Why are more and more people drawn to vegetarianism? Well, some of them simply want to live longer and healthier lives. Others have made that incredible switch to preserve our planet’s natural resources or simply from a love of animals and an ethical opposition to eating them.
There is massive scientific research out there which demonstrated the environmental and health benefits of a vegetarian diet. Even the US federal government recommends that the population should consume most of the calories from fruits, vegetables and grain products.
About 70% of all diseases, including around 33% of all cancers, are related to diet. People have started to go vegetarian as this reduces the risk for chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, or obesity.
So, would you like to join too? Here are 7 reasons why you should switch to a vegetarian diet.
Improves your health
Meat consumption has often been linked to increased body mass index levels (BMI). A study given out by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics claims that people who opt for a vegetarian lifestyle have much lower BMI levels than regular meat eaters. And there is an even greater improvement in a vegan lifestyle, as it reduces the BMI rate even more.
Meat has a lot of calories and humans went about taking more than the necessary quantity when consuming meat. Vegans are able to benefit from even greater advantages, as they are completely eliminating the calories obtained from the likes of milk and other animal products. Most of these animal products tend to come with high levels of fat.
Vegetarians consume far lower levels of calories, which almost automatically helps you lose weight. Humans need an average of 2000 cal. per day, but it is possible to consume this amount in one sitting if you consume meat.
However, foods like salads can go in the opposite direction and help shed a lot of weight, as they contain very little calories – while still offering all the essential nutrients. It does not take long to feel the effects of lower calories, as the overall health condition of a person improves.
It helps the environment
Climate change is not a secret and we’re damaging our world and we’re rapidly approaching the point of no return. If we don’t do something now, the human race might very well extinguish from Earth.
Even though vehicle and industrial pollution have been cited as the chief contributing factors behind the rising quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, one of the silent – yet more potent forms of pollution – comes from livestock breeding for the purpose of meat production.
Beef is the most popular form of meat, but cattle emit large volumes of methane – a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. It is estimated that the world average temperatures will rise by as much as 2°C, which will cause major changes to the world as we know it.
Easier to Avoid Contaminants
Image credit: Anthony Albright
Since livestock breeding has become a full-fledged industry, almost everyone concerned in this industry has been spending a lot of money trying to reduce the health complications that affect the animals.
The primary way of achieving better health standards for most of the animals is by using antibiotics, which ultimately find their way into the human’s body. The excessive use of antibiotics has been well documented to be a serious complication in modern society, as the infection becomes more resistant to a particular antibiotic strain. This resistance results in the creation of even more powerful antibiotics.
Furthermore, plenty of toxic substances are also used in order to produce the food grains consumed by the animals. An organic diet would be ideal, but we’re still far from having all products free of toxic substances.
Reduce Global Food Shortage
Food shortage is one of the growing concerns of this world, as the ever-increasing population becomes harder to feed with reduced land availability. The need for more food has already resulted in a number of rainforests losing their spread and the food shortage continues to grow.
One of the reasons is that a significant portion of the cultivable area is being dedicated to the purpose of food production for the animals. Since the energy to protein conversion ratio is extremely poor in the case of meat, large quantities of food and water are essential in order to produce 1 kg of meat.
If just half of the cultivable area dedicated to livestock was transformed into food production regions for humans, food shortage would come down drastically and may even be non-existent.
Avoid Killing a Life
A large number of animals are slaughtered on a daily basis in order to feed the world. However, many of those slaughtering houses do not follow humane practices and animals are often ill-treated before they give up their lives.
Do we really have to kill an animal when there are several better alternatives to feed ourselves?
Peaceful and Happier Life
Eating meat has been linked with a higher level of testosterone and other male hormones, which tends to introduce the element of rage and anger. You are more likely to have a happy and peaceful life if you avoid meat over a longer period of time.
In addition, due to the lower calories in vegetarian food, a person may not be extremely strict with other dietary restrictions. Which means you might feel less guilty if you decide to eat a chocolate or a slice of cake.