“The standard diet of a meat-eater is blood, flesh, veins, muscles, tendons and [cow and hen parts]. And once a year during a certain holiday, [meat-eaters use a hollowed-out dead bird as a pressure cooker for stuffing]. And people think vegans are weird because we eat tofu?”
– Vegan bodybuilder Robert Cheeke
Why should one become vegan or at least eat more plant-based meals? Let me count thy ways:
1) Health reasons: According to the ADA (American Dietetics Association), adequately planned vegetarian/vegan diets are nutritionally sound and may help reduce risk of chronic disease (cancer, heart disease, diabetes). What’s more, vegetarian/vegan diets may increase vitality and energy. As quoted by ancient texts, “Health is not the absence of disease but the presence of vitality; a dynamic balance between mind, body and emotions”. In addition, vegan diets are linked to lower BMI’s (meaning healthier weights for a given height).
2) Ethical reasons: If you wouldn’t eat a dog or cat, you shouldn’t eat a chicken. A vegan diet is all about compassion and the idea that all creatures on earth are connected on some deep level. One could arguably say that many animals are naturally carnivorous. However, these animals hunt and kill their prey without use of weapons. Would us humans kill, skin and prep a chicken or pig ourselves, without feeling grossed out or saddened? Don’t think so! It all boils down to the fact that human beings have a choice. We don’t need to eat animals to survive anymore, like we did back in the day (total throwback, haha). Chickens, pigs and cows are intelligent and sentient beings, and eating them, especially when they have been factory farmed, is to support an industry where torture is at the forefront. Step 1. Watch Food Inc. Step 2. Watch Earthlings (to quote my adored Ellen DeGeneres “Earthlings makes Food Inc. look like a Disney movie”). Caution: the latter documentary is very graphic.
Watch this PETA video that was banned. Have a little compassion:
This little piggy went to the market:
3) Environmental reasons: a recent UN report revealed that meat consumption contributed 40% more greenhouse gases than all transportation methods combined (cars, planes, trains, etc).
4) Economical reasons: Vegan diets can help you save your hard-earned buckaroos. Many vegans center their diet around grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds, all of which can be bought inexpensively, especially if purchased in bulk. Buying produce when it is in season can also ease the burden on your wallet. The average vegan saves 3.50$ a day, that`s 1176$ a year (hello trip down South)!
5) Gastronomical reasons: Gone are the days when being vegan meant having bland romaine lettuce with a side of shredded carrots. Vegan and vegetarian cookbooks are popping up all over the internet, and they’ll have you salivating before you can say “I like turtles” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMNry4PE93Y – this guy knows…).
To conclude, Paul McCartney put it rather nicely: “If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you could do. It’s staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty.”
If you aren’t ready to convert to veganism (no, it’s not a sect 😉 ) perhaps try gradually increasing plant-based meals in your diet and see how you feel. 🙂
Word 🙂 .