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Why I became a vegetarian
PostedApril 29, 2015, in  Step 8: sustainable society
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They have sharp jaws and pointed teeth. They catch their prey with their bare claws. Their intestines are able to digest meat quickly before it turns into fat. The stomach contains enzymes that kill the bacteria in rotting meat. This is one of the reasons why true carnivores like the smell of rotten meat. In short: nature has given meat eaters the appropriate tools.  Lions, tigers, fox and cats too, are known to be meat eaters. Man however, is not, by nature. Man is a typical herbivore.

Cultural phenomenon

Nature equipped the human body with blunt teeth and round jaws. We cannot see very well in the dark and are not able to catch animals with our bare hands. No one enjoys the smell of rotten meat and our body cannot handle meat well: it is easily transformed into fat, with an increased chance of clogged arteries and heart attacks. The human body is made to digest fruit and vegetables. Eating meat has been going on for centuries but it is a purely cultural phenomenon. It is not necessary for good health.     

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Veggie Stand (photo: Brandon, CC Flickr.com)

 

Individual responsibility

With Improve4all I contribute to a more sustainable world every day. In my private life I continuously look for sustainable innovation because I believe that individual responsibility counts. You cannot simply pass judgment and then remain on the side-lines. If you want to make the world a better place then you need to take action. So I decided to say farewell to eating meat and fish. I recently became a vegetarian. It feels good. 

Five arguments

In 2013, research showed that the percentage of vegetarians in the United States swings between 4 and 7%. In Europe the number is between 2 and 10%, and differs per country.  By contrast, in India no less than 31% of the population was vegetarian in 2013. In short, the vegetarian population varies significantly. That also applies to the arguments about why people become vegetarian. There are roughly five reasons:

  1. Animal welfare: animals are locked up in small cages and over-bred, leading to stress and premature death. Slaughter is seldom carried out in an animal-friendly manner.
  2. The world food problem: 70% of all agricultural land is used for animal farming. Animals eat much more food than they ultimately produce. Animal farming is therefore an important cause of the world food problem.
  3. Environmental issues: cattle farming is the cause of 18% of the world CO2 and methane emissions. So the meat sector contributes considerably to global warming. The United Nations has determined that meat production is the second most important cause of acidification, decreasing bio-diversity and soil, water and atmospheric pollution. To illustrate: it takes 900 litres of water to produce 1 kilo of wheat; 1 kilo of beef takes 15,000 litres of water!
  4. Health: less saturated fats, no cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease. The benefits of a varied, plant based diet are great. No surprise then that more and more top athletes are going vegetarian.
  5. Life conviction: consideration and sympathy for plant and animal life play an important role in different religions and convictions. For many that is the inspiration for the vegetarian life.  

What can you do?

Everything starts with awareness: ask yourself how important meat or fish is to you. Eat no meat for one day, just to see how it feels. If you do this on a regular basis, you will discover that eliminating meat is not that difficult. There are plenty of healthy alternatives and recipes. Curious? Coming soon: 7 tasty tips for vegetarian freedom.  

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Photo: W. Silver, CC Flickr.com

 

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PostedApril 29, 2015, in Step 8: sustainable society
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