Switching To An Earthy Diet

The public appeal of a vegetarian diet has become more alluring with many groups promoting ‘Meatless Mondays’, ‘Tofurky Tuesdays’ and other special days in a bid to drop meat-intake and to promote a healthier lifestyle. But switching to vegetarianism – especially if you have been a lifelong meat-lover - is not a simple transition. Often, many individuals opt for a vegetarian diet for better health, religion or spiritual teaching or other reasons. Research suggests that vegetarian diets produce lower rates of many health problems including chronic diseases which perpetuates into the burden of the global economy. With the correct mindset, a gradual transition to this popular lifestyle can be rewarding for a lifetime.

It is better for your health 
Vegetarianism has been scientifically proven from various studies to bring numerous health benefits and vegetarians are generally said to be more health-conscious than non-vegetarians. These benefits likely result from both a reduced consumption of potentially harmful dietary components, including saturated fat, cholesterol, and heme iron and increased consumption of beneficial dietary components, including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, which are rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Enormous environmental benefits
A vegetarian diet is far more eco-friendly than an omnivorous diet. The extent to which this is true is unbeknownst to many. According to an early study, animal livestock farming contributes to 18% of global greenhouse emissions worldwide. This is more than a combined total from ships, planes, trucks and other transport vehicles.

Stop species from going extinct
Raising livestock and cultivating the feed necessary makes up an estimate of 91% of deforestation in the amazon. This deforestation is not only contributing to climate change but also in the extinction of species. The issue lies behind the idea that more land is needed to make animal products which require swathes of forest and other ancient habitats to be destructed. Wild animals are either displaced or killed in the process. A recipe of disaster - the extinction of our species.

It saves animals
One of the more common reasons to go vegetarian is to avoid the slaughter of fish and animals. According to the Sentience Institute, an estimate of 99% of the animals used for food in the U.S. come from a factory farm, where animals are kept tightly packed often under inhumane conditions before being sent to the slaughterhouse. Taking on a vegetarian diet is a testament to spare the suffering of animals.

Simplicity is key in the diet 
For those of us who look towards creating a more simple life, vegetarianism can be helpful. Food should be enjoyed — it is one of the great pleasures of life, and sometimes having too much variety of options to choose from can be difficult when making an easy decision. I found that being a vegetarian helps narrows down on my options when picking something from the store shelf or on a menu.

It could benefit the global economy
A study conducted by Oxford University found that not eating meat can help to stop £700 billion in costs associated with climate change and healthcare. An estimate of £700 -1,000 billion could be saved by transitioning to this diet. In a study published by PNAS, an animal-based diet can cost the US between $197 billion and $289 billion per year totalling up to a loss of $1.6 trillion by 2050. Think of the potential implications  facing other nations.

It is very trendy
Going vegetarian is much easier than before. With an increase in the availability of meat alternatives on market and artesian vegetarian eat-outs, you can experiment with flavours. Vegetarianism is on the rise and businesses know it! Many places are propping up catering to vegetarian tastes. Why not take advantage of them?

It is a delicious alternative diet 
Vegetarian meals can be easily substituted for ready-made meal alternatives or fresh produce. There is an abundance of YouTube videos, tried and tested recipes or vegetarian eat out options that do not compromise on taste and quality. A well-planned vegetarian diet is not only nutritionally adequate but also a fun one to maintain.

Reference list
Leitzmann, C., 'Vegetarian diets: what are the advantages?' Forum Nutr. 2005 pp. 147-156    
Segasothy, M., Phillips, PA., 'Vegetarian diet: panacea for modern lifestyle diseases?' QJM. 1999;92 pp. 531-544
Bedford, JL., Barr, SI., 'Diets and selected lifestyle practices of self-defined adult vegetarians from a population-based sample suggest they are more 'health conscious.'' Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2005 pp. 2:4
Sabate, J., The contribution of vegetarian diets to health and disease: a paradigm shift? Am J Clin Nutr. 2003, pp. 502S-507S.                                
Margulis, S., "Causes of Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon". World Bank Working Paper no. 22. 2003
Oxford Martin School, Plant-Based Diets Could Save Millions Of Lives And Dramatically Cut… , 2016
Springmann, M., Godfray, H., Rayner, M. and Scarborough, P., 2016. 'Analysis and valuation of the health and climate change benefits of dietary change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences', pp. 4146-4151

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Ben said...

I'm not vegan, but this post is making me think more about doing it. I've already been toying with the idea. Those videos of cows and pigs hanging out with people like pets really make me rethink eating meat.

Matt said...

I really enjoy eating fruits and vegetables. While I am not a vegetarian, I do eat meat only sparingly.

Kevin Brotac said...

I have not take the decision to go fully vegan but I am trying to reduce the consumption of meat. I hope I will be able to fully make it soon. It helped me a lot since I stop eating meat every day a year ago.

Aliceee Traveler said...

Some years ago I was vegetarian. All started with a trip to South India where they have a lot of veggy options. I discovered I like it and my body was doing much better. As soon as I returned to UK I find myself eating again meat (lack of easy, quick, fueling recipes). I would love to go back to earthy diet!

Mayuri said...

I am not a vegan! I prefer eating vegetarian food and once in a while, have non-veg. I feel eating vegetarian food makes me feel light and healthy. After reading this post, I might just turn fully Vegan.

Ntensibe Edgar said...

In terms of being an alternative diet, I highly agree. You have no idea, when you are still enjoying the beefy diet, how dope veggies are. On the point of sustainability, I don't really agree. That is because animals are simply enough for us all. Thing is, corporations are the ones that get so greedy and want to have all the animals for themselves, without leaving some behind for tomorrow!

Marie at Complete Literature said...

I do not eat very much meat and love fruits and vegetables. Your reasoning for the benefits is excellent.

Lily said...

I eat mostly vegetarian. It’s not a trend for me it’s a better plant based lifestyle.