Although there is plenty of evidence lauding the benefits of a meat-free diet, vegetarians are often criticized for their refusal to eat meat. The vegan diet takes vegetarianism a step further, refusing any animal products, including fish, milk, eggs, honey and leather. Regardless of their personal preferences or beliefs, however, many people are taking advantage of the current trends and are trying some of the delicious recipes from the vegetarian and vegan cuisine. This curiosity and new interest is contributing to quite the dietary trend!
Vegetarians and vegans often have different motivations. Like any dietary choices, people make them for a number of reasons. One of the most common motivating forces of vegans and vegetarians is simply protecting animals, especially from factory farms. Meat consumption since the 1950s has doubled worldwide. Today, Central Europeans eat an average of 70 kg of meat per year. Men tend to eat more meat than women, but the trend is rising. Animals also suffer from milk and egg production. Imagine living out your life in a small cage or being separated from your mother at infancy...
Another reason why people choose to abstain from animal products is for environmental reasons. The production of one kilo of meat, depending on the animal, takes up to ten kilos of grain and tons of drinking water per year. This means that your meat consumes the grains that could be feeding the rest of the world.
Additionally, the byproducts of factory farms are also harmful. The methane pollutants, harmful waste run off and increasing use of steroids and genetic modifications cannot be denied as dangerous.
An important drive for vegans is therefore also health reasons. More and more physicians see a connection between eating too much fatty meat and diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, rheumatism and gout. Even obesity can be linked to eating meat.
Vegetarians and vegans tend to eat a variety of healthy, nutrient rich foods, including many fruits and vegetables, legumes, grains, soy, spices and nuts...ingredients that make for a delicious meal! Eating a vegan or vegetarian meal every now and again certainly wouldn't hurt, and you may be surprised by how tasty they are! Large super markets, restaurants and best-selling authors have already jumped on the bandwagon and offer vegetarian and vegan products and recipes.
Vegan dietary and vital supplements such as vitamin D3 are on the rise.
In conclusion, eating meat everyday is much unhealthier than eating none. Therefore, giving up meat every once in a while can certainly do the body good!