What do bestselling Author Kathy Freston, MUTTS Comic Strip Creator Patrick McDonnell and the NFL’s David Carter all have in common? They, along with others like me, are taking the pledge to eat vegetarian during US Veg Week, running April 20-26 2015. Sponsored by Compassion Over Killing, a non-profit animal rights advocacy group, US Veg Week “is a nationwide effort encouraging people to choose meat-free foods as a way to build a kinder, cleaner, and healthier world.” This week long celebration explores the benefits of eating a vegetation diet – benefits for animals, the planet, and for your health.
Did you know more than nine billion, yes billion, land and aquatic animals are raised and killed for food? While we all need to eat, these animals for the most part are housed on factory farms where the sole purpose is to raise as many animals as fast as possible, in the least amount of space, simply for slaughter. Few laws exist to actually protect the treatment of farm animals. Go Veg and know that when you eat a plant based diet you are giving these creatures a voice.
Did you know that eating a vegetarian diet is an easy and cost effective way to help save Earth? According to a United Nations report, “18% of all global human–induced greenhouse gas emissions comes from animal agriculture and is a leading cause of biodiversity loss, resource depletion, pollution and global warming.” By eliminating meat from your diet, you help sustain the planet and our future. Leading environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resource Defense Council advocate meatlessness as a means of protecting our overtaxed planet.
Did you know eating a plant based diet can help prevent and reverse illness? Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and obesity are on the rise in the United States and according to the US Dietary Advisory Committee’s 2015 report, a diet higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods is “more health promoting and is associated with lesser environmental impact than is the current average US diet.” Take the pledge to Go Veg because eating less meat, or no meat, can keep you healthy. According to the American Dietetic Association, “appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” It’s no surprise that Former President Bill Clinton, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, and Ellen DeGeneres are all advocating the benefits of meat-free meals.
As Compassion Over Killing states, “There are 52 weeks in a year. Why not make one meat-free?” While I primarily eat vegan, there are times I eat fish. This week I am taking the Go Veg Pledge and eating a completely plant based diet. Restaurants and stores across the country will offer specials, demos and recipe ideas to help you take the pledge. DairyFreeGina is pleased to be a sponsor of US Veg Week and has recipe ideas on the website.
Will you take the pledge too? Tell us at the end of the week what you ate and how eating a plant based diet for just one-week changed you.