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Top 10 Reasons to go Veg

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    Top Ten Reasons To Go Vegetarian By Bruce Friedrich, AlterNet Posted on May 19, 2008 http://www.alternet.org/story/85828/ Gone are the days when vegetarians
    Message 1 of 1 , May 20, 2008
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      Top Ten Reasons To Go Vegetarian
      By Bruce Friedrich, AlterNet
      Posted on May 19, 2008
      Gone are the days when vegetarians were served up a plate of iceberg
      lettuce and a dull-as-dishwater baked potato. With the growing
      variety of vegetarian faux-meats like bacon and sausages and an ever-
      expanding variety of vegetarian cookbooks and restaurants,
      vegetarianism has taken the world by storm.

      With World Vegetarian Week here, without further ado, are the Top 10
      reasons to give vegetarian eating a try, starting now!

      1. Helping Animals Also Helps the Global Poor While there is ample
      and justified moral indignation about the diversion of 100 million
      tons of grain for biofuels, more than seven times as much (760
      million tons) is fed to farmed animals so that people can eat meat.
      Is the diversion of crops to our cars a moral issue? Yes, but it's
      about one-eighth the issue that meat-eating is. Care about global
      poverty? Try vegetarianism.

      2. Eating Meat Supports Cruelty to Animals The green pastures and
      idyllic barnyard scenes of years past are now distant memories. On
      today's factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into
      filthy windowless sheds, wire cages, gestation crates, and other
      confinement systems. These animals will never raise families, root
      in the soil, build nests, or do anything else that is natural and
      important to them. They won't even get to feel the warmth of the sun
      on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded
      onto trucks bound for slaughter.

      3. Eating Meat Is Bad for the Environment A recent United Nations
      report entitled Livestock's Long Shadow concludes that eating meat
      is "one of the ... most significant contributors to the most serious
      environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." In
      just one example, eating meat causes almost 40 percent more
      greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, and planes in
      the world combined. The report concludes that the meat
      industry "should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems
      of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water
      shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity."

      4. Avoid Bird Flu

      The World Health Organization says that if the avian flu virus
      mutates, it could be caught simply by eating undercooked chicken
      flesh or eggs, eating food prepared on the same cutting board as
      infected meat or eggs, or even touching eggshells contaminated with
      the disease. Other problems with factory farming -- from foot-and-
      mouth to SARS -- can be avoided with a general shift to a vegetarian

      5. If You Wouldn't Eat a Dog, You Shouldn't Eat a Chicken Several
      recent studies have shown that chickens are bright animals who are
      able to solve complex problems, demonstrate self-control, and worry
      about the future. Chickens are smarter than cats and dogs and even
      do some things that have not yet been seen in mammals other than
      primates. Dr. Chris Evans, who studies animal behavior and
      communication at Macquarie University in Australia, says, "As a
      trick at conferences, I sometimes list these attributes, without
      mentioning chickens and people think I'm talking about monkeys."

      6. Heart Disease: Our Number One Killer Healthy vegetarian diets
      support a lifetime of good health and provide protection against
      numerous diseases, including the United States' three biggest
      killers: heart disease, cancer, and strokes. Drs. Dean Ornish and
      Caldwell Esselstyn -- two doctors with 100 percent success in
      preventing and reversing heart disease -- have used a vegan diet to
      accomplish it, as chronicled most recently in Dr. Esselstyn's
      Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, which documents his 100 percent
      success rate for unclogging people's arteries and reversing heart

      7. Cancer: Our Number Two Killer Dr. T. Colin Campbell is one of the
      world's foremost epidemiological scientists and the director of what
      The New York Times called "the most comprehensive large study ever
      undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of
      developing disease." Dr. Campbell's best-selling book, The China
      Study, is a must-read for anyone who is concerned about cancer. To
      summarize it, Dr. Campbell states, "No chemical carcinogen is nearly
      so important in causing human cancer as animal protein."

      8. Fitting Into That Itty-Bitty Bikini Vegetarianism is also the
      ultimate weight-loss diet, since vegetarians are one-third as likely
      to be obese as meat-eaters are, and vegans are about one-tenth as
      likely to be obese. Of course, there are overweight vegans, just as
      there are skinny meat-eaters. But on average, vegans are 10 to 20
      percent lighter than meat-eaters. A vegetarian diet is the only diet
      that has passed peer review and taken weight off and kept it off.

      9. Global Peace

      Leo Tolstoy claimed that "vegetarianism is the taproot of
      humanitarianism." His point? For people who wish to sow the seeds of
      peace, we should be eating as peaceful a diet as possible. Eating
      meat supports killing animals, for no reason other than humans'
      acquired taste for animals' flesh. Great humanitarians from Leo
      Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi to Thich Nhat Hanh have argued that a
      vegetarian diet is the only diet for people who want to make the
      world a kinder place.

      10. The Joy of Veggies

      As the growing range of vegetarian cookbooks and restaurants shows,
      vegetarian foods rock. People report that when they adopt a
      vegetarian diet, their range of foods explodes from a center-of-the-
      plate meat item to a range of grains, legumes, fruits, and
      vegetables that they didn't even know existed.

      Sir Paul McCartney sums it all up, "If anyone wants to save the
      planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That's the
      single most important thing you could do. It's staggering when you
      think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one
      shot: ecology, famine, cruelty."

      So are you ready to give it a try?

      Check out VegCooking.com for recipes and meal plans and to take the
      World Vegetarian Week 7-Day Pledge.

      © 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
      View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/85828/
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