Monday, December 20, 2010

Why I Am

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." ~ Albert Einstein

I get asked the question of why I am a vegetarian a lot. It's a hard answer to sum up because for me, it's for a variety of reasons. So, I thought I'd take the time today to list MY reasons, as well as provide this link to a Vegetarian Starter Kit (compliments of PETA) to those of you who may be interested in learning more, or just want to get hooked up with some great new meatless recipes! Oh, and trust me, you can click on this link and NOT get bombarded with animal violence propaganda *(I'm not a huge PETA follower myself, nor are ALL vegetarians).

First off, I am actually what's classified as a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian. This means I still consume dairy (lacto) and eggs (ovo) but do not eat anything that involves killing of the animal. I've yet to fully adopt this animal-free practice to everything I consume (such as purses and clothing), but hope to one day work harder towards accomplishing that.

1. LOVE fresh fruits and vegetables and believe in allowing yourself to eat what you like. Luckily, I've always been drawn to natural and fresh foods which I don't have to moderate since they're so healthy. If you're an indulgent eater and are looking to practice new eating habits, I highly recommend you try replacing some of those unhealthy items with different kinds of flavorful and delicious fruits and veggies. My fav. health snacks are: snap peas, avocados, edaname, cutie oranges, apples, and grapes. There are also SO MANY meatless options out there now too. My favs. are Morningstar Burger Crumbles, Black Bean, and Gardenburgers, and Boca Chicken Patties. 

2. Health benefits. Did you know that being a vegetarian automatically reduces your risk from certain cancers and diabetes? A vegetarian diet also helps in lowering blood pressure, healthier skin, and aid in better digestion. 

3. Increased energy! I remember when I used to eat meat (over 10 years ago) that I would feel sluggish and tires afterwards. As taken from this site, "The word "vegetare" means "to enliven" or to fill with good spirits. When the Romans called someone a "vegetarian," they were not calling him a "vegetable eater," but instead were referring to him as a vigorous person, sound in mind and body." I absolutely feel more alive when I stock up on food fuel from protein-rich foods such as beans and lentils, nuts, and soy.

4. Animal rights. I have a love for animals and have always felt a special connection with them that goes beyond just viewing them as cute things to look at and cuddle with. I therefore cannot rationalize the reason behind why one would sacrifice the life of another for the sake of their hunger. 

5. Better for the economy. As taken from this site, "Livestock farming is the by far less effective way of producing proteins and calories compared to a vegetarian diet. It takes many times the amount of water, energy and farmland than is necessary to grow vegetarian food. It has therefore been said that 20 vegetarians can live off the land required by one meat eater."

So, as you can see, my decision not to eat meat is due to a combination of health, moral, and economic reasons. When I share my beliefs on this matter my goal is not to make meat-eaters feel guilty (after all, most of my immediate is not, and I'm married to one), but to bring up all of the beneficial factors to explain why I choose to practice vegetarianism, and perhaps correctly educate people about some of the myths that are out there.  

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