Reasons to give up meat

Laura Mappas
Monday, January 4, 2010
Reasons to cut your meat intake. Image: Getty

Why not swap your bacon sanger for the meat-free variety? Here are some good reasons to give up or cut down your meat intake.

Cruelty to animals
Rolling hills and lush green paddocks are the farms of yesteryear — today's factory farms are more like torture houses. Animals are crammed in by the thousands and held in wire cages and gestation crates until it's time for the slaughterhouse.

Bad for the environment
A recent United Nations report found eating meat is "one of the most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global". Did you know that eating meat causes almost 40 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, trucks and planes in the world combined?

A healthy heart
A healthy vegetarian diet protects against a number of diseases, including heart disease, cancer and stroke.

Lose those excess kilos
Vegetarianism is the ultimate weight-loss diet. In fact, meat eaters are twice as likely to be obese than vegetarians and nine times more likely to be obese than vegans, who not only rule out meat but also any animal products. That's not to say, of course, that vegans can't be overweight; they can. But on average, vegans are 10-20 percent lighter than their carnivore cousins.

Broaden your culinary horizon
Forget a big chunk of meat. Instead, taste test a broad range of common, as well as exotic or little-known legumes, grains, fruits and vegetables. that you didn't even know existed.With the growing range of vegetarian cookbooks and restaurants, there is a wide world of healthy new culinary experiences just waiting to be discovered.

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