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  • Writer's pictureJace Shoemaker-Galloway

World Vegetarian Day: In the ‘moood’ for healthy, meatless food

Have you heard the news? A very special day of the year is here and people around the world are ready to celebrate. If you are in the “mooood” for delicious and healthy food – you’re in luck! Oct. 1 is World Vegetarian Day.

Founded by the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS) in 1977, this annual “holiday” encourages folks to kick the meat habit while raising awareness about the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Each year, about 1 million Americans become vegetarians. Whether it is for financial reasons, health reasons, religious reasons or animal rights reasons, a vegetarian lifestyle has many benefits to both animals and humans.

While most people don’t like to think about how that juicy steak ended up on the dinner plate, animals in our food chain often endure horrific inhumane conditions, immense suffering and torture. Besides reducing waste and methane gas from farm animals that contribute to global warming, a vegetarian diet also has many health benefits for humans. Research has shown that vegetarian diets may reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. 70 percent of Americans die from diseases directly related to their diet according to former United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

While many may consider a meat-free diet, some people just don’t know where to start. Vegetarians often hear “What do you eat if you don’t eat meat?” But believe it or not, a meat-free diet is pretty simple in today’s society. Many restaurants and fast-food joints offer salads and veggies burgers now. There are also different types of vegetarianism.

If you’ve been considering going meat-free, today is the perfect day to start. And while you are at it, why not encourage friends and loved ones to give it a go, too? And remember, you can always adjust vegetarian recipes to "meat" your needs!

Oct. 1 is also National Homemade Cookie Day. Mmmm..

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