🌱💪 There have been many campaigns over the last decade urging people to cut their meat consumption, even if just for one day a week or one meal a day. Some of these campaigns, such as Meatless Mondays, have become internationally recognized, and are carried out en-masse in many workplaces and schools as well as on an individual basis.
And more and more people are choosing to adopt plant-based diets. A 2012 study undertaken by Harris Interactive found that the 2.5 percent of the country identified themselves as "vegan," up from 1 percent in 2009. That may not seem like a drastic leap, but it is when you consider that the number of vegans has more than doubled in just three years.
Aside from saving the lives of billions of animals killed unnecessarily, there are numerous reasons why eliminating meat from your diet is a great decision for your health:
- Reduce cancer risk; hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with various cancers, mostly colon cancer.
- Reduce heart disease risk; it’s well known that (especially red) meat increases heart disease risk and can damage blood circulation.
- Reduce diabetes risk; research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Reduce obesity; people on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body fat and body mass indices.
- Live longer; red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.
- Improve the quality of your diet; if you eat less meat, you’ll have the chance to substitute it with a healthy alternative. For example, consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.