12 Reasons to Become a Vegetarian: Notes of a Renegade Meat-Eater

Raised in a meat-eating family, at the age of 14 after watching a program on the ugly truths of the meat industry, I finally decided to become a vegetarian. Changing my meat-loving ways was not as hard as I believed it would be. Surprisingly, the biggest challenge I had to face was my own, normally understanding and supportive parents. They tried everything in their power – from reasoning to trickery – to make me give up my crazy idea of becoming a vegetarian.

Now after having been a vegetarian for years (though, I still eat dairy products and occasionally pastries that contain eggs), my parents have finally made peace with the fact that their daughter will not be seduced by crispy chicken wings or tender pork chops with onion-mushroom sauce.

I am happy to tell you that in all these years of not eating meat I have never developed anemia or any other disease which is attributed to vegetarianism. I am absolutely healthy, feel great and I cannot remember the last time I left the table, feeling stuffed to the point where I can hardly breathe or think.

All that said, I want to tell you up front – the purpose of this article is not to convert you into becoming a vegetarian as well. If you love meat, by all means – eat it. It is your personal choice.

The only thing I ask of you is to keep your mind opened to the idea of reducing the amount of meat you consume daily.

Because there are some convincing health reasons to do it:

1. Lower fat consumption.

Modern farm animals are deliberately fattened up to increase profits. Consequently, the meat we buy in the grocery stores is very high in cholesterol and saturated fats. That is why eating less of it is one of the simplest ways to lower blood cholesterol levels, decrease high blood pressure, and even prevent the risk of stroke – which is, by the way, the second leading cause of death in the world.

2. A stunning- looking body.

It is not often that you see an overweight vegetarian and there is a reason. Just cutting the amount of meat you consume and increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables will help you shed extra pound and stay slimmer.

3. Better-looking skin.

Now, if you stuff yourself with potato chips and fried foods every day, vegetarian or not, your skin is not going to get any better. However, on average, vegetarian diets are rich in water and antioxidants that help to flush out toxins and leave your skin looking more radiant.

4. Better nutrition.

While meat is high in proteins, calcium, vitamin B12, zinc and iron, it also contains many different chemicals and pesticides that you do not want to store in your body. Simply by planning your meals wisely, you will still get all the necessary vitamins and microelements that your body needs by eating more greens and less meat.

5. Increased energy.

When your meals consist of less meat and more vegetables, your blood sugar levels become much more stable. As a result, your energy levels will be consistent and you will not get that fatigue feeling after meals.

6. Lower amount of protein.

In the past high protein diets were promoted for weight loss and enhanced athletic ability. This myth has largely contributed to the fact that today on average we consume 150% to 400% over the recommended daily allowance of protein. It means that we eat way more meat than our body actually needs, which can lead to such long-term health problems as diabetes, heart-attack, kidney strain, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

7. Reduced amount of hormones and pesticides.

I am not going to traumatize you with all the horror stories about what happens to animals before they become “the meat”. However, the fact remains that – there are over 20,000 different drugs, including sterols, antibiotics and growth hormones that are given to cattle. It is a pity no one warns us that the hamburgers that we give to our children, besides humongous amount of saturated fats, contain at least three cancer-causing chemicals while typical beef -pork hotdogs – contain twice as much!

8. Helping the Planet.

I know that it sounds like a far-fetched claim, but never-the-less there are numerous global problems related to the fact that we consume too much meat – from the extinction of rainforests, to fresh water pollution, to inefficient grain use that contributes to world hunger. Of course, you giving up eating meat alone will not resolve these problems, but your contribution still counts.

9. Lower grocery shopping bills.

Good quality meat usually comes at a hefty price. By substituting meat with delicious-tasting vegetarian dishes a few times a week, you can noticeably cut your food bills, while keeping your family happy and healthy.

10. Longer life.

According to a study from Loma Linda University, vegetarians live about seven years longer, and vegans (who eat no animal products) about 15 years longer than meat-eaters. These findings were later backed up by the China Health Project – the largest population study on diet and health to date.

11. Higher concentration during spiritual practices.

Whether you are meditating, doing Reiki or praying, it is much easier to do it, if you avoid eating meat. I cannot give you scientific-based research to back it up. It is just my personal experience and experience of many other people I know. Maybe it is somehow related to the fact that when animals experience fear, the adrenaline rush causes the release of stress hormones into the bloodstream. With meat consumption these hormones accumulate in our body, preventing us from experiencing true relaxation and peace of mind.

12. It feels good to be a vegetarian.

As Erik Marcus, an author of “Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating”, put it “It’s a wonderful thing to be able to finish a delicious meal, knowing that no beings have suffered to make it.”
I agree!

What about you?

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EZ23HI6BLABNO23FLZCHNKAAGQ Justin

    I really enjoyed that! in fact today is my one month anniversary of BECOMING A VEGETARIAN

    Sincerly,

    Justin McCrory

    [FRESHMAN] Lapeer East High School
    http://www.justinblogslife.webs.com
    justin_mccrory@yahoo.com

    phone: 248-935-2236

    • Bill Kolang

      It’s dangerous to make blanket statements about diet and lifestyle or nutrition. Certainly everything should be had in moderation, however without individual medical testing to make sure you are digesting food properly and that you do not have allergies or sensitivities, it’s silly to just say “don’t eat this or that.”

      Since you didn’t name any specific studies, then your article is even more troubling because there are no hard facts in it. As you know there are also studies that show people who cut out grains and start eating lean, grass fed organic meats flourish, lose weight, and reduce their insulin sensitivity.

      Your article is a feel-good article that may help people reflect on their eating habits but does nothing else.

    • Arina

      Happy Vegetarian Anniversary! Let me know how it is going. :)

  • Maryam

    i personally hate meat,i really hate it , i don’t know why people say its delicious!to me it tastes like poison.but as you said i’m in a meat-eating family and my dear family members force me to eat some once in a while.its too dificult to seperate my meal from the other family members also.i agree with what you said about being slimmer.i weight about 42 kgs :) i like all kinds of vegetables.
    i’m sure i’ll become a real vegeterian oneday.

    • Arina

      I feel your pain, Maryam. Everyone in my family loves meat too. But with time they have learned the rule – if they want to eat meat, they have to prepare it themselves and I will cook the vegetables. When my vegetarian dishes turn out very good, no one seems to mind the lack of meat dishes on our dinner table. :)
        
      Wow, Maryam! 42 kgs – is very little. How tall are you? 

  • Ravi

    We here in india, Hindus believe and consume mostly vegetarain food.
    Basically nature have made homo sapiens vegetarian , this can be proved, contemplated as per following thoughts.

    1) Firstly Humans dont have claws, nails and teeth like carnivorous animals, what we do while cooking meat is, we marinate flesh in all types of herbs and spicies and make comfortable for our teeth and tongue. Carnivourous animal pounce , tear and eat flesh, this is how nature have made them, not humans.

    2) All flesh eating animals dont sweat , humans sweat.

    3) All flesh eating animals gulp water while drinking , human dont gulp but drink.

    4) All flesh eating animals have round eyes , and they can see at thier prey at night ( Nocturnal ), however humans eyes are oval shaped, and humans cant see at night.

    5) Morever eating flesh means killing animals which is cruel in its way.

    6) Eating vegetarain foods always keeps a person healthy and energetic. This is bcoz, the energy ( The ultimate energy is SUN ) is directly consume frm plants, shrubs , herbs to humans body.

    7) In yoga and Ayurved , its mentioned that our thoughts is determined or created on what we eat. ( For more details one should know VAT, PIT & KHUF ). According to ayurved there are 3 types of food , Satwik , Rajasik and Tamasik.

    8) Consuming meat is Tamasik food , eating tamasik food will create tamasik thoughts .

    9) Killing is cruelity, and humans have always believed in justice, equality, brotherhood.

    10) Consuming meat ( especially the meat having big fibre ) can lead to obesity, cancer, gastro problem.

    11) One can get protein from vegetable, fruits , cereral, whole grains and remain light weighted and live healthy life.

    12) Healthy veg food, yoga, pranayam, meditation, focusing on right thought( Holistic ), can make human being happy, confident and live better life.

    These above are my personal thoughts & dont want any arguments on this issue with anybody.
    God bless everybody.

    • Arina

      Thank you, Ravi for your contribution and detailed explanation. You have pointed out an important idea – Our body, our thoughts and our emotions are largely shaped by what we eat. This does not only apply to meat, but to all products we consume. 
      I am also very interested in Ayurvedic approach to food. Could you name other Tamasik products besides meet and explain this concept in greater detail?

  • Bill Kolang

    It’s dangerous to make blanket statements about diet and lifestyle or nutrition. Certainly everything should be had in moderation, however without individual medical testing to make sure you are digesting food properly and that you do not have allergies or sensitivities, it’s silly to just say “don’t eat this or that.”

    Since you didn’t name any specific studies, then your article is even more troubling because there are no hard facts in it. As you know there are also studies that show people who cut out grains and start eating lean, grass fed organic meats flourish, lose weight, and reduce their insulin sensitivity.

    Your article is a feel-good article that may help people reflect on their eating habits but does nothing else.

  • Rrvps

    Has someon done any research on How Animals drink water. I am under the impression that all the meat eating animals lick water whereas Vegeterian animals gulp water. Any of you guys have any details on that? It is to find out if a human is designed to be a Vegeterian or no Vegeterian by mother nature.