I’ve shared several ideas for some easy veggie recipes to get you started. But why should you bother to go forward on the vegetarian path? Of course, eating solely vegetarian isn’t necessary; many people are satisfied with inserting two or three vegetarian menus per week for any number of reasons. I personally made the decision to only eat vegetarian food. The surprise is, I’ve been just as satisfied with my diet as I used to be when I ate meat. But why eat vegetarian–how is it beneficial and how do others justify this decision?
Help Planet Earth
This is actually one of my personal favorite reasons for the fact that I’m a vegetarian. Is climate change a priority for you? Then eating vegetarian is a great way to contribute to your cause.
- Researchers at Cornell University have reported that a “meat based food system requires more energy, land, and water resources than the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet.” (A lacto-ovo vegetarian is a vegetarian who includes dairy and eggs in his or her diet.) This isn’t always the case, but in most vegetarian foods, the greenhouse gas emissions are less than meat-based foods. And greenhouse gas emissions are a cause for climate change.
- Meat comes from animals, so you can bet that those animals are eating, and producing waste. That waste is stored in fields, and they also produce harmful gases such as phosphorus and nitrogen. In addition, the waste and their harmful byproducts can seep into water sources, which can be toxic to humans as well as other living creatures.
- Yet another reason for eating vegetarian is to save our forests. All over the world, forests are being cleared to make room for animal grazing. This reduces the amount of trees that can absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. The Smithsonian Institute estimates that seven football fields’ worth of land are being cleared every minute to make room for livestock farming.
Are Humans Meant to Eat Meat?
Another argument is that human beings were never meant to eat meat. The way people are made is a point well taken:
- Authentic carnivores have teeth that can tear flesh without the aid of forks and/or knives, and the sharp claws of carnivores aren’t compatible with peoples’ soft fingernails.
- Another consideration is the true carnivore jaw, that only moves up and down. The human jaw is different, because it not only moves up and down but also from side to side.
- The human molars are more flat, where carnivore molars are far more pointed and suitable for tearing flesh.
- The carnivore stomach acid is much stronger than human stomach acid. The carnivore stomach acid is also better at killing any dangerous bacteria. The human stomach acid is much weaker and a person could end up with food poisoning where the carnivore wouldn’t.
Respect for Animals
Many feel that animals, as living beings, are due the respect and consideration that others reserve only for people. Those who advocate for animal rights can point out many examples in which animals are treated horribly. One way is in the process of being raised for the eventual purpose of being slaughtered so that their meat can be eaten by people. These terrible practices shock and sicken animal advocates. They feel that eating meat contributes to the mistreatment of animals; this is reason enough for them to be vegetarian.
The thing to remember in this category is, when you’re eating vegetarian style, it’s indeed possible to eat unhealthy. For example, potato chips are vegetarian, as are most candies or anything that contain a lot of sugar, like cookies, cakes, and pies. Of course, any kinds of greasy foods aren’t the best choice, even if they’re vegetables.
But if you eliminate or greatly reduce the above types of foods from your diet, it’s quite possible to improve your health as you eat vegetarian. One way you’re at an advantage over your meat-eating friends is that you have a lower chance of heart disease. Also, your cholesterol levels are probably going to be lower, as will your risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. In addition, your blood pressure is likely to be lower. A vegetarian’s BMI (body mass index) will probably be lower, as will his or her risk of cancer and any kind of chronic disease.
The main thing to be aware of is that there are vital nutrients you could be missing in your food choices because you’re not eating meat. You should consult with your regular physician or nutritionist, let him or her know you’re interested in being a vegetarian, and ask for their advice on what to be mindful of. It’s definitely a good idea to include your medical professionals in this kind of major change, or at minimum do your research and make sure your body is getting everything it needs. Of course, a good multivitamin would be a good thing to incorporate in your daily regimen.
Vegetarianism Connected with Spirituality
There are also people who make the choice to be vegetarian for spiritual reasons. For them, compassion for all living beings is important. They see the light of the Divine in animals as well as human beings, so eating the flesh of dead animals isn’t in balance with these beliefs. In addition, they feel that to force animals to face the slaughter to their death is inhumane. In addition, the energy of the fear these creatures feel may continue on in their meat; thus, as we eat the meat, we also make that fear a part of us.
Vegetarianism is the least destructive diet from the spiritual perspective. So it aids in a person’s connection to the soul as well as to the Divine. If people avoid killing or harming animals, this helps in the search for the Divine in us, as well as in all other living creatures.
People give many reasons for eating vegetarian. There are also several areas to consider when you think about making that choice. But even if you just want to include more meatless meals in your diet without going totally vegetarian, I hope to help you make some great choices through what I present here, and possibly become more creative in your cooking!
Do you have any comments to make as regards your reasons to go vegetarian? Please share them in the comments below.