There's no beating around the bush. If you're not a vegetarian, some of the things we say and do to defend animals might scare you. But it might help if you look at it this way: There are far more edible plant foods than there are animals. They taste great and do great things for our bodies. There are many reasons to make vegetarian meals part of your diet, here are five:
1. If you've ever accidentally stepped on your dog's tail, you know they feel pain. Even fish. Until more humane farming and slaughter methods are mandatory, you can be pretty sure animals suffer. Eating a vegetarian meal is a great way to clear some karma.
2. Dr. Dean Ornish conducted extensive research on the benefits to your heart by eating a plant-based diet. The skinny: dogs and cats (and all carnivores) can't make cholesterol. It's why they eat meat consistently and never need triple-bypass surgery. Humans, however, make their own cholesterol. We need very little help from our diet, and you guessed it, many of us way over do it, causing heart problems. Adding more veggies, legumes, whole grains and fruits can reverse existing damage, and help prevent more.
3. One of the best books you or your child will ever read is Taro Gomi's "Everyone Poops." It can be embarrassing to talk about, but we all do it, and need to do it regularly and healthily. This requires fiber, which not only bulks us up so we don't strain, but fiber also cleans out the nooks and crannies of your otherwise spectacular colon.
4. Dr. T. Colin Campbell conducted the longest health study ever, which he detailed in his book, "The China Study." What he found over and over again was that people who ate mostly plant foods, lived not only considerably longer than those on the standard American diet, but also were in more optimal shape as they aged.
5. Vegetables actually taste good (except for the vile weed, asparagus). It's true. And they're fun, especially for kids. Fruits are pretty amazing too. Keep trying new ones. Go Bananas, go nuts, go plum crazy, or maybe you prefer just being as cool as a cucumber.