Why Veg?

The reasons that people have for becoming vegetarian or vegan are as numerous and as varied as the growing number of people who have decided to make that leap.

Some people have "light-bulb" moments when it comes to veganism.  They may have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, or visited a slaughterhouse, or even read a book or seen a movie that opened up their eyes to animal suffering.

Others meet vegetarianism slowly.  They may have friends or family members who are veg; they might have gone veg to save money; or they might have dabbled in vegetarianism in order to prevent health problems like high-blood pressure and heart disease.

Still, others become veg due to what seems like a natural progression in their lives.  Maybe they've always enjoyed eating grains and produce more than animal products; maybe they were already vegetarian, and veganism seemed like the logical next step; or maybe their idea of "going green" included doing less harm to animals, the planet, and themselves.

All of these are great reasons to adopt a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.

And, FYI, you don't have to be an animal rights activist, "yoga freak," liberal, health fanatic, environmentalist, hippy, millionaire, arugula-lover, or even a finger-wagger to go veg (although all are welcome).  The only thing that matters is that you come to it with an open heart and an open mind.

Become an expert on what your body needs.  Decide what your priorities are.  Determine what's driving you to make a change in your life.  Are you concerned about your health?  The environment?  The ethical treatment of animals?  Or something else?

Even if you're not ready to become vegan/vegetarian, that doesn't mean you shouldn't start scaling back the amount of animal products you consume.  You might want to begin by cutting certain types of meat/dairy out of your diet.  Or try eating one completely veg meal every day, eating exclusively vegetarian meals on the weekends or during one weekday, or even taking the 30-Day Veg Pledge.  Another great way to start is by preparing veggie versions of things that you typically eat (ex: veggie pizza, spaghetti with marinara sauce, veggie burgers, etc.)  Alternatively, you could eat veg while cooking at home, but continue eating non-veg meals while out at restaurants.

The bottom line is this: no matter how small of a step you take towards vegetarianism, you're taking a huge step towards better health for you, the animals, and our environment.

Need some encouragement?  Try these articles on for size...

Your Health

"I don't understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open."
-Dr. Dean Ornish

The Animals

"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our Environment

"Refusing meat is the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint."
-David de Rothschild, Live Earth
A Parting Thought:

"At the moment our human world is based on the suffering and destruction of millions of non-humans. To perceive this and to do something to change it in personal and public ways is to undergo a change of perception akin to a religious conversion. Nothing can ever be seen in quite the same way again because once you have admitted the terror and pain of other species you will, unless you resist conversion, be always aware of the endless permutations of suffering that support our society."

-Arthur Conan Doyle