From the meat industry’s rampant abuse of animals and environmental devastation to the tremendous health benefits of a vegetarian diet to helping end world hunger and deplorable working conditions in slaughterhouses, there are countless reasons why more and more people are leaving meat off their plates for good and embracing a healthy and humane vegetarian diet.
Farmed animals are every bit as intelligent and capable of feeling pain as the dogs and cats we cherish as our companions. They are inquisitive, interesting individuals who value their lives, solve problems, experience fear and pain and are capable of using tools.
Yet the billions of animals killed for food every year have little legal protection from cruelty that would be illegal if it were inflicted on companion dogs or cats. They are neglected, mutilated, genetically manipulated, put on drug regimens that cause chronic pain and crippling deformities, transported through all weather extremes and killed in gruesome and violent ways. Going vegetarian is the best way to stop these atrocities.
Giving meat the boot is also the best way to ensure a lifetime of good health. Vegetarian foods provide us with all the nutrients that we need, minus the saturated fat, cholesterol and contaminants that are found in meat, eggs and dairy foods. Plant-based diets help protect us from heart disease, diabetes, obesity, strokes and cancer. Vegetarians also tend to have stronger immune systems and, on average, live 10 years longer than meat-eaters do.
Going vegan helps keep the Earth healthy too. A recent United Nations report concluded that a global shift toward a vegetarian diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change. Senior UN Food and Agriculture Organization official Henning Steinfeld reported that the meat industry is “one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems”.
Not only does raising animals for food gobble up precious resources and produce tonnes of waste, it also steals food from hungry people. Raising animals for food is extremely inefficient. For every pound of food that they eat, only a fraction of the calories are returned in the form of edible flesh. If we stopped intensively breeding farmed animals and grew crops to feed humans instead, we could easily feed every human on the planet with healthy and affordable vegetarian foods.
People who live near factory farms suffer too, and the number of factory farms in India is increasing. Globally, they pollute the air and water for many miles in every direction, often spreading contamination and illness to the people who live and work nearby. Chronic sickness, brain damage, poisoned waterways, elevated cancer rates and even death plague these communities. Take PETA India’s Pledge to Be Vegetarian for 30 Days, and we’ll send you tips and recipes to help you get started on a healthier, more compassionate way of life. Browse hundreds of vegan recipes.