Today, as with all Mondays, we celebrate together “Meatless Monday“. This is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Although I personally do not eat any meat (or other animal products) already, I still very much want to support this initiative and all of you who are deciding to become part of this revolutionary movement.

You may have heard about the amazing benefits of reducing animal products already and wanted to try to cut down your meat consumption, or try being a vegetarian or a semi-vegetarian. Well, no matter what the reason, the benefits are ample!

Every vegetarian meal that you have, saves a bit of the environment, reduces your impact on the planet, saves animal lives and perhaps most importantly improves your health.

Hence in support of this day and to help you get even more motivated to join this movement or go fully vegetarian, here are 15 reasons to go vegetarian for you, the animals and the planet!

For You

1. Easier Weight Managment

It is easier to lose weight on a vegetarian lifestyle and it offers a drastic decrease in the chances of being overweight or obese.

2. Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases

Decrease and even potentially eliminate your chances of heart disease, diabetes type 2, cancers, hypertension, high cholesterol, strokes, and many other debilitating diseases.

3. Improved Longevity

Healthy eating vegetarians are shown to live longer and in better health, throughout their life and right into their senior years.

4. Reduced Consumption of Chemical Toxins

The lower you eat on the food chain, the less environmental toxins you generally ingest. Various toxins accumulate, generally in the fat tissue, in the bodies of animals. Typically, these chemicals are neurotoxins, hormone disruptors, or carcinogenic compounds.

5. Increased Energy and Vitality

You simply feel better and are more energetic, as you eat lower on the food chain. You also eat much higher quantities of critical nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber.

For The Animals

6. Saves the Lives of Animals

Each year about 10 billion animals are slaughtered for food in North America. Every veggie meal reduces the demand for meat and thus for animals to continue to be produced and lose their lives.

7. Can Help Decrease the Inhumane Slaughter and Transport of Animals

Despite some laws for humane slaughter, most animals suffer unspeakable fates when it comes to being slaughtered due to profit driving motivation. Never mind the trauma experienced by animals on their way to slaughter, during which countless animals lose their lives horrifically. Hence every meatless meal, reduces the demand to continue killing animals in any way.

8. Can Help Give Animals a Better Life

During the short lives that they have, animals are kept in confined, isolated, unsanitary and even torturous environments. Every time you eat a meatless meal, you can feel good that you did not contribute to these practices.

9. Can Stop Against the Discrimination of Animals

We love and cherish our animal pets and yet have not problem eating other animals, which our society has not accepted as pets. Just as we move towards the elimination of discrimination against humans, we need to move towards eliminating the discrimination against animals, and unjustly playing favorites.

10. Helps Foster Respect For All Life

All life is precious, and not one of us has the right to dictate what or who should or should not be killed. We live in a world of abundant food, where we no longer have to rely on killing other species to survive. Just as we have rights, so do the animals, and it is time we start acknowledging that.

For The Environment

11. Helps Preserve Fresh Water Resources

The fresh water on this planet is decreasing and it is estimated that almost 50% of all water consumed in the US goes to factory farming. The less demand for factory farming there is, the more water can go to the people that need it. (*It takes about 100 times more water to produce a pound of beef, than a pound of wheat.)

12. Helps Stop the Pollution of Water

Animal agriculture is responsible for most of the water pollution in North America. The wastes of the animals are continuously dumped untreated into local waterways, polluting water and wreaking havoc on local ecosystems.

13. Helps Stop the Destruction of Forests

The more animal farms are needed, the more forests have to be cleared, changing the landscape and the climate of various locations around the world, most often contributing to global climate change.

14. Helps Increase Food Availability

As the world population grows, the demand for food continues to rise. Instead of feeding some people meat, we can feed most people plant products. Think of how much food could go to people, that instead goes to the animals, so that some of us can have meat, while others starve to death.

15. Helps Decrease Global Warming

Methane, which is the natural gas produced by animals is much more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to its heat holding capacity. Animal farms are huge contributors to both global warming as well as general air pollution from all the different gases emitted for the production, slaughter, transport and preservation of the animals and their flesh afterwards.

Conclusion

Ultimately there are many, many more reasons why one may want to become vegetarian or simply cut down on eating meat and other animal products. This is just a short summary list which I hope gives you something to think about as you ponder the enormous effects your meals have.

In the end we each have to consult our own conscience, and be honest about how our actions impact ourselves and all those around us.

If you feel moved to action, for yourself, the animals and/or the planet, join the “Meatless Monday” movement.

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.

Albert Einstein