5 reasons to go veggie
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As we are celebrating National Vegetarian week this week, what better way than to share ideas on why a vegetarian diet might benefit you and the environment!
Even if you don’t fancy giving up meat completely, you might want to cut down your meat consumption to get more variety in your diet, to reduce your carbon footprint or benefit your health.
There are lots of reasons people choose to be vegetarian. Here are 5 of them, please share yours in the comments below!
Research shows that a vegetarian diet offers a number of health benefits. A veggie diet is generally lower in saturated far, higher in fibre and richer in health-giving phytochemicals found in fruit and vegetables.
The National Cancer Research Institute in Tokyo has concluded that women who eat meat daily have almost four time greater risk of breast cancer than those who don’t eat meat.
Coronary heart disease is one of the biggest killers in the UK, but studies show that deaths from heart disease are 30% less amongst vegetarians.
Many people feel it is wrong to kill animals for food, when, nutritionally, there is no need for it. Others argue that animals and humans have equal rights and that if we feel it is wrong to kill a human, why should we kill an animal.
Some people also object to the unnatural way in which a lot of animals are reared: crowded together, often deprived of sunlight and natural behaviour, susceptible to disease, routinely mutilated and pumped with antibiotics and growth hormones.
The intensive farming of animals produces an incredible amount of pollution. For example. the most serious polluter of water in the UK is agriculture, especially factory farming.
The livestock industry produces 15-20 per cent of all the methane in the world; which can contribute to global warming.
Another consideration is the effects on the tropical rainforests. Although the expanding human population and logging is partly to lame, huge expanses of life-sustaining forest continue to be chopped down in order to create grassland to feed livestock.
It could be argues that meat is a waste of space. An acre of quality land can produce 10,000lb of green beans, 30,000lb tomatoes but only 250lb beef. Put another way, the grain and water resources that are converted into a single beefsteak meal can feed eight people for a day.
If we stopped animal farming, there would be more room for animals in their natural habitat, forests could be replanted, there would be more countryside to enjoy and greater diversity of both animal and plant life.
Fish can be contaminated by the water they swim in and the organisms they eat if either are polluted. They can contain high concentrations of pollutants such as aluminium and lead, herbicides and pesticides.
Oily fish such as mackerel are good sources of EFAs (essential fatty acids) but vegetarians needn’t miss out. You can eat EFA-rich pumpkin, sunflower, flax, sesame and hemp seeds as well as walnuts, soya beans and wheatgerm.
Salmon and trout are often farmed. Packed into floating cages which severely restrict movement, the fish are dosed with antibiotics and colourants to give ‘pinkness’ to their flash. according to the Vegetarian society, fish farmers in Scotland regularly kill up to 3,000 seals (natural predators of salmon) to protect their livestock.
Are you vegetarian? I’d like to hear the reason why! And if not, do you think vegetarianism is wrong?
Mr Green is a meat and two veg man. I’ve been vegetarian for 20 years. How would that dynamic work in your home?
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