Why Should I Become Vegetarian or Vegan?

“Oh, Lady Gaga’s job is to do outlandish things, and this certainly qualifies as outlandish because meat is something you want to avoid putting on or in your body.” ~ PETA president to NYDN

While I am an animal lover and animal rights advocate, and my reasons for being vegan are largely spiritual, I think it’s also important to recognize the environmental impact that this lifestyle has. In June 2010, The Guardian discussed a a United Nations Environment Programme report that underlines the negative impact that consumption of animal products has on our ecosystem. The article quotes the original UN report:

“Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”

Professor Edgar Hertwich, the lead author of the report, said: “Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.”

It goes on to suggest a gradual change: try giving up meat for one day each week. I agree with this approach. If you’re a red-blooded, meat-and-potatoes eatin’ American and you’re ready to make a change, good for you! Just know that you’re probably going to feel unsatisfied if you suddenly remove meat, dairy, and processed foods from your diet. You’ve gotten your system used to taking in that sort of fuel; it will take time for it to recalibrate. Set a realistic goal and start slowly, knowing that every step you take towards an animal-free lifestyle is making a difference.

Read the original article here.

“From the meat industry’s rampant abuse of animals and environmental devastation to the tremendous health benefits of a vegan diet to helping end world hunger and deplorable working conditions in slaughterhouses, there are countless reasons why more and more people are leaving meat off their plates for good and embracing a healthy and humane vegan diet.” ~ PETA

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