There are many reasons people choose to be vegetarian. My reason is simply because I love animals and I don't want to eat them. I don't give anyone who isn't a vegetarian a hard time, but one of the reasons I started this blog is to inspire those who are considering giving up meat to go all the way.
Whether you're considering a meat-free diet for ethical, health or financial reasons, going vegetarian is one of the best decisions you'll ever make. Just take a look at some of the inspirational reasons below.
Ten fabulous reasons to be a vegetarian
1. For the love of animals.
It's quite simple really. If you love animals, this is a very good reason to stop eating them. In fact becoming a vegetarian will save the lives of around 100 animals every year.
2. Help put a stop to factory farming.
The reality of factory farming and food processing is quite confronting. Millions of animals are suffering in abject misery in factory farms. Be brave and watch the video below. It might change your life.
Video source: Animals Australia Make it Possible campaign.
All animals deserve a life free from abuse and I urge everyone to explore and understand the issues of factory farming.
3. It's good for you.
Becoming a vegetarian will increase your life expectancy and reduces your chances of developing stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. And get this: the most common cause of choking deaths is from eating meat.
4. It's environmentally friendly.
By eliminating meat from your diet, you can save forests, help conserve our non-renewable sources of energy and contribute to water and soil conservation. The livestock industry is one of the main contributors to the earth's environmental problems. Did you know it takes 70 times the amount of fossil fuel to produce 1kg of beef protein than it does to produce 1kg of soybeans?
5. Vegetarian food is delicious.
Eliminating meat from your diet introduces you to a whole new world of eating. You'll discover all sorts of exotic ingredients and will be inspired to try a vast variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices you may never have known existed. Your appreciation for these new tastes will be heightened because a vegetarian diet is never boring.
6. You can lose weight.
Vegetarians are generally leaner than meat eaters. Our body weight is between 3% and 20% lower than our carnivore friends. Adopting a balanced vegetarian diet can be a great way to lose weight.
7. You'll save money.
Meat, chicken and fish are expensive. The same amount of protein can be consumed by eating tofu instead of meat for around half the price.
8. Significantly reduce world hunger.
Land in developing countries is being used to produce and export crops to feed farmed animals in developed countries. These vast expanses of land could instead be used to produce crops for starving humans. Additionally, more than one third of the world's edible harvests are being fed to farm animals. That's enough food to feed about 3 billion people.
9. Vegetarianism is believed to be a human's natural diet.
Anatomically we are optimised for eating plant foods. Our jaws and teeth are designed for grinding and crushing, not for ripping flesh. Human saliva contains an enzyme specifically used to digest carbohydrates. Our flattened fingernails are not designed to tear open a dead carcass.
10. You'll look and feel great.
Your skin will be clearer and you'll have a natural glow about you. Your stomach won't struggle with digestion for hours after a meal and you'll become more "regular". You will breathe easier and feel more energised.
And lastly, please take the time to watch this truly inspirational video by key speakers Philip Wollen, Peter Siddle, Moira Rayner and Pam Ahern, addressing the question "Is Caring for Animals Still a Radical Pursuit?" at the Evening of Kindness event held in Melbourne, Australia, October 2013.
Video source: Edgar's Mission Evening of Kindness event.
Animals Australia website
The Comparative Anatomy of Eating by Milton R. Mills M.D.
Humans are naturally plant-eaters by Michael Bluejay
Animal photos were taken at Edgar's Mission in Victoria, Australia, a beautiful sanctuary for rescued farm animals.