Everybody knows, what is vegetarianism – a vegetarian does not eat meat. Millions of people are vegetarians and they have good reasons for it – eating vegetarian food is healthy, ethical and helps to save the environment. Let us explain you more in detail, why it is good to be vegetarian:
Vegetarian food is HEALTHY
- There is no nutrient necessary for optimal human functioning, which cannot be obtained from plant food.
- Animal foods are higher in fat than most plant foods, particularly saturated fats. Plants do not contain
- Meat is deficient in carbohydrates, particularly the starches that are so essential to proper health.
- Except for the b-complex, meat is largely deficient in vitamins.
- Being higher on the food chain, animal foods contain far higher concentrations of agricultural chemicals than plant foods, including pesticides, herbicides, etc.
- There are over 20,000 different drugs, including sterols, antibiotics, growth hormones and other veterinary drugs that are given to livestock animals. These drugs are consumed when animal foods are consumed.
- There are a host of bacteria and viruses, some quite dangerous that are common to animals. When I eat meat, I eat the organisms in the meat.
- Microorganisms are present in plant foods too, but their number and danger to human health is by no means comparable to that of those in meat.
- Of all the natural cancer prevention substances found: vitamin C, B-17, hydroquionenes, beta-carotene, NDGA - none has been found to be animal derived.
- The correlation between meat consumption and a wide range of diseases is well founded and includes osteoporosis, kidney stones and gallstones, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, gum disease, acne, obesity, anaemia, appendicitis, constipation, gout, high blood pressure, indigestion, piles, strokes, varicose veins and many others.
- Eating fatty meat increases your chances of having a heart attack or developing cancer.
Vegetarian food is ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
- By eating plant foods instead of animal foods, you help conserve our non-renewable sources of energy.
- Vegetarianism contributes to water conservation.
- Eating grain foods directly makes the food supply more efficient and contributes to the environment.
- When grains and legumes are used more efficiently, our precious topsoil is automatically made more efficient in its use. Vegetarian contributes to soil conservation.
- Tropical forests are destroyed daily, in part, to create more acreage to raise livestock.
- The world's fresh water shortage is being made worse by animal farming. And meat producers are the biggest polluters of water.
Vegetarian food is ETHICAL
- Millions are starving to death in Africa and still the countries there export grain to the developed world so that animals can be fattened for our dining tables.
- Animals suffer from pain and fear just as much as people do. And the majority of them in the food production spends their last hours locked in a truck, packed into a cage with hundreds of other terrified animal and then cruelly pushed into a blood soaked death chamber.
A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite.
~ Leo Tolstoy
If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
~ Paul McCartney
Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends.
~ George Bernard Shaw
How to Start?
Now you already now many reasons why to eat vegetarian food. But how to start? For many people could be impossible only to imagine not eating meat every day or even start totally vegetarian diet. But the change doesn't have to be so radical. You can start being vegetarian step by step. First, think about your everyday meals – is it necessary to eat salami and ham for breakfast, a steak for lunch and beef goulash for dinner? Try eating meat just once a day, after some time every second day, once in a week, twice in a month. If you cannot live without meat, remember, there is something like organic meat, which is more sustainable, ethical, healthy and environmentally friendly than normal meat from mass food production. Do not forget about local food either!
And last but not least, remember, that vegetarian food is not only soya and few kinds of vegetable. Do not think, that vegetarian is not tasty. On the contrary! There are very many delicious vegetarian meals and products, such as tempeh, tofu, seitan, various grains and even vegetarian sausage or salami, which taste almost the same as the real one! You will be surprised, how many easy and tasty vegetarian meals you can prepare. Check the recipes from our links. Bon appetit!
Meat Eating and Vegetarianism – Astonishing Numbers
- It takes 78 calories of fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie of beef protein; 35 calories for 1 calorie of pork; 22 calories for 1 of poultry; but just 1 calorie of fossil fuel for 1 calorie of soybeans.
- It takes 3 to 15 times as much water to produce animal protein as it does plant protein.
- It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat. If the US meat industry wasn't supported by the taxpayer paying a large proportion of its water costs, then hamburger meat would cost $35 a pound.
- It takes up to 16 pounds of soybeans and grains to produce 1 pound of beef and 3 to 6 pounds to produce 1 pound of turkey or egg.
- 50 acres of land will produce enough beef for 10 people but enough wheat to feed 120 people.
- 20 vegetarians can live off the land required by one meat eater.
- Half the rainforests in the world have been destroyed to clear ground to graze cattle to make beefburgers. The burning of the forests contributes 20% of all greenhouse gases, which is more than from transportation. Roughly 1,000 species a year become extinct because of the destruction of the rainforests. Approximately 60 million people a year die of starvation. All those lives could be saved because those people could eat grain used to fatten cattle and other farm animals – if Americans ate 10% less meat.
- Lifelong vegetarians visit hospital 22% less often than meat eaters and for shorter stays. Vegetarians have a 20% lower blood cholesterol level than meat eaters and this reduces heart attack and cancer risks considerably.
- In America, 55% of all antibiotics are fed to animals and the percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin went up from 14% in 1960 to 91% in 1988.
- In a lifetime, the average meat eater will consume 36 pigs, 36 sheep and 750 chickens and turkeys.
- In the US alone, 500,000 animals are killed for meat every hour.
Do you know, what do all these famous people have in common?
Aristotle, Alec Baldwin, Christian Bale, Brigitte Bardot, Kim Basinger, Drew Barrymore, Victoria Beckham, Orlando Bloom, Pierce Brosnan, Buddha, Lord Byron, Claudia Cardinale, Jim Carrey, Johnny Cash, John Maxwell Coetzee, Leonard Cohen, Confucius, Russell Crowe, Charles Darwin, Leonardo Da Vinci, Leonardo diCaprio, Emily Dickinson, Diogenes, Bob Dylan, Clint Eastwood, Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein, Epicurus, Gustave Flaubert, Benjamin Franklin, Gandhi, Antoni Gaudí, Richard Gere, Allen Ginsberg, Melanie Griffith, George Harrison, Josh Hartnett, Anne Hathaway, Dustin Hoffman, Janet Jackson, Franz Kafka, Nastassja Kinski, Lisa Kudrow, John Lennon, Jared Leto, Abraham Lincoln, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Gustav Mahler, Bob Marley, Paul McCartney, Ian McKellan, Madonna, Tobey Maguire, Alanis Morissette, Martina Navrátilová, Petra Němcová, Paul Newman, Sir Isaac Newton, Yoko Ono, Ovid, Gwyneth Paltrow, Pink, Brad Pitt, Joaquin Phoenix, Plato, Plutarch, Natalie Portman, Pythagoras of Samos, Robert Redford, Rainer Maria Rilke, Romain Rolland, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, JD Salinger, Claudia Schiffer, Albert Schweitzer, Peter Sellers, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lisa Simpson, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Socrates, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Superman/Clark Kent, Rabindranath Tagore, Leo Tolstoy, Liv Tyler, Eddie Vedder, Suzanne Vega, Voltaire, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, Elijah Wood
They all are / were vegetarians.
So why not you?
You can make the change every day – start from your plate!
Text sources and further reading:
International Vegetarian Union
The Vegetarian Resource Group - information, research, recepies and many more
PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) Vegetarian / Vegan Starter Kit - the guide, which will help you go vegetarian
Benefits of Vegetarianism
Blogs about Vegetarianism
Shattering The Meat Myth: Humans Are Natural Vegetarians (Kathy Freston)
The eco-diet... and it's not just about food miles (James Randerson)
Vegetarianism – Mental Benefits
Hi IQ link to being vegetarian (BBC News)
Try a Weekday Vegetarian Diet (Collin Dunn)
Various articles on vegetarianism
Go Vegetarian to Save Money (Scott McCredie)
The Origins of Modern Vegetarianism (Paul R. Amato)
Vegetarianism and Athletes
Vegetarian Diet, Nutritian, Vitamins and Minerals
Vegetarian eating for children and young people
Beyond Vegetarianism – Reports from veterans of vegetarian and raw-food diets, veganism, fruitarianism, and instinctive eating, plus new science from paleolithic diet research and clinical nutrition
How to Become Vegatarian in Easy Way
Vegetarian Comic by Phillip Cohen
Judaism and Vegetarianism
Vegetarianism in India
Other opinion – The Myths of Vegetarian (Stephen Byrnes)
Other opinion – The Truth about Vegetarianism (Lierre Keith)