Opting to forgo meat can bring about a shift in lifestyle. The choice to embrace a plant-based or vegetarian diet is often driven by factors including concerns about the environment, personal health, and animal welfare. 18 reasons to contemplate eliminating meat from your diet are listed here.
Enhanced heart health
Extensive research has consistently demonstrated that people who follow a vegetarian diet have a lower risk of heart disease than those who eat meat. A Nuffield Department of Population Health study of over 1.4 million people over 30 years declared that “each 50 g/day higher intake of processed meat (e.g., bacon, ham, and sausages) increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 18%, [and] each 50 g/day higher intake of unprocessed red meat (such as beef, lamb, and pork) increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 9%.”
Reduced risk of cancer
Ever heard the term ‘You are what you eat?’ Studies such as this one mentioned on the Harvard Health website show a correlation between red meat and the risk of colon cancer. By cutting out meat from your diet, you could potentially decrease your risk of certain types of cancer, like colon cancer.
Many people find it easier to shed pounds when they abstain from eating meat. A vegetarian diet usually includes food items such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains, which can offer fewer calories and less fat. These foods fill you up but don’t make you feel stuffed, compared to diets that include meat: this makes it simpler to manage weight effectively and prevent obesity.
Meat production stands as one of the main contributors to deforestation, water depletion, and climate change. The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment states that 18% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are attributed to various meat production sources, with carbon dioxide accounting for around 9% and methane gas contributing about 37%. Abstaining from meat consumption helps the planet.
Concern for animal welfare
The production processes involved in meat often give rise to concerns regarding animal welfare due to the various practices employed. Choosing to refrain from consuming meat signifies a stance against animal cruelty and the hostile conditions that animals endure in farming practices.
Plant-based diets are rich in fiber, and we all know that fiber, which is good for your body, promotes digestion. This helps to prevent constipation. On the other hand, meat products, such as red meat, can be more challenging for the body to digest.
Excessive use of antibiotics
For decades, the excessive use of antibiotics in livestock has been contributing to the emergence of antibiotic bacteria. This develops a resistance to human medicine. Reducing meat consumption can help address this health concern.
Risk of type 2 diabetes
A study by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has shown how consuming processed and red meats may elevate the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Conversely, a plant-based diet can lower the risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure, and prevent the buildup of cholesterol, ultimately promoting heart health.
Many people choose to refrain from eating meat because they believe it’s morally incorrect to kill animals for food when there are plant-based alternatives available. There’s no doubt that the idea of killing animals to eat them doesn’t sit well with many.
Low blood pressure
Vegetarian diets have been linked to lower blood pressure levels, whereas processed meats such as sausages, bacon, and red meat products are high in fats and salts and are linked to high blood pressure. This association is partially due to factors such as body weight and a higher intake of fruits and vegetables.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
The impact on the climate of eating meat and dairy, according to CarbonBrief, accounts for over 14% of greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock farming contributes significantly to methane emissions, which is a greenhouse gas. By choosing not to consume meat, you actively contribute toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Conserving water resources
The production of meat requires an enormous amount of water. An example is when producing a pound of beef equates to twice the amount of water compared to producing an equivalent weight of grains or vegetables. Conserving water should be a crucial priority.
The rapid expansion of livestock farming is one of the many leading causes of habitat devastation and the extinction of a multitude of species of wildlife and green spaces. Opting for a diet without meat can play a role in safeguarding natural habitats and preserving biodiversity.
Improving cholesterol profiles
Adopting a plant-based diet can lead to improvements in cholesterol levels by reducing LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides, thereby promoting better heart health overall. High levels of these put you at risk of strokes and heart disease.
Boosting energy levels
Compared to feeling sluggish after you’ve eaten a meal with a majority of meat, plant-based foods give you energy. People often experience an improved sense of well-being when they eliminate meat from their diets because of the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants found in plant-based foods.
Ensuring food safety
There have been many stories in the media about E. coli and salmonella from raw chicken or pathogens making people sick due to exposure to bacteria and fungi. This is due to food safety regulations not being followed.
What most meat production companies fail to realize is that plant-based production is not only better for the environment and people but is also more cost-effective. When the focus remains on affordable seasonal vegetables, seeds, grains, legumes, and fruits, it’s more affordable for production and distribution.
Showcasing support for farms
Supporting small-scale farmers helps the economy grow. When you show your support for them, their businesses grow, and they can cultivate more vegetables, fruits, and grains instead of supporting the production of meat products.
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