international vegetarian union

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Why people are vegetarian:

Vegetarianism: the abstinence from meat, fish, and fowl.

Aesthetic considerations: Some individuals do not like the taste or appearance of meat.

Climate Change: Methane is 21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Reducing the amount of meat eaten we could slow down methane production and therefore global warming.

Compassion for animals: Many people do not want to kill or harm animals. For example, Albert Schweitzer and Mahatma Gandhi extended their philosophy of compassion and non-violence towards humans to animals also.

Ecological reasons: Every aspect of meat production presents serious ecological questions. One acre of land produces 7.9 times more oats than beef and 9.8 times more broccoli than beef. 39 times more soya bean!  In addition to issues with land and water resources, other environmental problems resulting from meat production include soil erosion, deforestation, and decreasing energy supplies.

Ethical:  Creatures have feelings similar to ours. Artificial breeding, castration, hormone stimulation,  fattening, transport in intense discomfort, holding pens, electric prods, tail twisting and many other forms of animal abuse.  Many people would no doubt take up vegetarianism if they visited a slaughterhouse, or if they themselves had to kill the animals they ate.

Health Reasons: Risk reduction for several chronic degenerative diseases and conditions, including obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and some types of cancer.

Hunger: Only 10% of hunger deaths are attributed to catastrophic events such as famine or war. Most are due to chronic  malnutrition caused by the severe maldistribution and waste of food resources. The grains and soybeans fed to animals in the US alone could provide enough food to feed the world’s hungry.

Influence of family, friends and famous people: Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Leo Tolstoy, George Bernard Shaw, Mahatma Gandhi, Plato, Pythagoras, Plutarch, Albert Schweitzer.

Karma: If we cause pain and suffering to other living beings, we must endure pain and suffering in return. We reap what we sow.

Spiritual reasons: Many Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Jews and Hindus advocate a vegetarian diet.  In the yogic tradition, food is categorized into Satwic, that which makes the mind light and pure; rajsic, to be eaten in moderation and Tamsic, that which dulls and makes the mind heavy.


"Nothing will benefit health or
increase chances of survival of life on Earth
as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German-born American physicist, Nobel Prize recipient

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