As someone who has been a vegetarian for her whole life, I am a walking testament to the fact that yes, you can survive without meat for more than a few hours. There have been many studies citing vegetarianism as a means of longevity through diet, even adding up to 13 years to your life. Even if being a vegetarian isn’t something that you could stick with, try it for a great detox, and you’ll be looking and feeling your healthiest in no time. Take a second to clear your mind of the hippie stereotypes, and immerse yourself with the facts behind the awesomeness of being a vegetarian.
Many vegetarians choose a meat-free diet because it’s animal-friendly. According to the Vegetarian Times, 10 billion animals per year are slaughtered for consumption. Today, most animals are factory farmed in horrific conditions and slaughtered in inhumane ways, because they are not protected under anti-animal cruelty laws. If the moral aspects are not appealing enough, more factory farmed animals are often fed antibiotics or forms of pesticides, which directly affect a human digestion system when consumed as well.
Vegetarians help to reduce pollution as well as avoid excessive use of chemicals that can be very toxic. The meat industry has many poor affects on the environment, mostly through polluting water sources. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency cited 95 percent of residue from pesticides present in human diet comes from meat products, including fish.
It fights disease
Vegetarianism has been linked to reducing the risk of cancer, keep weight at a healthy level, build strong bones, promote faster metabolic rates, and has been cited as the single most effective way to reduce the progression of coronary artery disease.
You’ll look and feel your best
Clearer complexion, shinier hair, a slimmer waste line, anyone? Vegetarians reap all of these benefits, not to mention the good nutrition also creates more energy. Too much fat from food with high saturated fat content and animal fats decrease the amount of oxygen that flows to muscles because it does not allow arteries to open properly. Staples of a vegetarian diet like whole grains, vegetables and fruit are great sources of antioxidants and complex carbohydrates. Put simply, pure fuel.
It’s easier than you think
Going veggie can seem intimidating to those who are used to going straight for the meat items in a grocery store or on a menu, but as a seasoned vegetarian I can testify that there are a lot of meat-free options that tend to be overlooked. Combining vegetables from the salad bar with a rice or pasta dish can go a long way and be delicious and healthy – vegetables go with everything! Also, living on a vegetarian diet mainly consisting of fresh produce, dairy, eggs, and grains is much cheaper than buying meat items on a weekly basis on top of it all.
What do you think?
Are you or have you ever tried to become a vegetarian? What are your favorite vegetarian dishes or recipes? Let us know in the comments section below!