Here is a summary of the many important reasons for switching to a vegetarian diet:
1. Concerned about health? Animal-based diets have been strongly linked to many degenerative diseases, including heart problems, stroke, and various types of cancer.
2. Concerned about tremendous annual national budget deficits and high taxes? Medical expenditures have soared from 6% of U. S. GNP in 1970 to 15% of U. S.GNP in 1996.
3. Concerned about animals? Over 9 billion farm animals are killed for their flesh annually in the United States after suffering horribly in confined spaces where they are denied fresh air, exercise, or any fulfillment of emotional needs.
4. Concerned about the environment? The production of animal products is a major contributor to soil depletion and erosion, extensive pesticide use, air and water pollution, and the rapid destruction of tropical rain forests and other ecosystems.
5. Concerned about world hunger? Over 70% of the grain grown in the United States is fed to animals destined for slaughter, while 20 million people die annually due to hunger and its effects. The U.S. is also one of the world's largest importers of beef and fish, and these imports are generally from countries where there is widespread hunger.
6. Concerned about resource scarcities? A meat-based diet requires up to 20 times more land and 14 times more water and 10 times more energy than a vegetarian diet. Non-vegetarian diets also require vast amounts of pesticides, chemical fertilizer, and other resources.
7. Concerned about peace? Flesh-centered diets, by wasting land and other valuable resources, help to perpetuate the widespread hunger and poverty that frequently lead to instability and war.
8. Concerned about religious values? Vegetarian diets are most consistent with religious mandates to act with compassion toward animals, preserve human health, help hungry people, protect the environment, conserve resources, and pursue peace.
9. Concerned about convenient, tasty meals? There are many delicious vegetarian dishes that don't involve extensive preparation or the fat, cholesterol, hormones, and antibiotics associated with meat.
So, for our health, for defenseless animals, for millions of starving people, for our earth and its resources, and for a more peaceful, just, and harmonious world, let's go vegetarian!
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