Recent research shows that a third of all UK consumers have either reduced the amount of meat they eat or removed it from their diet entirely. It’s so beneficial, and not just for the animals. It’s healthy and good for the environment, too. Why not try it? It may not be as hard as you think!
The benefits of a plant-based diet
If you are wondering why switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet is a good idea, read on!
It’s good for your health
A diet high in processed and red meats increases your risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. The World Health Organisation advocates eating a diet “based on a variety of foods originating mainly from plants, rather than animals” as the first step towards healthy eating.
Switching will also help you to break your cooking rut and get creative in the kitchen. A bit of variety is great for both your mental and physical health.
It’s good for the animals
A huge percentage of farm animals endure short, miserable existences in overcrowded and unnatural environments. The average UK meat-eater consumes up to 120 animals per year, which could equate to over 10 thousand in a lifetime. Eliminating meat from your diet is a tangible way to save important lives.
It’s good for the environment
Loss of wild habitat to agriculture is a leading cause of the current biodiversity crisis, and research carried out by The University of Oxford demonstrates that cessation of meat and dairy consumption would decrease global farmland use by more than 75%. The meat and dairy industries contribute over half of all agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and therefore have a significant impact upon climate change. Adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet is guaranteed to reduce your impact upon planet Earth.
It’s good for your bank balance
Meat and fish are expensive. Cutting down on them and increasing your intake of other foods will likely decrease your monthly spend.
Remember, it’s not all or nothing!
If cutting our animal products completely seems too much, don’t be disheartened. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Why not try for a fortnight, or even just one day a week? Cutting down your meat and dairy consumption even a little will have a beneficial impact, but you can find out more about ethical eating on our AnimalKind page.
Making the switch
Switching can be hard at first, but it doesn’t need to be. There are lots of delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes available for you to experiment with online and groups such as the Vegan society offer a lot of helpful tips and advice to get you started. Remember to have fun and please visit our Facebook page to let us know how you get on!
Blog by OneKind Planet volunteer, Laura Morton.