It’s no secret that vegetarian diets are all the rage right now, but cutting out a thick smokey steak or your favorite loaded burger doesn’t appeal to everyone.

Sadly for those, statistics on the challenge of raising and feeding cows, combined with the research showing the adverse physical affects of beef consumption suggest that beef should be eliminated from the average American diet.

We know it’s not easy, but here are five benefits that could result from straying away from that juicy steak.

1. Reduction of green house gases.


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We’ve all smelled that foul odor produced by cows and their manure, but did you know that smell is also a powerful gas, methane, which can burn right through the ozone layer? Okay, that’s not really how it works, but cows do contribute to the production of green house gases.

According to the United Nations report, livestock contribute 18% of gas emissions. Reducing the intensity of livestock production could be the first step in reversing the effects of green house gases.

2. Lowered risk of disease.


Photo by Ataya Kanji

Protein is an essential part of our diet, but excessive amounts of processed, red meats have been correlated with an increased risk of chronic diseases.

Energy dense meals, like those with beef as a main element, have been associated with heart disease and diabetes. Recent longterm studies have shown that replacing red meats with fish or poultry contributed to a longer life.

3. Conserved water supply.


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A report in 2001 estimated that it requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef, which means that the amount of water consumed by the average size cow is enough to float a destroyer warship. Think about how that same resource could be supplied to millions of individuals worldwide.

Just another reason beef has got to go.

4. Gained sense of confidence in what you’re really consuming.


Photo by Emily Waples

Ground beef that is sold in grocery stores contains up to 70% meat additive. Meat additive is the leftover fatty bits of beef that are treated with ammonia gas to kill bacteria, then added to the packaged pound. Unless you have raised that cow personally, you can’t be sure of what you’re consuming.

5. A healthier version of you.


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Not only does red meat correlate to increased risk of heart disease, but this high source of cholesterol and saturated fat can cause weight gain. One report noted that meat eaters were nine times more likely to be obese than vegans are. We’re not saying you have to go full vegan on us, but less beef could create more lean muscle.

If you’re still not convinced that no beef is the way to go, just try it for yourself. Participate in Meatless Monday, or have a piece of chicken instead of that juicy burger. Vegetarian might not be the lifestyle for everyone, but taking beef off the table may be the key to a healthier future.

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