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Why should any Philadelphian─ a proud native of the land of hoagies and Philly cheese steaks─ pursue a greener diet whether they eat at home or in vegan restaurants in Philadelphia? There are many answers to this and the Vegetarian Times, an online resource for all kinds of vegan and vegetarian recipes and diet-related health information, compiled a list of reasons for choosing a vegetarian lifestyle.
Some reasons for going vegan fall into different categories, one of which concerns health benefits. These include better chances of disease avoidance, easier weight maintenance, improved longevity, stronger bones, more energy, avoiding toxic chemicals and more regular waste disposal. Discussions of these benefits mostly cite scientific studies done by different health organizations, including a 30-year life expectancy study of residents of Okinawa, Japan.
On Environmental and Ethical Concerns
Another category is in social advocacy. It primarily includes concern for animal welfare, but also cites pollution and famine reduction. More people going vegan will contribute greatly towards lowering the number of animals typically slaughtered for human consumption. Animals slaughtered for 2014 total to over 9 billion, counting only animal species that the USDA has data on such as hogs, chickens, turkeys, cattle, ducks and sheep. In terms of pollution, the reasoning is rooted in the contribution of the meat industry to water pollution. With famine, if livestock production is reduced, the portion of grains currently fed to animals can be redirected to human consumption.
Some other reasons are practical or aesthetic. Individual food bills can be cut annually by an average of $4,000 by replacing meat in typical diets with plant-based food. Plates of vegans and vegetarians are also more colorful, so it would be pleasing to the eye for people with such preferences. The article also cited that vegetarian or vegan diets are now more widely available, thanks to numerous vegan restaurants (more than 90 listed) and recipes over the Internet.