More Benefits of Being Vegetarian: You Live Longer and So Does the Environment (Hopefully)

vegetarian diet photo

If you’ve been a vegetarian for any length of time you likely knew this in the back of your mind. You might have even become a vegetarian for one of these reasons. But hard evidence like this makes it much easier to argue your point at the dinner table and feel good about passing on the ribeye. Understanding the benefits of being vegetarian makes the diet that much more appealing.

I originally cut out meat because I moved to a place with few organic and free range options and then gradually realized that (1) I didn’t really need meat and (2) It’s cruel to eat it anyway. Here are a few more reasons.

A recent study at the Loma Linda Medical Center in California found one of the main benefits of being vegetarian is that the diet reduces your greenhouse gas emissions by one-third. Additionally, the study of more than 96,000 Seventh Day Adventists in the U.S. and Canada found that the mortality rate for non-vegetarians was 20 percent higher than for vegetarians and semi-vegetarians.

“The study sample is heterogeneous and our data is rich. We analyzed more than 73,000 participants. The level of detail we have on food consumption and health outcomes at the individual level makes these findings unprecedented,” said Sam Soret, Ph.D., MPH, associate dean at Loma Linda University School of Public Health and co-author of the study, reported in Science World Report.

Researchers contend that humans should consider the large scale production of a vegetarian diet both for health of the planet and the health of the human race.

“Throughout history, forced either by necessity or choice, large segments of the world’s population have thrived on plant-based diets,” said Joan Sabate, M.D., DrPH, nutrition professor at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health and co-author of the study, according to a news release.

Related on EcoSalon

99 Sources of Vegan Protein

Debating Reasons to Be Vegan

Why I Am Not a Vegetarian

Image: Brandon Shea