Is becoming a vegetarian right for you?

March 15, 2013
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Noun: A person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, esp. for moral, religious, or health reasons.

Vegetarian is a very strong, sometimes scary word. It, as the definition says, is backed by someone’s morals, religion, or health consciousness. Usually the motivation behind it is unique to that person, but there are endless benefits to leaving meat out of your diet.

Most people look at the personal health benefits. Eating vegetables can lead to weight loss, clearer arteries, and a lower risk for several diseases. Plants aren’t processed. They can even be grown in your own backyard without a special permit or living in the country. Vegetables have fewer calories than proteins and carbohydrates. Another thing than makes fruits and vegetables are also healthy for their high water content. Clearer arteries appear when someone becomes a vegetarian as proven by Dean Ornish, MD, in 1987. Dropping meat from your diet can also lead to a lower risk for many illnesses. The American Journal of Cardiology decided, in 2009, that: “Only pure vegetarians, for practical purposes, do not need statins.” proof that being a vegetarian can help stop heart disease. In a study completed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the results were startling. They found that type 2 diabetes could be reversed by eating a plant-based diet. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Overeating is another big problem in this country. Every year of 70,000 people die due to obesity which is the result of to much fat and sugar in our diet. Since vegetarians are careful about what they put into their bodies, they are less likely to overeat. This is the first year that more people will die from eating too much rather than not enough.

The other things to consider are the global effects. Becoming a vegetarian affects more than just you. It causes a chain reaction. It can help feed the hungry. One third of the global grain and 90 percent (yes 90%) of the soy harvest goes to feed livestock. If we lowered the amount of livestock, we could give more grains to the hungry. The animals don’t go as far as their food could. 800 million people could be fed with the food the US uses for slaughter animals that feed far less and only those who can afford to buy it. Many of us have heard about animal cruelty on slaughter farms from the news, books, or TV shows. Most people aren’t worried about it too much because there are laws that protect animals. Unfortunately, there are very few, and they aren’t strictly enforced. The majority of the big companies are more worried about how much they can produce in how little time. They don’t care about the suffering animals on their overcrowded farms; they only care about their profit. 286 chickens are killed per second. Birds are not included under the laws against animal cruelty. Being a vegetarian also helps stop climate change. 20 percent of green house gas emissions are attributed to the raising of animals from food says the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. Some other researchers claim that the number is closer to 50 percent. The average American eats around 200 pounds of meat every year. If we stopped, or at least slowed, our intake of meat then we could reduce global warming. Not to mention help our economy. Meat and processed food is causing many people to become ill. If it continues than the cost of health care will bankrupt our country.

In closing, consider leaving meat out of your diet. Bring about change in yourself and the world around you. Becoming a vegetarian can seem like an impossible feat; start one day at a time. Figure out your answer to, “Why?”

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