A few months ago (April 2010) I wrote a post called “A Starter's Guide to being a Vegetarian
I though it was about time to take this further so that you can find out more about the diet, lifestyle as well as its impact on your and the planet's health.
Vegetarianism is the common term used to describe a diet which omits certain or all types of meat and/or animal derived products. As there are different vegetarian diets so there are different terms used to describe each of them.
There are four reasons why people choose to become vegetarians
- Cruelty-free. Many feel there is no totally humane way to take a life. An animal is just as capable of feeling fear and panic because it has a heart and a brain. An animal has an instinct for survival just as any human being has. So if you care about animals, this is a good reason to choose a vegetarian lifestyle.
- The environment - the meat industry has a destructive impact on our environment and is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases and global warming. It is also responsible for de-forestation as well as the depletion of natural resources, fuels, fresh water and more. If you care about the earth this is another good reason to go vegetarian.
- Your health - vegetables are really good for you while eating meat often leaves us sluggish, bloated and constipated. In addition, some meats are high in cholesterol and contain additives. A vegetarian diet is low in saturated and total fat, cutting down the risk of diseases. If you use animal-derived products such as eggs and dairy, make sure eggs are free-range and dairy free from bovine growth hormones. When you are preparing your vegetables, try to eat as many of them in their natural raw state – they will be even better for you.
- Culture and/or religion – another reason why some choose a vegetarian lifestyle.
If you decide to go vegetarian, you will appreciate the value of all life as well as a respect for your planet Earth. You will become more aware of what you put into your body plus making sure that what you buy does not contain hidden animal ingredients. You need to make sure you eat a balanced diet containing all the nutrients your body requires to function at its optimum including essential nutrients such as proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.
It can be quite hard work at the beginning until you get into the swing of it. And you may get a lot of flak from those around you who sometimes totally dismiss the idea of being a vegetarian. Don't let that put you off!
Remind them that vegetarians can be just as healthy and may even live longer!