Even if saving animals isn't your top priority, saving money probably is. If that's the case, you might want to consider going vegetarian. According to a study that compared weekly meal plans promoted by the government with similar plans that were entirely plant-based, vegetarians spend at least $750 USD a year less than their meat-eating counterparts. Both of the 2,000-calorie plans relied on the cheapest options from the grocery store. The vegetarian option offered more nutrition -- every week, it provided 14 more servings of whole grains, 25 more servings of vegetables, and eight additional servings of fruit -- and cost on average $14.36 less every week, even when opting for olive oil over the less-costly canola oil. The only notable downside for the vegetarian option was that it contained only 60 grams of protein per day, while the government-recommended meal offered 96 grams.
Venturing into vegetarianism:
- Vegetarian diets tend to be nutritionally complete, but vegans need to be sure they get enough vitamin B-12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and iron in their diet.
- Vegetarians typically enjoy a reduced risk of many illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and many forms of cancer.
- Human bodies are built for a vegetarian diet, including molars that are flat and meant for grinding, not tearing.