11 days till Veganuary, so don’t worry you don’t have to eat kale 3 times a day yet, but maybe choose a nut roast instead of turkey this Christmas. More people are becoming vegetarian or vegan each year with over 1 million in the UK not eating meat. Here are 3 main reasons and lots of tips on why being veggie is greener than the Grinch…
A vegetarian is someone who does not eat fish, meat or poultry such as chicken or turkey. A vegan is someone who does not eat any animal products which includes honey, eggs or dairy. Additionally vegetarians and vegans do not eat products or by products of slaughter, or foods which have been made using processing aid of slaughter. This is generally gelatine, animal rennet or stock. These are often found in hard cheeses, wines and sweets.
Many celebrities are vegetarians or plant based too because of the diets amazing properties, so if you choose to be meat free then you and your favourite idol will have one more thing in common. Some celebrities who I personally look up to who support being veggie or who follow the diet are Cara Delevingne, Venus Williams, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé and Emma Watson. Also many cultures believe in not eating meat. For example in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church meat-free Wednesday and Fridays are common, it is also common throughout Buddhism and 80% of India’s population are vegetarians and there are 200,000 vegans in Israel.
Now for the benefits…
One reason being vegetarian will make you a green machine is the benefit to your health. This is because a vegetarian diet is typically lower in cholesterol and fat, includes more fruits and veggies and is just overall healthier. To be scientific here a some medical gains of being meat free; it improves cardiovascular health, decreases the risk of cancer, prevents type 2 diabetes, lowers blood pressure, decreases asthma symptoms and promotes bone health.
A second reason is it saves many animals lives. You may be thinking they die peacefully or live a happy life however this is sadly not reality. Pigs, which are highly intelligent animals often never go outside and are intensively raised in big concrete farms which really could be called factories. This causes them psychological and physical stress which leads them to bite other pigs. Some cows never see grass either and the farms waste a lot of water and end up polluting rivers. Time for the next reason before this article turns into a complete horror story.
Thirdly, being vegetarian or reducing meat consumption helps the environment.
This is because producing meat emits a lot of carbon and green house gases. Eating a veggie diet produces 2.5x less carbon emissions than a meat one and by eating vegetarian for a year you could save the same amount of emissions as taking a small family car off the road for six months. To top this a veggie diet uses half the land compared to a meat diet which could reduce the 58,000km2 of rainforests each year that are cut down annually for animal agriculture. All this would help slow down climate change and help save rainforests, heathland and beautiful spots of nature.
In conclusion there is no time like the plant-powered present to become vegetarian to help protect the planet, animals and your health. So this year swap the turkey for a festive nut roast or veggie Wellington for a Christmas like no other to be greener that the Grinch.