World Vegetarian Day is celebrated all around the world on the 1st of October. It is a way to celebrate those who make a switch to healthy eating. They also make a commitment to end animal cruelty. It is also a great way to bring attention to various benefits of vegetarianism and spread awareness to the masses.
A vegetarian is someone who chooses a plant-based diet. And they believes that animals should not be killed for human consumption. However, the term is quite vague as there are different types. Knowing the different types of categories will help you make the switch if the lifestyle fits you.
Types of Vegetarian Diet
We have all heard this term before but, what exactly does it mean? It is a part of vegetarianism where the diet only consists of plant-based food. They do not consume any kind of animal byproducts. It does not include products like egg, milk or even honey.
This is somewhere in the middle where the diet includes dairy along with plant-based food but, no eggs.
This is perhaps the most common type of vegetarianism, found especially in India. It includes dairy and eggs along with a plant-based diet.
History of World Vegetarian Day
The World Vegetarian Day started in 1977 by the North American Vegetarian Society. The main purpose of this was to help promote the vegetarian way of life. And also to spread the awareness and educate various benefits of it. As humans, we are omnivores. This shows we can survive only on plant-based products as well.
Religious or Environmental Reasons for becoming a Vegetarian
In many religions and cultures around the world, it is prohibited to consume meat or animal byproducts. It includes honey or milk. Unfertilized eggs may be an exception in some cases. Religions like Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism follow these teachings.
If we dig a little deeper, the roots of vegetarianism often stem from the philosophy of compassion towards nature and non-violence. Some people simply follow it. Because they feel killing animals would create an imbalance in the nature. They believe that killing animals is no less than murder. They also believe that it pollutes the environment and contributes to the changing climate.
Then there are a set people who protest against the unfair animal treatment on the farms for good cause. There is another group of people who are just attracted by the health benefits. This shows that there are many reasons why a person may want to switch.
Benefits of Turning into a Vegetarian
Few of the benefits are mentioned below:
- Helps to boost metabolism
- It helps with dieting and maintaining weight
- Turning vegetarian also helps in lowering the chances of heart disease and cancer
- Since the diet is full of vegetables, fruits and nuts of different kinds, it provides the essential minerals, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants to the body.
- It is a great way to help end animal cruelty
- Cholesterol levels are easily controlled in a vegetarian diet
All you have to do is plan your meals beforehand. This will help you with the nutritional benefits depending on the amount of consumption. It is a healthy way of life for people of all ages including children and the elderly.
Debunking the Myths
Some people hesitate in switching over to the vegetarian lifestyle. Because of some myths that they heard. Here are two of the biggest myths debunked.
Vegetarian Diet does not provide enough Protein
This is the most common myth that one hears about vegetarianism. You just need to include different foods. It includes cottage cheese (paneer), soya, sprouts, nuts, beans, lentil, milk, etc in your diet to reach your required protein intake.
Vegetarian Food is Bland and Lacks Variety
This is not true in the least bit. In places like India where the majority of the people are vegetarian, you can find different dishes easily. You will have to experiment with different ingredients. Try new recipes at home that includes loads of vegetables in it. A well cooked-vegetarian meal can satisfy the taste buds while providing all the necessary nutrients to your body.
Becoming a vegetarian might need some time to get used to. But, over time you will realize how good you feel. It is a great lifestyle if you are trying to make healthy changes in your life. To make the switch, you do not have to throw out all non-vegetarian food. It is recommended that you make a slow but continuous change in your diet. Thus, you can do that by replacing meat with options like soya or cottage cheese (paneer).
It will take some time for your mind and body to accept the changes. It will happen if you have been a non-vegetarian your whole life. Becoming a vegetarian will open doors to new delicious food items that you may have overlooked before.
Spread the Message of Health Benefits
Thus, this world vegetarian day you can take the pledge to transform your life for better. Also, you can spread the message of a vegetarian way of life. Let the news reach to all. Hence, it is your call to decide to choose the path that leads to a healthy way of living. You effort will help others to switch for good.