Why everyone should be a vegetarian? Some of us tend to a vegetarian diet after being in love with meat for ages, they realize it was just one-sided love and meat was doing more harm than good to their body, or maybe they visited a slaughterhouse and couldn’t stand the sight of blood. Many people avoid eating meat because of the harmful effects of meat production has on the environment, health consideration, or because they think that killing animals just because you like the taste of meat is morally wrong. One of the recent reasons will be COVID-19. Certainly, you don’t want to start another pandemic. So, here are some reasons that will make you think twice before you eat meat again.
1. Say bye-bye to diseases
The World Health Organization got a lot of limelight last year when it declared processed meat a “carcinogen” that increases the risk of colon or rectum cancer by 18%. Studies in England and Germany showed that vegetarians are 40% less likely to develop cancer.
Meat doesn’t contain any fiber or minerals that are meant to protect our body against cancer. It also contains, saturated fat, animal protein, and in some cases carcinogenic compounds, and hormones, which increase the risk of cancer.
A vegetarian diet is much healthier as compared to a non-vegetarian diet. A vegetarian diet is also very effective in reducing coronary artery diseases and the risk of cancer. Vegetarian people consume no animal fat or cholesterol, eats more fibers and anti-oxidants rich food which is beneficial for the body. Plus, I never heard that a person eating vegetables started a pandemic.
2. We can feed more people
In the United States, about 70% of the grain produced is fed to animals that are raised to slaughter. About 70 billion livestock that is raised in the United States consumes 5 times as much as grain than the American population.
About half of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture and around three-quarters of this land is used for animal rearing. If all of that land could be utilized to produce grains nobody will sleep on an empty stomach.
3. Reduce toxic consumption
The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 95% of pesticides in the American diet come from meat, fish, and dairy products. Fishes contain carcinogens and heavy metals that can’t be removed through cooking or freezing.
Meat could be packed with lots of steroids and hormones. It would a better option to avoid these chemicals altogether by adopting a vegetarian diet.
4. Decrease global warming
While many people think that carbon dioxide is the major player in the rising temperature of the earth, methane is even worse. Methane has 23 times more warming potential than carbon dioxide. Beef alone in the US produces 36% of atmospheric methane, which is one of the most notorious greenhouse gas. Beef along with other livestock production emits more greenhouse gases than all the cars in the world. Fewer poultry animals mean less methane and that will significantly decrease the global temperature in the upcoming years.
5. Save water
In recent studies, it has been seen that meat has larger water footprints than crop production. It takes about 15000 liters of water to produce 1kg of beef, about 7500 liters of water to produce 1kg of pork, about 5000 liters of water to produce 1kg of chicken, but only 1500 liters of water, which is just one-tenth of the amount of water required for beef, to produce the same amount of beans. Going vegetarian can help to alleviate water scarcity in the near future.
In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that we only have till 2030 to stop the globe from warming to a level over 1.5 degrees Celsius more than pre-industrial era temperatures. Beyond that, the risk of droughts, floods, extreme heat, and poverty will increase drastically.
Surely, switching from meat to vegetables will have a huge impact on people associated with the meat industry, but boons of switching to a vegetarian diet are obviously more than its cons. Most of the people who like meat might not even know about the impact of meat on the environment. But, if changing your food preferences can make the earth a better place than you should consider switching.