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Vegetarianism may be the moral and ethical way to go.

Imagine feeding South Asia's billion strong population if it was as obsessed with meat eating as North Americans.

The mass slaughter of cows, pigs, goats, and other animals to feed the West's insatiable appetite is destroying our environment. A huge amount of grain and plant based food is produced simply to feed livestock animals. The animals are fed hormones to fatten them up. The end result is a product that may be of questionable value for human consumption.

Even the Ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, stated that society will need more doctors if it allows meat eating. That was over 2400 years ago.

Today, we suffer from heart disease, cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. Our children may be the first generation that does not live longer than their parents in the history of humankind!

Imagine a vegetarian diet made up of fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and with or without dairy or eggs.

Don’t you think such a diet would be much less stressful on the digestive system and healthier overall?

It is important to get enough protein, iron, vitamins such as B12, and minerals when you’re on a vegetarian diet. You should always consult with a physician and get a medical clearance before embarking on a vegetarian diet.

The South Asian diet has evolved over centuries to produce delicious vegetarian food. You do not miss the meat when you’re eating curry. The spices of the Indian subcontinent add a lot of flavour and taste to any dish.

In Ancient India, some people practiced vegetarianism because they believed in non-violence towards animals. Little did they know that their beliefs would be better for the environment with less land degradation and air and water pollution and more biodiversity as compared to a meat eating society?

Some people argue that you need to eat meat in order to pack on muscle and be competitive in sports or become a professional athlete. Well, I‘ve got news for you!

Brendan Brazier is a professional Ironman triathlete who is on a 100% plant based diet. Brendan has finished first in numerous races. In 2006, he set a course record in the Canadian 50 km Ultra Marathon Championship. Brendan is proving everyone wrong!

We live in an era today, where food information and knowledge is widespread. It is possible to create balanced meals based on a plant-based diet.

This does not happen overnight. Change is all about taking baby steps. I have made small changes to my eating habits and lifestyle.

I have cut out all meat except burgers. One day I will exclusively eat vegetarian burgers to fill my burger craving! I have cut out all juice and pop and sweetened drinks in order to control my blood sugars. I also walk an hour a day six days a week.

It is never too late to take control of your health. Everyone should jumpstart their health today! Talk to a dietitian, personal trainer, and physician and put a health and wellness plan in action.

Alex Sangha, BSW (UBC), MSc (London School of Economics)
Registered Social Worker
Author -  The Enlightened Society Blog



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