5 reasons to go veggie

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reasons-to-go-vegetarianAs 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!

Health

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.

Animal welfare

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 environment

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.

Sustainable living

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.

Fishy business

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?

7 Comments

  1. Joe on May 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I’m not a vegetarian. However, I decided I’m going to go “a while” without eating meat. I really enjoy a nice, juicy steak or rack of ribs, but there’s no reason another animal should have to die so I can choose a specific meal. I also thought I’d see how I feel and how the new diet affects my health.

    I’m only about a week into it, but I feel a difference. I feel less lethargic – almost as if more of my food intake is converted to energy. I also feel better about what I’m doing (for the sake of the animals and for the environment).

    I don’t know if this change will be permanent, but I’m enjoying it and don’t see any reason to turn back yet.



  2. Mrs Green on May 23, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Hello Joe, welcome to the site and thank you for taking time to leave a comment.

    I really enjoyed reading about your experiences and admire your stance on this.

    Not many people who enjoy meat so much will take it upon themselves to ‘have a go’ at trying not to eat it.

    It seems you are reaping some initial health and ‘feel good’ benefits. It will be interesting to see if these changes continue to an extent that you feel it is worth giving up on a more permanent basis. In the meantime keep sharing your findings, I’m sure you will help a lot of people.



  3. Wilson Pon on May 26, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Mrs. Green, you’re right about the breast cancer fact. The best method to prevent the breast cancer is to change our eating habit!

    Did you know that soy bean is effective to against the breast cancer? Those women that regularly consuming soy bean will have higher chance from getting breast cancer than those that never intake any soy bean products before!

    Although I’m still a Octogenarian, but I’m trying my best to convert into pure vegetarian in near future…



  4. Mrs Green on June 4, 2009 at 8:13 am

    @Wilson Pon: Hi Wilson, I have heard about the soya bean, yes. I have a cup of soy milk per day as I feel it helps balance my hormones. And I’ve heard exciting things that women in Japan do not suffer with menopause or the cancers that we do because of their diet.
    Well done on making dietary changes; that’s very admirable!



  5. Travis on June 17, 2009 at 1:02 am

    Mrs.Green, I appreciate the comment you left on my vegetarianism article, and I can truly say I enjoy your content just as much! It seems everything you’ve said here mirrors my thoughts as well!



  6. Mrs Green on June 18, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    @Travis: Hi Travis; great to see you. Yes, I loved your article; very real, honest and insightful. Good to meet someone with a like-mind in the blogosphere!



  7. The meat-free alternative « a very foodly diary on October 8, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    […] omnivore, even though I believe philosophically and physiologically in vegetarianism [see little green blog for some excellent reasons to consider vegetarianism]. I am sure, to some at least, that makes me […]



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