Posted on by Paula Gallagher
Every day there is more evidence about the benefits of a plant-based diet, not only for our health but also for the benefit of the planet. Going meatless can be daunting, but instead of cutting it out completely, you can start by going meat-free once per week. Many people incorporate Meatless Mondays, which Johns Hopkins launched in 2003. Currently 8% of the world is vegan, and if the remaining 92% just picked once a week, the impact would be huge.
Here are 7 reasons to consider going meatless:
1. You’ll live longer.
Research shows that most people who adopt a more plant-based diet have longer lifespans. This is even more-so the case for men. Research shows that vegetarian men reduce their risk of early mortality by 50% and women by 30%.
2. You’ll reduce your risk of chronic disease.
A vegetarian diet has been shown to reduce the risk of countless chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Red meat consumption in particular has been shown to be especially bad for us, increasing the risk of colorectal cancer.
3. You’ll save money.
According to from the US Bureau of Labor, Americans spent an average of $961 on meat in 2018 alone. Know how many lentils you can buy with that money? A whole heck of a lot!
4. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states that “livestock production is one of the major causes of the world's most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.” By preparing more vegetarian meals, we can do our part to reduce the demand in our current supply/demand model.
5. You’ll take a stand against animal cruelty.
Most animals raised in factory farms live in deplorable conditions: they are confined to small cages, not allowed to exercise or socialize, and often sit in their own filth. Again, by reducing our meat consumption we also reduce the industry’s need to produce cheap meat fast and efficiently, thereby increasing the quality of life of livestock.
6. You’ll reduce your risk of being overweight.
Research shows that vegetarian men weigh on average 7.6 kg less and vegetarian women weigh 3.3 kg less than meat-eaters. Further, vegetarian children are generally leaner and stay leaner into adolescence.
7. It’s easy.
Thankfully, there are many resources to help you with making tasty vegetarian meals. Swapping out meat is simple and inexpensive. Is spaghetti and meat sauce a regular meal in your house? Skip the ground beef and instead use a soy-based ground “beef” alternative or chopped up mushrooms. Experiment with tofu and other meatless proteins, and cook beans!
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