Richard Dawkins on Vegetarianism
“What I am doing is going along with the fact that I live in a society where meat eating is accepted as the norm, and it requires a level of social courage which I havenâ€™t yet produced to break out of that. Itâ€™s a little bit like the position which many people would have held a couple of hundred years ago over slavery. Where lots of people felt morally uneasy about slavery but went along with it because the whole economy of the South depended upon slavery.“
Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has said bad eating habits are the main cause of 70 percent American deaths. Consuming more fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains are the best source for living a healthy, more enjoyable life.
By being a vegetarian you are not only helping your body but you also help the environment by reducing pollution created from animal agriculture. Also, you may appreciate your healthy meals even more knowing that no animals suffered along the way.
There are literally hundreds of great reasons to green with your diet but here are our top 10.
1. Live Longer
A study from the Loma Linda University has found that vegetarians live about seven years longer, and vegans live about 15 years longer than meat eaters. These studies are further supported by the Chinese Health Project (the largest population study on diet and health to date). They found Chinese people who eat the least amount of fat and animal products have the lowest risk of cancer, heart attack and other diseases.
Further proof comes from a British research that tracked 6,000 and 5,000 meat eaters for 12 years to find that vegetarians were 40 percent less likely to die from cancer during that time and 20 percent less likely to die from other diseases.
2. You’ll be more “regular.”
Vegetables are the ultimate source for fiber, which pushes waste out of the body. Meat contains no fiber. Studies done at Harvard and Brigham Women’s Hospital found that people who ate a high-fiber diet had a 42 percent lower risk of diverticulitis. People who eat vegetable rich diets also tend to have fewer incidences of constipation, hemorrhoids and spastic colon.
3. Have a good heart
Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidant nutrients that protect the heart and its arteries. Plus, produce contains no saturated fat or cholesterol.
Cholesterol levels for vegetarians are 14 percent lower than meat eaters. American diet that’s filled with saturated fats and cholestrol from meat and dairy has made cardiovascular disease the number one killer in the United States.
4. You’ll avoid toxic chemicals.
95 percent of pesticide residue in our diet comes from meat, fish and dairy products (according to EPA estimates). Fish, in particular, contain carcinogens (PCBs, DDT) and heavy metals (mercury, arsenic; lead, cadmium) that cannot be removed through cooking or freezing. Meat and dairy products are also laced with steroids and hormones.
5. You’ll give your body a spring cleaning.
Fruit and vegetable juices contain phytochemicals that help us detox naturally. Giving up meat helps rid the body of toxins (environmental pollutants, pesticides, preservatives) that overload our systems and cause illness.
6. You Will Look Better And Skinnier
On average, vegetarians are slimmer than meat eaters. Vegetarian diets are much lower in calories than the standard American diet. Vegetarians are also less likely to suffer from weight-related disorders like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
7. Think of The Money You Will Save
Replacing meat, chicken and fish with vegetables and fruits is estimated to cut food bills by an average of $4,000 a year.
8. Help the environment
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. And that’s not even counting the methane gas released by cows, pigs and poultry (which contributes to the greenhouse effect); the ammonia gases from urine; poison gases that emanate from manure lagoons; toxic chemicals from pesticides; and exhaust from farm equipment used to raise feed for animals.
9. More Efficient
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. In addition, using land for animal agriculture is inefficient in terms of maximizing food production. According to the journal Soil and Water, one acre of land could produce 50,000 pounds of tomatoes, 40,000 pounds of potatoes, 30,000 pounds of carrots or just 250 pounds of beef.
10. Its The Right Thing To Do
“Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
- Albert Einstein
Did you know 22 million animals are slaughtered to support the American appetite for meat? Its a great feeling to finish a health meal knowing that no beings have suffered.
* World Watch Vital Signs (W.W. Norton, 1998)
* 101 Reasons Why I’m a Vegetarian by Pamela Teisler-Rice (Viva Vegie Society, 1995)
* Vegetarian Times’ Vegetarian Beginnet’s Guide (Macmillan, 1996)
* The Vegan Sourcebook by Joanne Stepaniak, M.S., E.D. (Lowell House, 1998)
* Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating by Erik Marcus (McBooks Press, 1998)
* The Perfectly Contented Meat-Eater’s Guide to Vegetarianism by Mark Warren Reinhardt (Continuum, 1998)
* 365 Good Reasons to be Vegetarian by Victor Parachin (Avery Publishing Group, 1998)
So you want to be a vegetarian, but you need some help? Â How about a list of vegetarian restaurants to get you started? Â Whether its a personal chef, a favorite diner or a vegetarian support group, our yellow pages will steer you in the right direction. Â Going to a PETA rally in Washington? Â You’ll need a Seattle hotel and a list of all the animal friendly restaurants in the area. Â Your future is a click away!