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Why I Love Being a Vegetarian

Since I have arrived at Carnegie Mellon, I have met more people than ever before who are vegetarian. But, I have also met many people who question and criticize my choice. I was raised vegetarian but always had the option to eat meat if I wanted too. After eighteen years of being a vegetarian, there is no way I would ever make the switch.
If you have ever considered being a vegetarian, even for a short amount of time I would highly recommend it. For many people, it’s a serious lifestyle change: but it’s a positive one. So, take a moment and consider the benefits.
10. It’s Humane- Billions of animals die every year under torturous conditions and are slaughtered in unjust ways. Additionally, many animals are given pesticides before they are killed.  
9. It’s Heart Healthy- Fruits and vegetables contain many antioxidants and they also have no saturated fats or cholesterol. Meat contains cholesterol, and meat eaters are at a higher risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers.

8. The Savings Are Great- A diet that includes meat is much more expensive than one that does not. Your wallet (and college budget) will appreciate the switch.
7. It’s Green- Being a vegetarian creates less air and water pollution. Methane gas released from animals contributes largely to greenhouse gases.
6. Body Detox- Do you feel like you’re still gaining weight in college? Being a vegetarian can give your body the revamping it needs to get a fresh and healthy start.
5. It’s Easier Than It Seems- There are plenty of meat substitutes and plenty of options as a vegetarian. It isn’t all eating salads and fruit all the time. It’s about mixing fruits and vegetables with a variety of other foods.
4. You’re In Good Company- All around the world, people are vegetarians. Increasingly, celebrities have turned to vegetarianism as a source of healthiness including Brad Pitt, Shania Twain, and Drew Barrymore.
3. Live Longer- studies have shown countries with higher populations of people who live on vegetarian or mostly vegetarian diets have a higher life expectancy.
2. It Affects The World- animal farms take up valuable land that could be used to grow food to help sustain a dying human population. Every day, thousands of children die from starvation and an acre of land could make a difference.
1. Increased Stamina- According to the Yale College Vegetarian Society, athletes who turn to vegetarianism have increased their performance by three times as much.
Being vegetarian is a lifestyle change. It will affect many aspects of your daily routine. But, for me, the benefits outweigh anything that could be preventing me from making the switch. 

Soniya Shah is an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University studying technical writing and pre-med.
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