Switching to a vegetarian diet has many benefits, including benefits for animals, your health and the planet. Keep reading to see why a vegetarian diet rocks.
Protect animal welfare- Many vegetarians cut out meat because they don’t want to harm animals, which is a great reason to go vegetarian. According to various sources, it’s estimated that about 10 billion animals (some think more) are slaughtered annually for human consumption. Plus, before they’re killed, animals on the farm aren’t treated well at all. EVEN if you see labels such as cage free and free range. Most farm animals are crammed into cages, unable to move freely and are fed unhealthy diets packed with pesticides and antibiotics. There are zero laws in place right now to protect animals from cruelty. States that do mandate animal protection in one form or another, still usually don’t advocate basic humane protection for farm animals.
Save money- After processed foods, people spend a bulk of their grocery money on meat. Vegetarian Times notes that cutting out meat and replacing meat with more veggies, whole grains and fruits could save you about an average of 4,000 a year.
Conserve resources & protect the planet– If you want to lower your carbon footprint and help conserve resources, a vegetarian diet is the way to go. Meat causes a lot of destruction to our planet. Animal waste produced by industrial farms release greenhouse gasses into the air as do trucks that transport meat and animals. Plus transport wastes a significant amount of fossil fuels. Raising animals for meat also results in significant water and land usage. It’s estimated that it takes 600 gallons of water to make a hamburger and according to Environmental Nutrition it takes 7 tons of grains to produce just one ton of beef. Because a bulk of those grains are not grown organically, you’re looking at a ton of pesticide use as well. On top of this, it’s well known that many rural communities experience destruction due to animal farming. This destruction spans the globe too. World Wildlife Fund estimates that an area of the world’s rain forests bigger in mass than New York is destroyed each year just to create grazing land for animals raised to be dinner.
Stay healthier- Balanced vegetarian diets have been shown to be effective when it comes to preventing, treating or reversing heart disease, reducing the risk of cancer and reducing the onset of coronary artery disease. Theories abound, but most experts estimate that vegetarians stay healthier because they don’t eat animal fat, consume less cholesterol and tend to eat more fiber and antioxidant-rich produce than other folks. On top of the health benefits above, your immune system may be healthier if you eat a vegetarian diet. Most farm animals are fed low doses of antibiotics which build up over time and can contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in humans.