It's Vegetarian Awareness Month!The North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS) has provided seven great reasons to go meatless, whether for one day a week or for every meal:
• Reduce the risk of major killers such as heart disease, strokes and cancers; • Provide a viable answer to feeding the world’s hungry through more efficient use of grains and other crops; • Save animals from suffering in factory-farm conditions and from the pain and terror of slaughter; • Conserve vital but limited freshwater, fertile topsoil and other precious resources; • Preserve irreplaceable ecosystems such as rainforests and other wildlife habitats; • Decrease greenhouse gases that are accelerating global warming; • Mitigate the ever-expanding environmental pollution of animal agriculture.
Not convinced yet? You'll find lots of great information, recipes, and resources for healthy, compassionate, and ecological living at the NAVS website.
Need more incentive to give it a try? Take a pledge to go Meat Free this October… for a day, week, or the whole month, and You Could Win Up to $1,000! Just visit this link and click on the "Pledge Online" button: World Vegetarian Day.
My personal tips for enjoying vegetarian meals: forget that truck-weary, picked-green, pithy, hybridized stuff that passes for produce at most grocery stores. Buy local, visit farmer's markets, or grow your own and you'll be amazed at how FLAVORFUL vegetables and fruits can be when they are fresh off the tree or vine-ripened! Choose the more flavorful heirloom varieties (my personal favorite). With the money you save by not buying meat, you can splurge and buy ORGANIC produce that is pesticide free. And become friends with exotic food items like falafel, tofu, and tempeh, orzo, pesto, and hummus. Embrace garlic.
Your taste buds will thank you!
What is your favorite vegetarian food item? Please share in the comments section below.