Ever heard of “Hug a Vegetarian Day”? I am pretty sure you think I am making this up. But no, it is real, and if you know someone who is a vegetarian, go hug them!
I have been a vegetarian for over six years now and it has really been the best decision I have ever made in my life.
I lost some superfluous weight back then, and nine months ago I got a perfect bill of physical health. My first A+!
- An interesting fact: for every vegetarian out there, up to 100 animals are saved each year.
But being a vegetarian is not just about that. Another advantage of following this way of life is that it helps the environment, and it leads to an improvement of your health, too.
Remember, you just have to make sure you get the proteins, minerals, and vitamins you need via other sources than meat.
In fact, you can try to do what some people are experimenting on: eating vegetarian meals once, twice or three days a week. You can still make part of the change that will contribute to the world and also to yourself.
Check out how being a vegetarian can do wonders:
Helping the environment
The production of grains, fruits and vegetables:
- Discharges less CO₂than meat. For example, one steak weighs 66 times more on the environment than one serving of potatoes does, which means that one vegetarian protects the Earthfrom approximately 1 ton of carbon dioxide per year overall.
- Uses up to 1,000 times less water than the meat production.
- Uses a lot less energy (for the heating of stables, and the transportation of the food for the animals)
- Protects against overgrazing, soil erosion, and deforestation.
- Pollutes less.
Source: Professor Jørgen E. Olesen, Aarhus University, FAO, The Council of Agriculture (Denmark), among others.
Helping the animals
In conventional farming, the efficiency is so high that it goes beyond animal welfare -both in the stables and when they are sent to the slaughterhouse. Not even the modern fisheries production -with the overfishing, discarded bycatch, big fish hatcheries and medication- is unproblematic for the fish and our conscience.
Helping your health
There are several benefits of eating a vegetarian-based diet such as extending your lifespan. The risk of getting heart diseases or even a number of some forms of cancers lowers. You will not get any kind of meat bacteria like salmonella or campylobacter or leftover hormones, and medicine used in animal breeding.
Source: The Health Association (Denmark), WWF, British Medical Journal, among others
If you choose to get your animal products from organic farms, you’re supporting animal welfare and thereby actually helping the animals after all.
If you choose to have two -or more if you are up for it!- meatless days (Meatless Mondays, Fish Fridays. Of course you choose which days you want to eat vegetarian food) during the week, you are not only helping the environment, but you are helping your health.
It can be hard to go 100% vegetarian, but to be vegetarian for just two days a week is actually a really good way to get a healthy and varying diet. Plus, you get to try something new!
Tell us in the comments if you can dare to go at least one day without meat, and don’t forget to hug your veggie friends!