You'll Smell Better: 7 Unusual Reasons to Go Veg
By now, most of us are aware of the environmental, health-related, and ethical reasons to cut back on meat consumption. And what better time to evaluate your own meat-eating habits than October, which is Vegetarian Awareness Month? If you're looking for extra motivation to take the vegetarian plunge, we've compiled a list of unexpected reasons to put down that hot dog and pick up a carrot.
1. You'll smell better. Is your B.O. holding you back with the ladies? Slowly step away from the hamburger. A 2006 study by Czech researchers found women judge the body odor of vegetarian men to be "significantly more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense," than that of their carnivorous friends. So, cut out the meat and go in for the cuddle: Your armpits smell "significantly less intense" than that dude's.
2. Even Ronald McDonald is a vegetarian. The actor Geoffrey Giuliano, who famously portrayed the cartoon clown in the '80s in publicity appearances for the "Ronald McDonald Safety Show," has since publicly apologized for encouraging children to eat the fast food chain's offerings (and to believe that hamburgers grow in pleasant garden patches). A converted Hindu, Giuliano now encourages parents to raise their children on a meatless diet.
3. You'll be better in bed. Well, probably. Primate research suggests soy and soy-based foods might influence hormone levels and increase sexual activity in humans, and veggie advocates have long held that cholesterol from meat and dairy products can clog arteries and inhibit blood flow to our (ahem) vital organs. At the very least, it's a safe bet that cutting back on meat might give you a little extra energy in the bedroom.
4. You'll be an upstanding citizen, according to Russian author Leo Tolstoy. In his 1891 essay "The First Step," the Anna Karenina author condemned meat eating as serving only "to develop animal feelings, to excite lust, and to promote fornication and drunkenness." So while you'll be a pro in the sack (according to the monkeys), you'll also be super sober and suave about it (according to Tolstoy).
5. Veggies make you happy. A recent study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology found a strong correlation between eating your vegetables and a positive mood. Almost 300 participants kept food journals over several weeks, charting their moods as well as their diets. On days they ate lots of fruits and vegetables, participants reported feeling "calmer, happier and more energetic" than they normally did. The researchers recommend eating at least seven servings to brighten your day.
6. The ladies love it. Surveys consistently find female vegetarians outnumber their male counterparts. If you have any interest in romancing, befriending, or simply dining with the fairer sex, try whipping up a veggie-based meal for two.
7. It's a smart decision. A British study of more than 8,000 participants over 20 years found that people with higher IQs as children were more likely to be vegetarians as adults. They were also more likely to be working for charities, local government, or in education.
— Image via iStockphoto/ariwasabi