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Making a Case for Veganism | 5 Reasons to Move to a Plant-Based Diet

I grew up in a medium sized town smack in the middle of Missouri.

Every day I would see trucks drive through town either loaded with cattle or chickens or having been emptied of cattle or chickens. This always bothered me. Eating meat always bothered me. I remember as a child questioning my mom about the pork chop on my plate and wondering why on earth we’d be eating a “dead pig.” That is how I always thought of it.

I am proud to say that I have been a non-meat-eater now for more than 2 decades. However, it is something I rarely open up about. Meat eaters often find it odd that I would choose to omit animals from my diet and frankly, I get tired of answering questions such as “where do you get your protein” and “so what DO you eat?.”  A recent burst of inspiration has prompted me to re-dedicate myself to my choice to be abstain from meat and to peacefully educate others about why it’s smart to adopt a vegetarian and/or a vegan diet.

I am proud to say that I have been a non-meat-eater now for more than 2 decades. However, it is something I rarely open up about. Meat eaters often find it odd that I would choose to omit animals from my diet and frankly, I get tired of answering questions such as “where do you get your protein” and “so what DO you eat?.”  A recent burst of inspiration has prompted me to re-dedicate myself to my choice to abstain from meat and to peacefully educate others about why it’s smart to adopt a vegetarian and/or a vegan diet.

Here’s why I am choosing to be more vocal. I have felt completely put off by animal rights groups who use scare tactics and extreme stunts to promote veganism. While I share in their views that animal products are harmful to living creatures, the environment and bad for the human psyche… I disagree with their outlandish movements that make others think vegetarians and vegans are weird or extreme. Even if you think “meat is murder” are you really going to get someone to stop eating their favorite comfort foods by shaming them? No!

There are a number of reasons why I choose not to consume animals. One reason is Ahimsa (the yogic Niyama which means non-harming or non-violence). It’s a choice I have never regretted and one that had led to amazing wellness. I would never want to guilt someone into changing their diet, but I do feel if you are informed you might be challenged to change the way you look at the food you buy and eat. Other lives and our environment depend on your choice.

5 Reasons to move toward a plant based diet:

1. Veganism is good for your health and makes you gorgeous! Most vegans that I know are people who rarely become ill. I personally feel fortunate that I have not had the need to see a doctor in years and I credit my mostly vegan, organic, whole food diet. And, the vegans I know are absolutely radiant! Glowing skin and a slimmer body is reason enough to switch over.

2. Eating meat is bad for animals who suffer needlessly. As many as 25 billion animals are slaughtered each year in America. Those sentient beings feel terror as they are forcefully crammed into trucks, they feel sadness as they are separated from their mothers or offspring just days after birth, and they feel unbearable pain as they are bled to death, skinned, boiled, sometimes beaten and even suffocated. If you have a pet, look into it’s eyes and imagine it’s fate as that of an animal produced for food. Oh, and read up on factory farming! If you think eating meat is “part of the food chain” it is not if the animal comes from a factory farm. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) says these intensive-confinement systems are all about efficiency and the animals are treated as biological “machines.”

3. No more moo equals more moo-lah. Eating meat is expensive. By switching to a meat free diet, you will not only save money on your grocery bill — you will be able to buy more organic foods and you won’t have to pay nearly as many doctors bills because your immune system will be boosted by all the antioxidants you are pumping into your body. The high quality fiber that is abound in fresh fruits, vegetables and grains flushes toxins out of the body to keep your metabolism functioning at it’s optimum level. My weekly grocery bill for a family of four eating mostly organic and vegan foods is roughly $200.00 per week.

4. Follow in the footsteps of notable vegetarians… There is a very long list of famous, smart and influential people who chose a meat-free diet. That list includes Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Jane Goodall, Princess Diana of Wales, Benjamin Franklin, Herschel Walker, Forest Whitaker, Isadora Duncan and Mahatma Gandhi to name a few.

5. Giving up meat is one of the best ways to go green. Animal agriculture is the number one pollutant of America’s waterways. Animal excrement (often contaminated with toxic chemicals and hormones) runs into groundwater, rivers and topsoil, ruining potable water and land. Ammonia emissions from this excrement trigger acid rain and produce greenhouse gases. More than 1/3 of the fossil fuels used in the US are used to raise animals for food. Water, land, and plant food are grossly misused to produce drastically smaller amounts of animal-based “food” in the end. The HSUS says that meat, egg, and milk production wastes natural resources. Half the world’s grain crops are fed to the world’s 65 billion farm animals—when more than a billion people suffer from hunger.

If you are worried your protein intake will suffer by moving toward a plant based diet, it won’t! Unlike most omnivorous diets, you’ll actually be getting a healthier protein intake. Taking in too much protein can cause calcium to be leeched from your bones and can be taking on your kidneys and other organs.

Take it from Albert Einstein! He said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

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About

Julia began her personal yoga journey in 1991 and continues her training and study of yoga and meditation with master teachers and those she considers to be master teachers. She is also well versed in both Ayurveda and holistic nutrition. A former television news producer, Julia now writes about yoga, health and wellness. Among her written works, a book, Just Me and the Trees which is a guide to meditation for children. Find Julia on Facebook at StudioLotus.

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