Veganism and vegetarianism are becoming increasingly popular lifestyle choices that affect not only diet but also product choices. These choices may not suit everyone, however most people can see and feel positive benefits by reducing their meat consumption and eating a higher proportion of fruit and vegetables.
Helping the environment
The United Nations has identified the livestock industry as one of the most significant contributors to todays’ most serious environmental problems. Water usage is one example of how meat consumption is damaging our environment. The water usage for raising livestock is significantly greater than that needed for growing vegetables and grains. Eating more vegetables can therefore lower an individual’s impact on the environment.
Another factor to be aware of is carbon emissions. Always look at where your food is coming from and try to buy local produce.
Our obsession with meat and its low cost has led to HUGE scale factory farming around the globe. Now, about 70% of poultry meat, 50% of pork, 40% of beef and 60% of eggs are factory farmed.
In factory farms these animals often endure dire conditions that can be detrimental to their health and wellbeing.
So if you do choose to eat meat try to buy ethical, good quality meat when you can.
Having some meat-free days each week inadvertently forces you to increase the amount of plant sources in your diet because you need to fill the room on your plate where the meat would have been.
This variability in your diet can improve your intake of fiber, folate, zinc, and magnesium among many other nutrients. It can also help to reduce your saturated fat intake.
There is also convincing evidence that high red meat and processed meat consumption increases the risk of many preventable diseases, so by reducing your intake you’re also reducing the risk of many health problems.