“Why is a whole food, plant based diet so much better than eating animals?”
1. It’s good for your body.
2. It’s good for the planet.
And, by the way, #3… it’s good for the animals.
Here are the other top 22 reasons…
1 You’ll live a lot longer (and better!). Vegetarians live about seven years longer, and vegans (who eat no animal products) about 15 years longer than meat eaters, according to a study from Loma Linda University.
2 You’ll save your heart. Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer in the United States, and the standard American diet (SAD) that’s laden with saturated fat and cholesterol from meat and dairy is largely to blame.
3 You can put more money in your mutual fund. Replacing meat, chicken and fish with vegetables and fruits is estimated to cut food bills by an average of $4,000 a year.
4 You’ll reduce your risk of cancer. A study in The International Journal of Cancer concluded that red meat is strongly associated with breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute says that women who eat meat every day are nearly four times more likely to get breast cancer than those who don’t.
5. You’ll add color to your plate. Meat, chicken and fish tend to come in boring shades of brown and beige, but fruits and vegetables come in all colors of the rainbow. Disease-fighting phytochemicals are responsible for giving produce their rich, varied hues.
6 You’ll fit into your old jeans. On average, vegetarians are slimmer than meat eaters, and when we diet, we keep the weight off up to seven years longer.
7 You’ll give your body a spring cleaning. Giving up meat helps purge the body of toxins (pesticides, environmental pollutants, preservatives) that overload our systems and cause illness.
8 You’ll make a strong political statement. Each day, 22 million animals are slaughtered to support the American appetite for meat. “It’s a wonderful thing to be able to finish a delicious meal, knowing that no beings have suffered [to make it],” says Erik Marcus, author of Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating (McBooks, 1998).
9 Your meals will taste delicious. “Vegetables are endlessly interesting to cook and a joy to eat,” says Deborah Madison, founding chef of Greens restaurant in San Francisco and author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
10 You’ll help reduce waste and air pollution. Circle 4 Farms in Milford, Utah, which raises 2.5 million pigs every year, creates more waste than the entire city of Los Angeles. And this is just one farm. Each year, the nation’s factory farms, collectively produce 2 billion tons of manure, a substance that’s rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of the country’s top 10 pollutants
11 Your bones will last longer. The average bone loss for a vegetarian woman at age 65 is 18 percent; for non-vegetarian women, it’s double that. Researchers attribute this to the consumption of excess protein–the average meat-eating American woman eats 144 percent over the recommended daily allowance; the average man eats 175 percent more.
12 You’ll help reduce famine. Right now, 72 percent of all grain produced in the United States is fed to animals raised for slaughter. It takes 15 pounds of feed to get one pound of meat. But if the grain were given directly to people, there’d be enough food to feed the entire planet.
13 You’ll avoid toxic chemicals. The EPA estimates that nearly 95 percent of pesticide residue in our diet comes from meat, fish and dairy products.
14 You’ll protect yourself from food-borne illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that among Americans, there were approximately 80 million incidences of food-borne illness a year–resulting in 9,000 deaths.
15 You may get rid of your back problems. “Back pain appears to begin, not in the back, but in the arteries,” says Neil Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and author of Foods That Fight Pain (Harmony Books, 1998). “Eating a plant-based diet keeps these arteries clear of cholesterol-causing blockages to help maintain a healthy back.
16 You’ll be more “regular.” Eating a lot of vegetables necessarily means consuming fiber, which pushes waste out of the body. Meat contains no fiber.
17 You’ll cool those hot flashes. Plants, grains and legumes–especially soy–contain phytoestrogens that are believed to balance fluctuating hormones, so vegetarian women tend to go through menopause with fewer complaints of sleep problems, hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, weight gain, depression and a diminished sex drive.
18 You’ll help to bring down the national debt. We spend between $60 billion to $120 billion annually to treat the heart disease, cancer, obesity, and food poisoning that are byproducts of a diet heavy on animal products.
19 You’ll preserve our fish population. Because of our voracious appetite for fish, 39 percent of the oceans’ fish species are overharvested, and the Food & Agriculture Organization reports that 11 of 15 of the world’s major fishing grounds have become depleted.
20 You’ll help protect the purity of water. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, but just 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat. Not only is this wasteful, but it contributes to rampant water pollution.
21 You’ll provide a great role model for your kids. “If you set a good example and feed your children good food, chances are they’ll live a longer and healthier life,” says Christine Beard, a certified nutrition educator and author of Become a Vegetarian in 5 Easy Steps
and finally # 22
22 Going plant based is very easy to do. Vegan cooking has never been so simple. Supermarkets carry packaged convenience foods like tofu hot dogs, veggie burgers and soy yogurt, milk and cheeses. There’s greater availability of vegetarian options in mall and arena food courts. Many more restaurants specializing in vegetarian food have opened, and others have added “veg-friendly” dishes to their menus. Even traditional fast food chains now offer salads, veggie burritos and vegetarian pizza.
There you have it.
25 reasons to go Veg and Plant based. Start feeling better today.