TWENTY ONE REASONS FOR BEING A VEGETARIAN
Vegetarianism is the
fastest growing trend in the developed world.
Here are 21 reasons why you
should think about turning green too.
1. Avoiding meat is one of
the best and simplest ways to cut down your fat consumption. Modern farm animals
are deliberately fattened up to increase profits. Eating fatty meat increases
your chances of having a heart attack or developing cancer.
minute of every working day thousands of animals are killed in slaughterhouses.
Many animals are bled to death. Pain and misery are commonplace. In America
alone 500,000 animals are killed for meat every HOUR.
3. There are over
millions of cases of food poisoning recorded every year. The vast majority of
all those cases are caused by eating meat.
4. Meat contains absolutely
nothing - no proteins, vitamins or minerals - that the human body cannot obtain
perfectly happily from a vegetarian diet.
5. African countries - where
millions are starving to death - export grain to the developed world so that
animals can be fattened for the dining tables of the affluent nations.
6.`Meat' can include the tail, head, feet, rectum and spinal cord of an
7. A sausage may contain ground up intestines. How can anyone be
sure that the intestines are empty when they are ground up? Do you really want
to eat the content of a pig's intestines?
8. If we eat the plants we
grow -instead of feeding them to animals - the world's food shortage will
disappear virtually overnight. Remember that 100 acres of land will produce
enough beef for 20 people but enough wheat to feed 240 people.
day tens of millions of one day old male chicks are killed because they will not
be able to lay eggs. There are no rules about how this mass slaughter takes
place. Some are crushed or suffocated to death. Many are used for fertiliser or
fed to other animals.
10. Animals who die for your dinner table die
alone, in terror, in sadness and in pain. The killing is merciless and inhumane.
11. Its much easier to become - and stay - slim if you are vegetarian.
(By `slim' I do not mean `abnormally slender' or `underweight' but, rather, an
absence of excess weight!)
12. Half the rainforests in the world have
been destroyed to clear ground to graze cattle to make beefburgers. The burning
of the forests contributes 20% of all greenhouse gases. Roughly 1,000 species a
year become extinct because of the destruction of the rain forests.
Approximately 260 million acres of US forest have been cleared to grow crops to
feed cattle so that people can eat meat.
13. Every year 440 million tons
of grain are fed to livestock - so that the world's rich can eat meat. At the
same time 500 million people in poor countries are starving to death. Every six
seconds someone in the world starves to death because people in the west are
eating meat. Approximately 60 million people a year die of starvation. All those
lives could be saved - because those people could eat the grain used to fatten
cattle and other farm animals - if Americans ate 10% less meat.
world's fresh water shortage is being made worse by animal farming. And meat
producers are the biggest polluters of water. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to
produce one pound of meat. If the meat industry in America wasn't supported by
the taxpayer paying a large proportion of its water costs then hamburger meat
would cost $35 a pound.
15. If you eat meat you are consuming hormones
that were fed to the animals. No one knows what effect those hormones will have
on your health. In some parts of the world as many as one in four hamburgers
contain growth hormones that were originally given to cattle.
following diseases are commoner among meat eaters: anaemia, appendicitis,
arthritis, breast cancer, cancer of the colon, cancer of the prostate,
constipation, diabetes, gallstones, gout, high blood pressure, indigestion,
obesity, piles, strokes and varicose veins. Lifelong vegetarians visit hospital
22% less often than meat eaters - and for shorter stays. Vegetarians have a 20%
lower blood cholesterol levels than meat eaters - and this reduces heart attack
and cancer risks considerably.
17.Some farmers use tranquillisers to
keep animals calm. Others routinely use antibiotics to stave off infection. When
you eat meat you are eating those drugs. In America 55% of all antibiotics are
fed to animals and the percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to
penicillin went up from 13% in 1960 to 91% in 1988.
18. In a lifetime
the average meat eater will consume 36 pigs, 36 sheep and 750 chickens and
turkeys. Do you want that much carnage on your conscience?
suffer from pain and fear just as much as you do. How would you like to spend
your last hours locked in a truck, packed into a cage with hundreds of other
terrified animals and then cruelly pushed into a blood soaked death chamber.
Anyone who eats meat condones and supports the way animals are treated.
20. Animals which are a year old are often far more rational - and
capable of logical thought - than six week old babies. Pigs and sheep are far
more intelligent than small children. Eating dead animals is barbaric.
21. Vegetarians are fitter than meat eaters. Many of the world's most
successful athletes are vegetarian.
What CAN I eat?
Many people are put off becoming vegetarian because they can't think
what they will be able to eat if they don't eat meat.
A quick trip to
your local supermarket will, however, show that there are not only many
different fruits and vegetables available but that because vegetarianism is
growing rapidly there are many ready made vegetarian meals on sale.
will also find many `meat substitute' meals available. You can buy vegetarian
sausages and hamburgers and `stews' and `curries' made with soya and Quorn have
the same texture as meals made with meat.
HOW TO MAKE SURE
YOUR BODY GETS THE VITAMINS AND MINERALS IT NEEDS
1. Eat a
varied diet and try to include fresh fruit, green vegetables, peas and beans and
wholemeal produce - all good sources of vitamins and minerals (as well as
2. Vitamins are easily destroyed by cooking so whenever you can
eat raw foods. Use as little water as possible when boiling vegetables (to avoid
losing water soluble vitamins B and C). Cook vegetables for as short a time as
possible. Steam or stir fry vegetables if you can instead of boiling them - this
helps to preserve water soluble vitamins. Prepare food quickly and try not to
keep it hot or to reheat it - this can destroy vitamins. Keep milk away from the
light because sunshine destroys some B vitamins.
3. Vitamins are often
stored just underneath the skin in fruit and vegetables so eat them in their
skins and don't peel them!
4. Eat plenty of nuts and seeds - these
contain a variety of vitamins and minerals and make good nutritious snacks.
5. Throw out aluminium saucepans (aluminium is a potential poison which
can cause brain damage) and use iron ones which can add useful quantities of
iron to cooked food.
6. Dairy produce is a good source of some vitamins
and minerals but skimmed or semi skimmed milk and low fat cheeses contain as
much calcium and vitamin B as full cream milk and cheese (though they contain
less vitamin A and vitamin D because these vitamins are fat soluble).
You can get supplies of iron by eating dark green, leafy vegetables, nuts,
pulses, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, dried fruits and fortified breakfast
8. Calcium is available in milk (including soya milk),
fortified breakfast cereals, dried fruits, pulses, sunflower seeds, almonds (and
some other nuts).
9. Vitamin B12 is available in foods of animal origin
or in fortified soya milk, breakfast cereal and yeast extract.
is available in seeds, almonds, pulses and dark green vegetables.
REMEMBER: If you suspect that you could be suffering from a
vitamin or mineral deficiency see your doctor for advice: never take vitamin or
mineral supplements without professional medical advice.
Copyright Vernon Coleman 2003