One of the Smiths’ most memorable songs is the title track off of their 1985 album, Meat is Murder. While the song was heavily criticized (The AV Club called it the worst song on the album), it drew widespread attention to the cruelties of factory farming and the possibility of vegetarianism.
Spurred by the very public activism of famous vegans / vegetarians like Morrissey, Paul McCartney, and Steve Jobs, vegetarianism has become an increasingly common trend , as people begin to think seriously about where their food comes from, the treatment of the animals involved, and their own health. This, in turn, has provoked some massive changes in the way the meat industry operates.
10. A Vegetarian Diet May Help You Feel Better, Look Better
In the first place, a diet rich in vegetables may actually make you happier: a study sponsored by the University of Warwick and Dartmouth College tested 80,000 people and found a correspondence between the amount of vegetables consumed and a person’s overall mood. You may even look better: diets rich in vegetables, fruits, and grains contain antioxidants that alleviate the worst effects of aging, resulting in glowing skin and reduced wrinkles.
9. Vegetarians Avoid Meat-Related Diseases
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) caused a minor panic in 2003 when over 8,000 people were diagnosed and 774 people died in multiple countries from this mysterious illness. Like the fictional zombie virus in World War Z, the SARS virus originated amid the filthy farming conditions of parts of rural China, where chickens, pigs, and humans often live together in close quarters. While going vegetarian doesn’t reduce the risk of acquiring an airborne respiratory illness, one of the benefits of the growing trend towards vegetarianism is the pressure it places on farmers who obtain their livelihood from raising meat in conditions that could lead to global pandemics. Moreover, vegetarians are unlikely to suffer from illnesses like Mad Cow Disease that are directly related to meat consumption.