An omnivore diet has its roots tethered not just to agriculture but to the heart and soul of the American conscience. Indeed, many of the diseases that plague modern culture are largely tied to an industrialized diet. As the food journalist Micheal Pollan states, “This is the first time in human history when people can be simultaneously overweight and malnourished.” With these facts in mind, a vegetarian diet is an increasingly attractive solution to America’s national health food crisis. In light of this fact, the following list contains the top five reasons to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle.
1. Vegetarians are less at risk for cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer in the United States. In a study released by the Harvard Health Publications, cardiovascular disease can be avoided by a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and nuts. The study consisted of approximately 76, 000 participants. Vegetarians were about 25 percent less at risk for heart disease in comparison to participants who did not share a vegetarian diet.
2. Vegetarians tend to avoid noxious chemicals that bathe our food. Much of the food in super markets is clothed in pesticides. Although one would think the majority of pesticides would be found on fruits and vegetables, this is anything but the case. Statistics provided by the Environmental Protection Agency show that nearly 95 percent of pesticide residue are found in meat and dairy products. Studies have also shown that pesticides are directly linked to a variety of noxious health problems such as birth defects, cancer and nerve damage.
3. Becoming a vegetarian is the moral thing to do. Most of the meat consumed is derived from animals slaughtered on factory farms. The mistreatment of animals on factory farms is morally reprehensible. Undercover animals rights activists have recorded by video the mistreatment of animals on factory farms. The videos reveal the sawing of baby chicks’ beaks, using piglets as a means to play catch and blistering the ankles of horses. Yet one need not be an animal rights activists to recognize that the mistreatment of animals is wrong. Outrage is met in regards to the abuse of cats and dogs. So why is it not the case with respect to pigs, chickens and cows who share a similar capacity to suffer?
4. A vegetarian diet is good for the environment. Harmful fumes admitted by cars tend to be upheld as the pinnacle contributor to global warming. Yet the greenhouse gases emitted by factory farms far exceeds the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by all the cars in the world. This is primarily due to the 2 billion tons of animal manure produced on factory farms each year. The waste is thrown into lagoons. Lagoons tend to leak and contaminate the fresh water and air in surrounding areas. This does not even incorporate the methane gas released by cows, which is a leading chemical that fuels the greenhouse effect.
5. A vegetarian diet helps preserve youth. Anyone ever heard of Mimi Kirl? Mimi Kirk was nominated as “Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50”. Although Mimi Kirk is well into her seventies, she could easily pass for being in her early forties. Kirk attributes her lasting youth largely to a vegetarian diet; although, in recent years, Kirk has adopted a raw vegan diet. Yet one need not appeal to the likings of Mimi Kirk to illustrate that a vegetarian diet helps preserve youth. A vegetarian diet is full of vitamins and minerals that help conserve a youthful glow. In addition, a vegetarian diet is an excellent alternative to anti-wrinkle creams, which have a disturbing history with animal experimentation.
Being a vegetarian is just one label amongst many. In addition to being a vegetarian, one could just as well identify as an animal rights activist, environmentally friendly, heart healthy and young. In short: We are what we eat.
By Nathan Cranford