V = Veg Out
According to a study from Loma Linda University, vegetarians live about seven years longer than meat eaters. Another benefit of a vegetarian diet is a reduced impact on the environment; the livestock industry generates more greenhouse gas emissions than transportation in many first world countries. Not ready to give up meat entirely? Simply eating less meat and more fruits, vegetables and whole grains can still have a dramatic effect on your health and the planet. A diet rich in fresh produce and whole grains and low in animal fats has been shown to help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop estimates that 70% of Americans are dying from diseases that are directly tied to their eating habits.
- Have a soup night. There are lots of meatless soups and stews to choose from, many of which can be prepared ahead of time or in bulk to save you time in the evenings.
- Experiment with foods from other cultures. Meat is often not nearly as readily available in other countries, and the local diets reflect this. Look to authentic Indian, Mexican and African cuisines for inspiration.
- Remove the meat from some of your favorite recipes. Instead of trying new foods, you might find it easier to simply remove the meat from meals with which you’re familiar. Try spaghetti with no meatballs, for example, or veggie pizza.
- Giving up meat can improve the way you feel and help fight global climate change. The less meat you eat, the more of a difference you can make for yourself and the planet.
Need more reasons? This article offers 22 compelling reasons to eat more vegetables and less meat. Another article on Vegetarian Times provides more information about the environmental impact of meat. The site also offers many vegetarian recipes.