Sunday, April 19, 2009

Why You Should Be A Vegetarian

So I gave up eating red meat in May 2005, and I became fully vegetarian (gave up poultry and fish) in October 2006. I think you should become a vegetarian, too, and here's why:

1. It's better for the environment. One, livestock produce HUGE amounts of methane, which is a pollutant. Two, it requires less land to produce equivalent amounts of soy (or other vegetable) than beef (or pork, chicken, etc.)- remember that those cows have to eat, too, and they eat a lot. Three, it requires less energy to produce equivalent amounts of vegetables than meat- something like 10 times the amount of energy required to produce 1 pound of soybeans is required to produce 1 pound of beef. Four, it requires less water. Also, because eating vegetarian uses so many fewer resources (land, energy, water), if everyone cut back on their consumption of meat, we could seriously grow enough food to combat world hunger. Being a vegetarian is sustainable. Eating meat is not.

2. It's better for your body. Humans aren't naturally designed to be carnivores. Also, a vegetarian diet will be lower in cholesterol (a vegan diet will have something like zero cholesterol). You can get plenty of protein without eating meat- in fact, most people get too much protein, believe it or not. Vegetarians and vegans also eat more fiber- most people don't get enough fiber. Also, you have a lower chance of getting food poisoning (while it is possible for vegetables to get contaminated, when was the last time you heard of someone getting sick from undercooked brocolli?).

3. It's better for your conscience. What I mean is that eating meat is wrong. A vegetarian saves the lives of about 90 animals per year. That's not insignificant, if you ask me. Animals are also abused and treated horribly- I won't go in to the details here, but check out the "Meet your Meat" video, or have a look around GoVeg or ChooseVeg, and you might understand why I feel the way I do.

4. Tons of awesome people are vegetarian- including (but not limited to) Alicia Silverstone, Andy Hurley, Avril Lavigne, Ben Franklin, Benji Madden, Billie Joe Armstrong, Billy Idol, Billy Martin, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Brad Pitt, Carlos Santana, Carrie Underwood, Charles Darwin, Coretta Scott King, Davey Havok, the members of Good Riddance, Henry David Thoreau, Hitler (supposedly), Jane Goodall, Jeff Beck, Joaquin Phoenix, Joel Madden, Lenny Kravitz, Leonardo daVinci, Lisa Edelstein, Liv Tyler, Moby, Morrissey, Mr. Rogers, Natalie Portman, Olivia Newton John, Omar Epps, Orlando Bloom, Pamela Anderson, Paul McCartney, Pete Wentz, Pink, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ruben Studdard, Sir Isaac Newton, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Travis Barker (formerly- supposedly he started eating meat again when he was told it would help speed is recovery after he was severely burned in a plane crash last September), Vincent Van Gogh, Weird Al Yankovic, and yours truly. Check out Peta2 for some videos and interviews with some of these people on why they're vegetarian.

There are also tons of yummy vegetarian foods. Everything from Morningstar Farms is yummy, but I'm a big fan of the Maple Sausage Patties, the "Chik Patties", and the corndogs (note- everything from Morningstar Farms is vegetarian, but most of their products do contain eggs and/or milk). Amy's is another good vegetarian brand- I'm a huge fan of their pesto pizza, and Indian dishes (note- Amy's does not use eggs, but some of their products have milk). Lots of snack foods are vegetarian (but beware of anything with gelatin- i.e. Jello, Junior Mints, marshmallows- or rennet- i.e. many cheeses). Vegetables are also yummy. Supposedly, they're pretty healthy and good for you, too. Oh, and don't beware tofu- when cooked right (press the water out before hand, and avoid microwaving it if possible), it's not only delicious, but good for you, too.

How do you become a vegetarian? Well, there are a few ways people do it.

1. Give up all meat right away. This would be a hard transition, but you're pretty likely to stick with it (less likely to go back).

2. Give up red meat first, then poultry, then fish. This is what I did (mostly- I gave up poultry and fish at the same time). It worked well for me.

3. Decrease your consumption of meat. For example, let's say you eat meat (on average) twice a day. You might start by eating meat only once a day, then every other day, then twice a week, then once a week, then never. This works well for some people, but if you're not fully committed, it might be hard, since you might find yourself "cheating".

Whichever way you choose, I do think you should become a vegetarian. By being a vegetarian, not only will you be more awesome, you'll be helping the environment (vegetables use less resources and produce less waste), the animals (a vegetarian saves the lives of about 90 animals per year), and yourself (a vegetarian diet is, arguably, better for you).



Kenny said...

Erm..."Tons of awesome people are vegetarian"

You want me to name others who are not?

And also,if you must know,tons of those awesome people are/were on drugs.

Maybe we should snort coke because they do now....

Kenny said...

Omg!Im so sorry,i didnt read your list closely enough!Again "Tons of awesome people are vegetarian" Hitler?
This guy was a mass murderer!His aim in life was to massacre all the Jews!Is that awesome?I don't think so.Forgive(and call awesome) a man who single handedly destroyed millions of lives just because he ate greens?Again, I don't think so.

Just for the record, did you even read this list before pasting it on your blog from whichever site you copied it from?Judging by the fact that all the names are in alphabetical order I don't think so.

Molly said...

Kenny- I never said that there are tons of awesome people who AREN'T vegetarian. I also never said that it's not possible to be awesome if you're not a vegetarian. I happen to know of many awesome people that aren't vegetarian. And it is definitely possible that some of the people on the list are no longer vegetarian- it's an old list, and I'm sure that some people who were vegetarian at the time of the writing of this list no longer consider themselves vegetarians- I don't have the time or patience to research each and every one of them.

I don't think drugs are cool, but this blog wasn't about why drugs are stupid (I've saved my anti-drug preaching for another blog). I'm not talking about drugs here- I'm just talking about being vegetarian. (In my mind at least) being vegetarian is "good"; whereas many/most people would say drugs are "bad". We shouldn't snort coke because celebrities do, because that's kind of not a good idea. But in the case of something that could benefit your health, animals, and the environment- going vegetarian- what's wrong with looking up to someone famous for "inspiration"? I don't believe vegetarianism and drug use have to be connected.

I did read the list, just so you know. Originally, I found a list much longer than this, but decided only to include the names that I thought were most relevant. I can't remember which website it's from. But yes, I did read through the whole thing. I kept it in alphabetical order because I thought it was a way to "organize" the list that made sense.

I don't know for a fact that Hitler was a vegetarian, which is why I added (supposedly)- I've heard things stating both sides. I admit that I probably should've taken his name off. I don't think Hitler is awesome. The original list I found (and had saved on my computer) was just a list of "famous vegetarians" or something like that. I should not have included Hitler in my list of "awesome vegetarians". I do try to proofread my blogs for mistakes before I post them, but occasionally, yes, I do miss things, even big ones like this.

Kenny said...

Thanks for clearing that up! Im glad to know that you are genuinely passionate about being a vegetarian, not like many other people I know who do it just because everyone else does it. Trust me, you would lose the element of trust too if you saw a bunch of girls screamin 'We are vegetarians!' and jumping at every environmental concern con wearing crocodile skin handbags, patent leather boots and a fur stole wrapped around their shoulders. For them vegetarianism and the environment is a part of the latest fasion.

Good too see that you are the true article though! :)