My wife Carol and I have been vegetarians for 38 years. We enjoy a wide variety of foods and never get bored with our diet. Most importantly, the meals we eat are ono! It has never been easier to eat a vegetarian diet than it is these days. You can shop at any supermarket and find "mock meat" products like hot dogs, ground beef, and even bacon that can fool the taste buds of the most dedicated meat eaters.
There are many reasons to seriously consider adopting a vegetarian diet, here are just a few:
- Health-- A vegetarian diet can lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity, and stroke.
- Environment-- Animals produced for food consume more than half of the water used today in the United States and they consume 70% of the corn, wheat, and other grains crops that are grown here. Amazingly, one-third of all the raw materials and fossil fuels used in the U.S. go to raising animals for food. Not only are these animal farms taking a huge share of the food and water that could be going directly to humans, the waste that they produce is polluting our land, air, and waterways.
- Cost-- The staples of a vegetarian diet--rice, beans, tofu, fruits and vegetables--are inexpensive in comparison to the per pound cost of meat, not to mention the money you'll save in health care costs by reducing your risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity, and stroke. If you mix in some fruits or vegetables that you grow yourself (link here to garden page), you'll enjoy it even more. Above all, how much is better health and the peace of mind of doing something important to improve our environment worth to you?
But a vegetarian diet may seem to be too much of a change from what you're comfortable eating and cooking. I encourage you to experiment with one day a week of vegetarian meals. Not only will you begin to enjoy the many benefits of meatless meals, you may just realize how easy and truly enjoyable (ono!) it can be. Do it for the health of your family, do it for the 'aina, and do it for your pocketbook. If you need more encouragement or ideas for quick and great tasting meals to prepare, send me an email and I'll gladly help encourage you in any way I can.