Selfish Reasons to be a Vegetarian – Let Us Count the Ways

My best friend from college writes to me in an email:

Okay, EG, for class I am going to do a persuasive speech on meat reduction. I want to find some ways to appeal directly to people’s self interest, not their generosity. Any chance you can put this question on the blog and see what comes up?


Example of self interest: being a vegetarian will save you money because tofu is cheaper.

Okay meat-reducers and vegetarians out there, what are the selfish arguments for people to be vegetarian or reduce meat and animal products? Extra points if you have citations or statistics.

6 Responses to Selfish Reasons to be a Vegetarian – Let Us Count the Ways

  1. Anonymous says:

    Selfish reasons to eat less/eat no animal products:

    — Plant based diets tend to be healthier–higher in fiber, lower in fat (no cholesterol at all)

    –Plant based diets are associated with reduced risks for many deadly diseases (heart disease, many forms of cancer)

    — Studies show that vegans have lower rates of overweight/obesity

    — Meat is expensive–beans are cheap!

    — No more having to push away images of the animals who suffered to provide your food (food leaves a better taste, literally and psychologically, in your mouth)

    — Being more in harmony with your ethics and values on a daily basis just makes you feel good

    — Being part of the vegetarian/vegan community is fun–many cities and campuses have vegetarian societies and clubs

  2. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a classic list (not all selfish reasons, but some are):

    101 Reasons Why I’m a Vegetarian
    by Pamela Rice

    PDF file:


  3. Tera Little says:

    Hi –
    I lost 20 pounds when I became vegan, and I get to eat whatever I want that is vegan, and eat lots, and still stay at the same weight.
    Definitely not the reason I became vegan, but for some people this would be a bonus.
    good luck with your speech!

  4. rebecca says:

    Thank you all for the helpful tips! I really appreciate it. Thank you to EG for a great, progressive blog as well.

  5. Charlie Talbert says:

    The best reasons I can think of have already been stated here. However, I would add that being vegan means never having to worry about dangerous blood and carcass bacteria lurking on the cutting board, dishwashing pad, counters, etc.; or having the sink drain get plugged with congealed animal fat.

  6. Clyde Grubbs says:

    meat is harder to digest, and meat stays in the colon for several days after we eat it. Fruits and vegetables are digested quicker and leave our system with beneficial results.

    this could be called “want to avoid colon cancer.”

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