, it makes sense to learn as much about the vegetarian diet as you can before you take the plunge, this is just so you remain healthy throughout. Ultimately, you will be adding your voice to so many others who are fed up of the way animals are treated and who wish to stand up and be counted. Want to take it a step further? Go vegan.