I first started to become interested in becoming a vegetarian during my sophomore year of college.
That semester, I was taking a journalism class, and for one of our projects, we were challenged to write about different eating lifestyles. Once we picked our “lifestyle,” we had to immerse ourselves in that way of eating for one month. So, I decided to become a vegetarian for the next few weeks.
I loved being a vegetarian so much that after my month was up I decided to make it a more permanent part of my life.
There are many reasons why someone should become a vegetarian. Even if you only cut out a little bit of meat from your meals, you can still experience some of the many benefits from eating this way. Here are five benefits to keep in mind.
1. It Prevents and Fights Off Disease
Since vegetarians aren’t eating as much animal fat and cholesterol-laden foods, they are less likely to develop cardiovascular disease (one of the highest causes of death in women).
Meat consumption has also been linked to cancer such as colon, prostrate, gastric cancer, and breast cancer. This connection seems to be caused by the excessive amount of hormones and steroids that are injected into the meat.
2. It Boosts Your Immune System
A vegetarians’ diet is comprised of a lot of veggies and fruit. Since these foods are so rich in antioxidants, vegetarians greatly diminish their chances of getting sick. Personally, ever since I became a vegetarian, I have noticed that I don’t get colds nearly as often.
3. You’re Fighting for Animal Rights
Many animals in the meat industry are killed in very inhumane and tortuous ways. Often times, these animals are kept in tiny, disease-ridden cages or crates and are subject to extremely cruel slaughtering practices.
If you are interested in seeing a couple of documentaries on this particular subject, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret and Fast Food Nation are excellent ones to watch. Fun fact, if Americans just cut back meat once a week, 1.4 billion animals could be saved annually.
4. It Gives You Energy
If a person has too much fat in their bloodstream, their muscles will not be able to get the proper amount of oxygen, which will result in low energy. This is not as much of a problem for vegetarians because their diet isn’t as high in cholesterol and animal fat. Also, their diet is also full of high complex carbohydrates, which is a major energy booster.
5. It Decreases Toxic Chemicals
95% of pesticide residue comes from the meat that you eat. It’s especially scary because these carcinogens and heavy metals found in meat cannot be removed through cooking or freezing. Plus, meat is oftentimes so full of hormones and other chemicals that it can be very damaging to one’s health.
If you would had told me a few years ago that I was going to be a vegetarian one day, I would have laughed in your face. I was always the girl that ordered the extreme meat pizza and would eat a turkey sandwich for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, I feel so much healthier now, and I like knowing that I am standing up for animal rights. Even if you don’t want to become a full on vegetarian, try cutting out meat from a couple of meals and look for meat that says “free-range” and “organic.”