Hello readers! Let me just start by saying that I’m not a vegetarian. My diet consists of a lot of vegetarian friendly foods, however, I still enjoy eating meat every now and then. However, I have a lot of respect for, and understanding of those who choose a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. For this reason, I have been participating in Meatless Mondays, and here’s my lengthy list of reasons why.
1. Eating Less Meat Will Help You Live Longer!
Data from a long term study of almost 2000 vegetarians, conducted by the German Cancer Research Center, concluded that vegetarian men reduced their risk of early death by 50%, and women reduced theirs by 30%
Also, consuming red and processed meats is linked to an increase in total mortality, and mortality from cancer and cardiovascular disease.
2. You Will Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the meat industry generates one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions are responsible for accelerating climate change. In addition, if you buy produce from a local farmers market, you are saving the gas that’s needed to transport the meat to your nearest grocery store.
3. Reduce Obesity and Diabetes!
Being that I am from Northern California, a healthy diet has been engrained in me from an early age. However, college was a tough time to stay super healthy with all the pizza and Ramen. Living in New York City has also proven challenging. Healthy food here is much more expensive. Not to mention, an on-the-go lifestyle is much more conducive to eating out, resulting in you having less of an idea about what you’re actually eating. On the bright side, if you commit to being healthy just one day a week (to start) and cut out the meat, you’ll be doing your body a huge favor!
A recent study from the Imperial College London found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain. As for diabetes, research suggests that eating processed or red meat can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
4. Save Water!
To my surprise, it takes a shocking amount of water to hydrate livestock. Much more than is required for veggies and grains. It’s estimated that a single pound of beef requires 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water while a pound of soy tofu needs only 220 gallons.
5. Reduce Fossil Fuel
It only takes 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of plant-based protein, while it takes around 40 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of feed lot beef.
6. Reduce Your Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease
There’s enough evidence to prove that eating a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk of cancer. In addition, a diet low in foods containing high levels of saturated fat is likely to reduce you risk of heart disease. So give it a try and eat more fruits and veggies! At the end of the day, it will only improve your overall health, not to mention your waistline.
7. It’s Delicious!
Don’t just take my word for it, but I think most all vegetarian food is great! I know many people aren’t on board, but I say try a few different dishes, and you might just be surprised. There are a lot of sneaky meat substitutes that you can use, and you might not even really taste a difference. Also, I bet you that if you eat a healthy meatless meal, you’ll probably feel excellent after, especially when you take all of the health benefits, and benefits to our plant and the animals, into consideration.
So in conclusion, I’m challenging all of you who haven’t already tried to give meatless Monday a try! It’s only one day, and when you think of all the positive impacts your choices will make, why not?
If you have any vegetarian recipes that you enjoy, please feel free to share!
For more info about the benefits of going meatless, and for delicious vegetarian recipes, go to Meatless Monday’s website:
For more info on how to be not just meatless, but sustainable, head to the Sustainable Table’s website: