This week, Mark Fergusson, Chief Vegetarian Officer (CEO) from Down to Earth ALL VEGETARIAN Organic & Natural, Hawaii’s only all-vegetarian food store chain and one of only a few in the United States, will show you the benefit of adopting a vegetarian diet.

Down to Earth was started in 1977, when a group of friends in Wailuku, Maui, decided they wanted to help improve the health of Hawaii’s residents through selling organic and natural products and by living a healthy, vegetarian lifestyle.  Since then, Down to Earth has become the largest, locally operated natural food store chain in Hawaii. Their stores provide a wide range of natural and organic foods and groceries.

Down to Earth was founded upon compassion and concern for the health and welfare of all living beings, both mankind and the animals, as reflected in their universally appealing slogans, “Love Life! Eat Healthy, Be Happy!”, and “Love Life! Love animals, don’t eat them!”

Why Adopt a Vegetarian Diet?

By Mark Fergusson
Chief Vegetarian Officer, Chief Executive Officer
Down to Earth

If you could take a pill that would improve your health, help save the environment, soften your heart and spirit of compassion would you do it?  While it is not a magic pill, the simplest and most effective means to achieve this is to adopt a vegetarian diet. There are significant moral, ethical, environmental, health and humanitarian benefits of adopting a vegetarian lifestyle. Let us consider a few points to examine this closely.

Better for Your Health

Virtually all the major scientific and medical institutions in the world agree that the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a host of other diseases is increased by consuming a meat-based diet, consisting of highly processed foods laden with fats and artificial ingredients. These institutions further agree that the risk is greatly reduced by adopting a healthy low-fat, high-fibre diet. This result is best achieved by adopting a healthy vegetarian diet consisting of organic and natural foods.

Better for the Environment

In its 2006 report on global warming, the United Nations stated that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. When emissions from land use are included, the livestock sector accounts for nine per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) from human-related activities, but produces a larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases.

A meat based diet uses at least ten times as many resources as a plant based diet. Whether it’s unchecked air or water pollution, soil erosion, or the overuse of resources, raising animals for food is wreaking havoc on the earth’s resources.

For the Sake of the Innocent Animals

Each year throughout the world, virtually uncountable billions of innocent animals are inhumanely raised in hellish factory farm conditions. Given the horrific suffering these animals endure, and considering that all our nutritional needs can easily be satisfied without eating these animals, vegetarianism is a moral and ethical necessity. Mother Nature has already provided ample vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes and dairy products for human sustenance.

For all these reasons the single most important thing an individual can do for their health, for the environment, and for the sake of the innocent animals is to adopt a vegetarian diet. In future blog posts we will examine each of these points in more detail.

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