World Vegetarian Day – October 1st!

World Vegetarian Day is Monday, October 1st.  It’s a Meatless Monday, AND the very first day of Vegetarian Awareness Month.  It may as well be my birthday and Christmas wrapped up with an Easter bow too!  There are so many neat things going on all the time but this month in particular is a great way to celebrate all the wonderful things going on in the world.

Every day more people are taking charge of their own health.  More people are seeing the disconnect between loving animals and eating them.  People are waking up.  People are getting healthier.  There is no stopping this runaway train.  The good news is, there are plenty of vacant seats on the train, and you are welcome to hop on any time whatsoever.

At the well-attended Healthy Eating, Happy Planet Festival in Pittsburgh this week, I heard some super common myths debunked.  “Drinking milk to build your bones is wrong!  It’s just wrong information!” exclaimed Janet McKee, Board Certified Holistic Health Counselor.  She went on to explain how milk and all animal products actually contribute to bone loss.  Centuries ago we learned that bones are made up of minerals including calcium, and that milk has calcium in it.  However, we know now that the acidic blood pH that results from consuming animal products is a direct cause of mineral loss from bones.  Oh, and by the way, even though many people feel that there are only two ways to get calcium (from cow’s milk products or from a pill), there are many.  Try: seaweeds such as kelp, wakame and hijiki; nuts and seeds like almonds, hazelnuts, sesame, pistachio; blackstrap molasses; beans; figs; quinoa; okra; rutabaga;broccoli; dandelion leaves; kale; and fortified products such as orange juice and soy milk.

Eating meat for protein is wrong!  You do not need meat to get your protein – in fact, some of the largest animals roaming the planet get all of their protein from plants!  Think gorillas, elephants, hippos.  They seem to be doing just fine!  Even the cows and pigs and chickens we eat for protein got ALL of their protein from plants.  If you still think humans are different and must consume their protein from meat, try Googling ‘Vegan Bodybuilders’ suggested Janet.  They too seem to just fine getting all of their protein from plants.  And it’s no wonder.  After all, calorie for calorie, there’s more protein in spinach than in beef.

Whether it’s the promotion of health and wellness, the prevention of disease, innate human compassion toward the animals that share this Earth with us, or the preservation of the Earth itself, there are many compelling reasons to try Vegetarianism.  You really won’t be asked to choose one.  Or if none of those reasons work, there is one more compelling reason….

If the above reasons aren’t enough, how about a good ol’ fashioned giveaway involving cold hard cash?  That’s right, the North American Vegetarian Society is having a drawing giving away $250 for a winner who has pledged to go veg for a day, $500 to someone going veg for a week, and $1,000 to go veg for the whole month.  Visit the NAVS site to learn more.  Click the Pledge Online button in the center of the page to enter.  

October may have just become my most favorite month ever.  I’m off to celebrate with a new recipe I just found for pistachio ice cream!

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