I wasn’t born a vegetarian and yes that means I choose not to eat meat. That’s not to say I’m offended by you eating meat in front of me, however just like you may love bacon or fried chicken, I love vegetables: especially when they’re turned into guacamole or hummus. As with everything there are certain negatives to living in a majority meat eating world such as limited options at McDonalds and having no choice other than to order a cheeseburger without the burger happy meal after a night out. Nevertheless, being a vegetarian is probably the best choice I made. There isn’t the suffering that people expect and I’ve managed to summarise 15 main reasons as to why being a vegetarian is the best. No hate for this please, I’m not trying to convert you all to vegetarianism, just giving you some friendly food for thought.
Now, before you start throwing Big Macs at me, just know that with this article I aim not to coerce you into any change in diet and the reading I have done to summarise these points is something you all should do before you consider becoming vegetarian.
- You save the lives of innocent animals: This is a no brainer. Obviously being a vegetarian means I’m not contributing to the 6 million cattle, 10 million pigs, 14.5 million sheep and lambs, 80 million fish and 950 million birds that are slaughtered for human consumption (from which large proportions of the meat are disregarded for not being of a high enough quality).
- It can be healthier: Vegetarianism can have many health benefits, as it may provide a healthy diet that can lead to a longer lifespan. Vegetables are healthy, duh!
- Improved endurance: Eating more vegetables can also improve energy and endurance levels, due to the natural sugars and vitamins, which can further improve concentration – just ask Mo!
- Making friends: Another great thing about being a vegetarian is the instant bond you have when meeting other vegetarians who share your lifestyle and understand the importance of quorn scotch eggs and cocktail sausages…which is the next best thing.
- As a vegetarian you have an insight into how good quorn scotch eggs are, which is something our carnivore friends just don’t understand (I recommend you all try them).
- Reducing world hunger: On a more serious note, being a vegetarian could potentially be the first step to reducing world hunger, with around 40,000 children starving to death daily. Statistics from the Department of Agriculture have shown that 1 acre of fertile land can produce 20,000lb of potatoes; when this land is used to produce cattle feed it produces less than 165lb of edible cow flesh.
- Cooking is safer: If your cooking ability is anything like mine then cooking meat is potentially dangerous. At least if I’m vegetarian I don’t have to worry about any form of food poisoning or cross-contamination from raw or undercooked meat.
- Fresh restaurant food: Whilst most restaurants are well catered for vegetarians, the food often takes more time to prepare and can’t be botched up like many meat based meals are – trust me burgers and steaks from pubs are not as fresh as they seem and are sometimes cooked in microwave convectors for convenience.
- Becoming a better cook: Your culinary skills are forced to improve when you’re a vegetarian as making meals isn’t as easy as it used to be. So, even though your diet may begin with cheesy bean pasta, you are opened up to new foods and before you know it you’re creating spinach and wensleydale stuffed sweet jacket potatoes, with caramelised onion and falafel topping.
- You know all the best places to eat: We do. We know all the quirky places by us that sell our favourite foods and they are so so so good. If any tofu lover finds themselves in Birmingham go to Not Dogs without the meat in the Bullring, you will not regret it.
- More ups: Apparently eating red meat could lead to a lower blood flow, which could be a minute contributing factor to some cases of erectile dysfunction. I must admit that even I find this correlation to be a bit over simplified.
- Avoid toxic food contaminants: I’m just putting it out there, but I didn’t have to worry about my mouldy turkey tasting of bleach.
- Lower carbon footprint: The United Nations said in its 2006 report that livestock generate more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. So if a vegetarian diet can reduce this, surely it’s worth it.
- Washing up: Meat often releases lots of grease onto plates and pots so by avoiding them you make washing up easier.
- The best thing about being a vegetarian is saying that you’re a vegetarian: what better way to start a conversation.