The five main reasons why some people decide to follow a vegetarian lifestyle.
People who eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, pulses – all types of peas, beans and lentils, and wholegrains (oats, wholemeal bread, wholegrain spaghetti, brown rice etc) but little animal fat and animal protein cut their risk of many illnesses and diseases including some of the most common cancers, heart disease, strokes, obesity and diabetes.
55 billion animals are killed ever year for meat production; nearly one billion of these are slaughtered in the UK. Most of the animals raised for meat production in the UK are factory farmed, the most intensively reared being pigs, chickens, ducks and turkeys..
More than 70 per cent of all agricultural land in Britain is used to feed animals because of animal farming's inefficiency. It can take as much as 17kg of vegetable protein to produce 1kg of meat protein. The United Nations recognises that farmed animals (livestock) are the second biggest source of greenhouse gases, the main cause of deforestation and plant and animal extinctions (loss of biodiversity) and many other environmental problems. Read more
Over 950 million people in the world go hungry. One child dies every five seconds of hunger-related causes. One major reason is because much of the best agricultural land in the developing world is used to grow animal feed (fodder) to feed to farmed animals in rich countries or to graze animals which are killed for meat for the same affluent countries.
Throughout history, some relgions have required their followers to observe strict dietary guidlines, including avoiding some meat and animal products. A short explanation about what each religion teaches about eating animals as food.