Why I Choose to be a Vegetarian

Monday, February 8, 2016

As I mentioned in this post, one of the questions I get asked most when people find out that I am a vegetarian is "why"?  I said that I would share a more in depth post about my reasons for choosing this lifestyle, so here it is. 

I am an animal lover.    
When I really thought about it I found it really hypocritical of myself to talk about how much I love animals as I eat a burger ... you know, a cow.   Once I was educated about how farmed animals are treated I could not bring myself to be a willing participant.  And that is exactly what I was as a meat eater.  I was saying that it was OK for animals to be treated inhumanely because burgers are yummy.   I was participating in factory farming.  I went vegetarian cold turkey after watching Forks Over Knives.  Food Inc. and Vegucated just solidified my choice.   I follow organizations such as Mercy For Animals, Evolve Campaigns and VegeFriend on Facebook as a reminder that I made the right choice and to keep up to date on what is going on as far as legislation etc. 

Minimal Health Benefits. 
 Meat is not all that beneficial to your health.  White meat is better than red meat, but you don't need either of them to lead a healthy life.   People who eat less meat usually eat less calories and fat, weigh less, have lower cholesterol, have lower risk of cancer, and have lower risk of heart disease.  Studies have shown that people who eat more red meat were 30% more likely to die of many different causes than those who eat less.  Processed meats (hotdogs) are especially bad and usually contain carcinogens. Eating a diet which includes fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes is very healthful, you don't need meat.  So even if you don't care much about animals, going vegetarian or even flexitarian will benefit your health.   Honestly, I think I may do a whole post just on the health benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.  There is just so much to say about it!

Forks Over Knives is a good documentary to watch about the benefits of a Vegan lifestyle, there is also a book and a cookbook of the same name.  And the two people who created them are doctors.

It's better for the environment. 
Being the hippie that I am (or so my husband says), I care about our planet.  I don't use plastic bags or bottles, I do my best to recycle, and I try my hardest not to be wasteful.  So, why wouldn't I make a small adjustment to my diet in order to combat the biggest cause of environmental destruction ... animal agriculture.  I can't say enough about this.  You can do all things green (no plastic, economic car, save electricity) but all of these things put together wont even come close to the difference you can make by becoming a vegetarian or vegan.  I could honestly do a whole post on this alone, as well.

Watch the documentary Cowspiracy on Netflix, you will learn a lot and be compelled to learn more; I know I was.  Also, this has nothing to do with Vegetarianism but Plastic Paradise is also great.

These are just a few of the reasons I have for choosing this lifestyle.  There are a few other reasons I stick with it, such as feeling a lot better physically, having more energy, and having clearer skin.   I no longer crave meat.  I craved it for maybe a month, but now just the thought of eating it grosses me out.  I hope some of these points at least lead some people to thinking about cutting out meat or cutting back on meat consumption.  If you're thinking about going vegetarian or vegan, I hope this helps you to decide.

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