Fellow plant-based eaters may concur that 2 of the most common questions asked by intrigued non-vegetarians are-->
'Why did you go veg?' and 'how do you get enough protein?!'
The answer to the latter question is pretty simple. If some of the biggest, strongest animals (horses, rhinos, hippos, elephants, etc.) can get sufficient protein from plant-based diets, I doubt that herbivore humans should have a problem!
As for the latter question, I've meshed some thoughts and research to help explain the many different reasons people may adopt a more plant-based diet...
I was hesitant to post these thoughts, because the topic of vegetarianism can sometimes turn in a controversial direction. However, I'm in no way trying to say that my opinions are better than anyone's or that I want everyone to be vegetarian... I simply want to share some ideas about why some people choose to eat more plants. :)
1. ANIMAL LOVE: Some people choose to go veg because they love all animals (i.e. they don't believe in society's distinction between cute and eat-able). My opinion is that all animals--cows, chickens, dogs, and cats alike--are too cute to eat.
Just last week I looked out the window and saw a herd of cows frolicking in the snow together like the best-est, happiest of friends. Their adorable-ness distracted me, so I didn't get my own video recording...
But I found someone else's video to show you... cause I think everyone needs a daily dose of cute animals -->
We all love animals. Why do we call some “pets” and others “dinner?” k.d. lang
2. ETHICS: Some choose to go veg for ethical reasons (e.g. to object animal cruelty in the food industry...)
Earthlings may be a good documentary to check out if you're interested in the ethical side of vegetarianism.
5. HERBIVORE VS. CARNIVORE ANATOMY: While our bodies are capable of digesting animal products, our bodies are designed for eating plants.
example a) Our teeth: 'the human molars are flat and blunt, which make them good for grinding, not gnashing and tearing'
example b) Our stomach acidity: the acidity of our stomach is much weaker than carnivores' stomach acidity; strong acids aren’t needed to digest pre-chewed fruits and vegetables, as opposed to the high acidity that is needed to break down flesh.
A human body in no way resembles those that were born for ravenousness; it hath no hawk’s bill, no sharp talon, no roughness of teeth, no such strength of stomach or heat of digestion, as can be sufficient to convert or alter such heavy and fleshy fare . . . There is nobody that is willing to eat even a lifeless and a dead thing even as it is; so they boil it, and roast it, and alter it by fire and medicines, as it were, changing and quenching the slaughtered gore with thousands of sweet sauces, that the palate being thereby deceived may admit of such uncouth fare.—Plutarch
3. HEALTH: Want to enhance your health and vitality? Eat more plant-based foods!
The China Study, (a famous 20-year long study), found that countries with higher consumption of animal products (i.e. meat and dairy) had higher rates of death from chronic illness ... as compared to countries who ate more plant foods and had much lower rates of chronic illness.
Vegetarians and vegans have lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and less prostate, colon, stomach, pancreatic, uterine, and ovarian cancer (American Dietetic Association, American Institute for Cancer Research).
A study by the British Journal of Health Psychology found that a higher intake of veg/fruits resulted in more energy, calmness, and greater feelings of happiness.
You might like to watch Fork Over Knives if you're interesting in learning about the health benefits of a plant-based diet.
4. LOOKS: Want glowing skin? Eat more whole plant foods!
Plant-based foods are high in antioxidants which aren't just beneficial health-wise... They can also help to improve circulation/alter skin pigment.
6. ENVIRONMENT: Eating a plant-based diet is more environmentally sustainable.
-Mind-boggling fact #1 --> eating a plant produced 500 miles away makes less of an environmental footprint than eating a local animal-product.
-Mind-boggling fact #2 --> consumption of animals is the 4th main driver of environmental destruction (after overpopulation, overconsumption, and fossil fuels).
-Fact #3 --> Plant-based food generally requires much less land and water for production. For example, 25 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of wheat... as opposed to the 2500 gallons needed for 1 pound of meat.
To learn more about environmental sustainability in relation to plant-based diets, check out the documentary Cowspiracy or Food Choices.
7. FLAVA-FLAAAVE: Veg food tastes REAL good.
And if you're a meat-eater who doesn't agree, you've got to give it a chance! Scientific research has shown that our taste buds change the longer we stay away from a given ingredient. For example, the longer we can stay away from sugar, the less we like the taste of and the less we crave really sugary products; likewise, the longer we stay away from meat and dairy, the less we will crave it.
I can tell you personally that my love of veggies has grown and grown the longer I've been vegetarian. I love veggies way more than I ever thought one could.
All in all--> I’ve been vegetarian for so long that it's effortless and engrained into my lifestyle. Sometimes I forget that other people aren’t on the same page! I hope this gave you a small introduction to the topic of plant-based eating. If you’re interested in learning more, see the Resources tab where I’ve compiled a list of people, things, and places that have been helpful and inspirational for me along my path of vegetarianism.
Going vegetarian is becoming less and less challenging as the demand for plant-based, healthy food increases and as more veg options become available in the marketplace.
The transition to vegetarian/veganism is also much easier when you have a social support (somebody that's making the transition with you or somebody who is already veg to give you advice). I'd love to offer you support in transitioning to a more plant-based diet! <3
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P.S. Who knew there were so many herbivore celebs, herbivore politicians, herbivore scientists, herbivore musicians, herbivore philosophers, and herbivore geniuses?
Check out this list of some notable vegetarians/vegans... they know the plant-based food is where it's at! ------->
Albert Einstein, Aristotle, Epicurus, Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, Plato, Plutarch, Porphyry, Pythagoras of Samos, Socrates, Voltaire, Thomas Alva Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Betty White, Bryan Adams, Carrie Underwood, Chris Evans, Demi Lovato, Eddie Vedder, Ellen Degeneres, Ellie Goulding, Enya, Flo Rida, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jason Mraz, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Kristen Bell, Leonard Cohen, Martin Freeman, Mr. Rogers, Pamela Anderson, Shania Twain, Stevie Wonder, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Prince