National Vegetarian Week 2019 is here and it’s time to find out the benefits of being Vegetarian, and small things you can do to help raise awareness and reduce your meat consumption.
So why become Vegetarian? There are several benefits, both personal and environmental. Vegetarian diets are much healthier than the average diet, reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer as a Vegetarian diet is low-fat which stops the progression of/ prevents coronary heart disease. Plus, a Vegetarian diet helps to control weight and weight related issues such as diabetes and inflammation in joints. You’ll also avoid toxic food contaminants by adopting a meat free diet as animal products can harbor contaminants such as hormones, herbicides and pesticides which are all fat-soluble and concentrate in the fatty flesh of animals. You’ll even expand your life expectancy as Vegetarians can live 6 to 9 years longer than those who eat meat!
A Vegetarian diet helps save sacred resources such as fossil fuels, which are non-renewable so once we have consumed them entirely, they’re gone forever. Also, there is a surprisingly large impact on pollution created by the meat industry; Chemical and animal waste runoff from factory farms is responsible for more than 173,000 miles of polluted rivers and streams. Most importantly, by choosing meat-free you’ll contribute to end of world hunger. On average 40% of global grain production is used to feed livestock, and in some countries this can even be 70%, therefore if all food crops grown were fed to human’s rather than animals, there would be enough to feed an additional 4 billion people. Humans kill over 7.7 billion land animals each year for food consumption (over 2 million are slaughtered daily in the UK alone), consequently each individual vegetarian saves more than 25 land animals each year from slaughter, so every contribution counts!
It’s much easier than expected to adapt to a meat free lifestyle, with more and more restaurants offering Vegetarian (and Vegan!) options, thousands of different recipes online/in cook books, there’s a vegetarian/vegan option for practically every meal you can think of! You’ll even save money on your shopping (as meat accounts for 10% of food expenditure), so what’s stopping you? Even if you’re only meat free a few days a week, every contribution counts. Why not give these easy vegetarian options a try?
Some places are even offering discounts this Vegetarian Week, including McDonalds who are giving away free Spicy Veggie Wraps, simply download their app and the offer is there! Or why not try Happy Maki in Brighton, the only 100% plant-based sushi eatery in Sussex; plus, they donate 7p per sushi wrap brought to help feed children in hunger and 8p to Eden Reforestation project! Check out their website here for more information.
For National Vegetarian Week 2019 why not try some of these simple activities taken from the official National Vegetarian Week website.
1. Wear Green for a Day. We’d all love to see a greener planet, so grab your friends, colleagues, athletic club or group and make a statement. Show you care about helping the environment this National Vegetarian Week by all wearing something green together. Don’t miss out because you’ll just be green with envy!
2. Try Almond Milk Reducing your dairy intake is a great way to help the environment. Swapping cow’s milk for an alternative like almond milk is super easy and tasty too! Pick some up in your local supermarket and give it a go with your cereal tomorrow.
3. Order Tofu from your Chinese Takeaway
Whether it’s in a Sichuan, black bean or chilli-ginger sauce, take-away tofu dishes really hit the mark. Usually deep fried and often crispy, tofu is packed with protein. Order from your favourite restaurant’s menu and tell us what you think using #NationalVegetarianWeek.
4. Make a Simple Food Swap Eating veggie doesn’t have to mean making massive changes. Simple food swaps are easy to do and have a positive impact on the environment. Five simple swaps to try:
Upgrade your usual spag bol to a Veggie Mince, Mushroom and Red Wine Bolognese.
Fill a pie with Warming Spinach and Jackfruit – you won’t believe the taste!
Ditch the donner and add some Oumph! to your kebab.
Go for chickpeas in your next curry. They’re tasty, filling and cheap to buy.
In a hurry? Try these quick and easy switches from Quorn.
If you want to read about more activities you can do, have a look here. And why not take your contribution a step further? Try a Vegan diet too!