I've been a vegetarian for seven years and counting, simply because I don't like the way meat makes my stomach feel. In the long run, when I hear the stories about E .coli in Chipotle meat and see articles headlined, "Subway chicken only about 50% meat, according to Canadian study," I don't regret my decision to be vegetarian. In fact, I literally let out a sigh of relief. 

There are creepy mystery meat stories popping up left and right because the food industry has turned to CAFOs and factory-produced foods, and steered clear of sustainable, locally-raised meats. I get that you might want to wake up to bacon sizzling on the griddle and end your night with a fat steak, but is that really what your body needs? Not so much.

As a matter of fact, I'll give you a laundry list of reasons why being vegetarian has made me less stressed and more healthy on a daily basis. 

1. I don't touch mystery meat

salami, sausage, steak, beef, meat, ham, bacon, pork
Hannah Linn

I'll take a hard pass on even taking the chance of consuming mystery meat — it could be in our cafeterias, fast food restaurants, and disguised by a fryer. While you're sitting over the toilet from food poisoning, I'll be doing whatever my heart desires full on energy from fresh fruits and veggies. 

2. I reduce the risk of the No. 1 killer 

chicken, yolk, fried egg, egg yolk, egg
Carly Zaladonis

Heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death in the US, is much less of a worry to someone eating a plant-based diet. A meat consumer naturally has much higher cholesterol and saturated fat levels. Vegetarians lower their risk of dying from heart disease by 32 percent (compared to meat eaters). I'll take it! 

3. I don't constantly think about weight 

On reflex, I reach for nuts, yogurt and bananas as a pick-me-up, so you know I won't be eating the leftover ribs or steak in the fridge from last nights dinner as a "snack." I find myself stepping on the scale once a year when I'm required to at the doctor's office. Besides my doc telling me that everything is in check yearly, I don't feel like I need to worry about tracking my weight.

4. I'll live longer

onion, garlic, vegetable, pasture
Adnan Amin

I'll take what I can get. An Oxford study found that vegetarians out-live meat eaters. Researchers found that for every 3 percent increase in calories from plant-based protein, it reduced the risk of death by heart disease by 12 percent. Because vegetarians have to get more than their fill of veggies, they have more fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals than anyone else. All of these strengthen the immune system. 

5. I avoid toxins 

Animals are constantly shot up with hormones so that they get fat and juicy to eat in a short period of time. But because of this unnatural process, they also get antibiotic shots very often. Think about it — all the hormones, antibiotics and pesticides used to raise animals don't magically disappear when you consume them. 

6. My skin isn't prone to breakouts 

pepper, carrot, tomato, vegetable
Christin Urso

Stress causes breakouts and my veggie lifestyle reduces so many stresses. Vegetables also have so many key nutrients that can keep your skin glowing, like antioxidants that help minimize fine lines, brown spots and other signs of aging. 

Being vegetarian sounds much more manageable than having to stress about all of these things daily. I will continue with my veggie diet happily every day so that I don't need to run to the restroom after eating some questionable AF meat from the local Chinese joint. Jump on the band wagon — you won't regret it!