National Vegetarian Week - It’s more than just not eating meat...


Jasmine Carey, our Marketing Intern Journalist has produced an excellent article on National Vegetarian Week.

National Vegetarian Week took place on 14-20 May 2018. I wanted to write about not only the benefits that being vegetarian has on the surrounding environment, but the importance of vegetarianism on the health and well-being of individuals, an aspect of the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle that is not promoted enough. Despite the concept of adopting a vegetarian diet being tricky for the majority and medically inaccessible for others, I strongly feel that it is important to notice the importance that vegetarianism has on the environment in addition to the impacts it can have on individuals, which may even encourage you to develop a vegetarian-style lifestyle...

With meat being one of the most demanded resources by the human population -mainly for the use of consumption - I found it surprising how such a valid resource can place such strains on the environment around us, particularly as the human population grows. From using fossil fuels to harming habits, human consumption of meat has the capability to produce wide scale strains on our already fragile environment, and is one of the central reasons I decided to look into the positive impact of vegetarianism on the heavily-populated environment we live in today. Through my research, I’ve found that going meat free can save sacred resources such as fossil fuels, which are beginning to become widely used in agriculture; according to the guardian, one in three fossil fuels produced in the US goes towards animal agriculture, which then is used to satisfy human appetites across the world. Isn’t this a huge risk to an environment that is already becoming slowly deprived of non-renewable resources? Not only can going meat free reduce the extinction of valuable resources that assists in day-to-day life, but it can only reduce the extinction of several species, especially those who have endured loss of habitats due to the extent of deforestation occurring; all due to demand for more land for further farming. In addition, without such a heightening demand for meat, an increase in meat-free consumers would also allow for more land to be available for the growing population, reducing the regular problems of ‘overcrowding’ across the world. Can you even begin to imagine the benefits this could provide for communities? Not only will resources such as land have the capability to be used in a more sustainable manner if more of the population developed meat-free lifestyles, but many suffering individuals in developing regions of the world would also benefit, as currently farming uses 70% of the water that should be available to mankind. Without such heavy consumption of meat, more of mankind will have access to clean water, giving them healthier and happier lifestyles. Are there really any cons of going meat free in relation to the environment?

Not only does consuming large quantities of meat damage the external environment around us, but it can also damage the internal environment within us, with too much meat being a potential harm to our health and wellbeing. Through containing much excess animal fat, meat has the capability to lead to an increase in weight, in addition to issues such as heart disease (most commonly triggered by the acids found in red meat). Not only can heavy consumption of meat create weight-related issues – including an increased risk of conditions such as diabetes – but it can also cause inflammation in various joints, leaving them to become painful, as well as the body becoming at risk of developing ulcers; an additional strain when slightly older. Despite the consequences of eating high quantities of meat being slightly more rare, excessive meat consumption can also lead to short-term issues affecting day-to-day living such as disturbing the digestive system (a result of lower quantities fibre) and low blood pressure, which can create issues such as regular fainting. So, with this in mind, what benefits would you experience from adopting a vegetarian lifestyle whilst leaving the hazards that consistent meat consumption brings behind? From balancing a vegetarian based diet with a balanced lifestyle, you could be not only at a lower risk of conditions such as obesity, diabetes and risk of cardiovascular disease (mainly due to less fat-induced acids within your diet) but you can also experience a lower level of cholesterol which can result in a healthier functioning of one of your most vital organs – the heart. According to the global healing centre online, becoming vegetarian can also be extra beneficial for college students due to the improvements in mood it can create, a direct result in the reduction of arachidonic acid. So, would you give up your cravings for meat in exchange for increasing positive emotions? In the case of health and wellbeing, the prospects of this are highly desirable…

Not only is National Vegetarian Week an important week to promote the benefits of becoming vegetarian to people of all ages whom may benefit from limited meat consumption, or simply be attracted by the ways in which their reductions of meat can benefit the environment around them, it is also important for the college to promote both the vegetarian and vegan options available for students at the college to help them in the process of adopting and retaining these healthier ‘veggie’ lifestyles! With a variety of daily options available for students in both college cafes, ranging from the daily homemade vegetable soup to the vegetarian pizzas available, the college also make a conscious effort to include vegetarian options in the college salad bar. With a multitude of vegetarian and vegan sandwiches and wraps available such as vegetable crunch wrap, falafel and yogurt wrap and vegan avocado tomato and basil on granary bread, the college work towards ensuring all vegetarian and vegan students are well catered for throughout the day. In addition to this, Worthing College’s catering manager Ronald Bell has also devised themed days of vegetarian meals, including burger Monday – consisting of spicy bean burger or onion bhaji – and curry Thursday which often offers butternut squash and sweet potato curry. Through these endless vegetarian options supplied by the college, adopting a vegetarian diet is even more accessible to students than before, catering for all and any needs.

So, with the benefits of being vegetarian seeming even more desirable with the strong appeal of the vegetarian options provided at college, what other resources are there to help obtain a satisfactory vegetarian lifestyle? With websites such as Food.com, VegCooking.Com, VegWeb.com and The Vegan Chef, finding vegetarian or vegan style recipes has never been easier! With a variety of online websites and articles based on vegetarian lifestyles and food choices, the chance to benefit the wellbeing of the environment and yourself has never been more accessible, whether you reduce your meat consumption one or two days a week or decide to go full veggie, that is!

#Vegetarian

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