Vegetarianism not only spares billions of animals from horrific suffering, but also spares your waistline: in other words, meat and dairy products can make you fat, but not only that- they cause heart disease, even cancer and other degenerative diseases.
There are more reasons why people go vegetarian, and in this article I will try to present them.
HealthAccording to China Health Project, which covers the largest population study on diet and health to date, Chinese people who eat the least amount of fat and animal products, also have the lowest risk of cancer, heart attack and other chronic degenerative diseases. According to that study, vegetarians live about 7 years longer and vegans about 15 years longer than meat eaters.
A vegetarian diet is known to cover a wide range of health benefits: vegetarians to suffer less heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, various cancers, diverticular disease, bowel disorders, gall stones, kidney stones, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and nephrotic syndrome.
Vegans suffer markedly lower mortality from coronary heart disease compared to non-vegetarians, which may be related to the lower blood cholesterol levels of vegetarians. High cholesterol levels are namely the primary risk factor in heart disease, and research has suggested that a 10% reduction in blood cholesterol may be associated with a 30% reduction in the incidence of coronary heart disease (Martin, 1986). According to twelve year vegetarian study from Oxford, where 6000 vegetarians and 5000 meat-eater were compared, it was found that the incidence of coronary heart disease mortality was 28% lower in vegetarians.
High blood pressure or hypertension can contribute to heart disease, among other. The reason why vegetarians do not suffer from hypertension is not clear. Probably the reason lies in relative leanness of vegetarians- their weight is namely generally closer to desirable levels due to higher intake of dietary fibre, a lower intake of animal fat. But the reason could be also the effect of reduced sodium or increased potassium or calcium in the diets of vegetarians.
Vegetarian diets are also higher in complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre, which is beneficial for lowering blood sugar levels. For that reason vegetarianism has a positive effect on diabetes.
Vegetarianism is closely linked with lower risk of cancer: colon cancer is namely closely linked to consumption of meat and evidence also show that a vegetarian diet has benefits against breast cancer.
In diverticular diseases vegetarian diet is beneficial because of higher intake of fibers. In gall stones, which are composed of cholesterol, bile pigments and calcium salts, vegetarian diet is an advantage because it is consisted of dietary fibre and less and dietary cholesterol.
In short, vegetarians are healthier than meat-eaters: they suffer less from heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, various cancers, diverticular disease, bowel disorders, gall stones, kidney stones, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and nephrotic syndrome. Reason for that is of course their diet- World Health Organisation recommends diet low in saturated fat, sugar, salt and diet with plenty of fibre, and this is exactly what vegetarian diet is like. And there is the fact that vegetarians don't eat meat, which is full of traces of antibiotics, hormones, toxins produced by stress and pesticide residues that become concentrated from all the crops they have eaten.
AnimalsMore than 7 billion farm animals are slaughtered each year just in United States because of the production of flesh food and there is nothing law 'can' do against cruelty to animals raised for food! Animals are treated the worst possible way: cows never see a blade of grass in their life, up to five hens are crowded into a cage with floor space hardly larger than a record-cover, transported without food or water. Everyone knows animals are slaughtered for meat, but not everyone knows that these animals are raised in inhumane conditions from the time they are born. Most of them are sick: they are iron-deficient, anemic. And at the end, animals are slaughtered worst possible ways and animals do feel pain. If you burn them, they feel it. If you give them electric shocks, they feel it. Other animals feel pain in the same way and to the same degree that we humans do.
It is interesting how hypocritical we are regarding some cultures: most people are horrified that some cultures eat dogs or whales. But when you come to think about it – dog or whale is no different from the animals that Westerns eat. The difference is only cultural, not moral.
EnvironmentMost people do not look or do not think a diet as an environmental issue. But is it! Meat production is extremely inefficient: for example, by growing grain with which livestock is fed, we end up with much less food than we would have by feeding grains and other products that we grow by directly feeding humans. And this is not all, the grain used for livestock feed puts a heavy burden on the land and is responsible for most topsoil depletion, which is a serious problem in today's world and is also historically responsible for the demise of many great civilizations.
For comparison, see following numbers: annually, an acre of land can produce 40,000 pounds of potatoes, 50,000 pounds of tomatoes, or a paltry 250 pounds of beef.
And if Americans would reduce meat consumption for only 10%, there would be enough grain to feed 60 million people who die of hunger each year.
At end,we can ask ourselves why is meat so cheap if it uses so many resources. The fact is that hamburger meat would cost $35 per pound without subsidies to the agriculture industry. And yes, we are the ones who pay subsidies in form of taxes.