The Rise of Vegetarians

The number of vegetarians in the UK has been growing faster than ever, however in comparison to meat eaters, the number is only small. 

A mere 7% of the UKs population is vegetarian with meat eaters taking up the majority of the population at 87%. Whilst vegetarian and pescatarian numbers have stayed relatively the same since last year (2019), vegan numbers have increased by around 62%, showing the increase in a people switching to a plant-based diet. 

There are many benefits to switching to a vegetarian diet, environmentally and for personal health. Studies have even shown that vegetarians tend to live around eight years longer than meat eaters.

A plant-based diet has been proven to have a lot of benefits for your heart health; it reduces your risk of heart disease by 20%, lowers cholesterol and can even reduce the risk of some cancers. 

Vegetarian diets also contain more organic food meaning that you are consuming less toxins which are commonly found in meat, poultry and seafood. Meat often holds lots of chemicals that they were given when they were alive, including hormones, herbicides, pesticides and antibiotics which aren’t particularly healthy for humans to eat.

Physically a plant-based diet can help with exercise as it can speed up the recovery time. When exercising you create temporary oxidative stress in the muscles and when your diet consists of eating a lot of natural foods like vegetables (which contains a large amount of antioxidants) it will reduce recovery time. 

Intensive farming has a huge effect on biodiversity and the environment all around the world, the manufacturing of meat products is extremely wasteful and has played a significant part in climate change. 

Farmers use water for lots of things when farming livestock, like drinking water, cleaning the animals and the farm, sanitation and crop spraying. You will save more water not eating one pound of beef than you would not showering for six months, this is due to the amount of water it takes to farm animals.

Although, it’s all necessary when raising livestock, it is extremely wasteful and dangerous for the environment. On average it takes between 5000 and 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of meat whereas to produce 1kg of wheat it uses between 500 and 4000 litres of water. 

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