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Health reasons for a vegetarian diet

Modern medicine has recognised that the consumption of meat can lead to a variety of diseases. The high levels of cholesterol and uric acid as well as food additives and preservatives found in meat all take their toll on the human body. A meat-based diet is the main cause of high blood pressure, heart attacks, arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), arthritis and gout. Other illnesses that have also been linked to meat consumption are strokes, cancer, osteoporosis, gall stones and kidney stones, allergies, asthma, migraines and trichinosis – just to name a few.
The residues of pesticides and pharmaceuticals present in the flesh of animals increase the health risks associated with meat consumption. Moreover, when humans eat meat they also take up the hormones that the fearful and panicking animals secrete just before slaughter.

Ethical and spiritual principles

The innocent animals that are being killed are intelligent and often quite social beings capable of real suffering. Under intensive animal farming practices, animals are often kept and slaughtered under the cruellest conditions. Ahimsa (non-violence) is one of the highest principles of yoga philosophy. For the yogi, all life is sacred. Every creature is a living, breathing entity with thoughts and feelings.

Economic and ecological considerations

We are living in a world in which a child dies of malnutrition every two seconds. It is almost grotesque to produce meat for a few rich nations when the cultivation of grains or pulses could feed many, many more people. For the amount of land needed to feed just one person on a meat-based diet, you could grow enough wheat to feed 12 people and enough soy beans to feed 30! And let’s not forget that the meat industry is a major consumer and polluter of water and is one of the driving forces behind the clearing of rainforests.

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