Truth be told, I’ve never seen or heard of a Nigerian who is a Vegetarian-and that is the problem with Nigeria. I can see you rolling your eyes like,”Yeah right, we all know the problem with Nigeria but we never can pick the way to solve it.”
Anyway, being a vegetarian requires a level of discipline beyond the capabilities of the average Nigerian. Y’know it can be heart-breaking seeing all that Sallah beef disappearing during Eid, then the chicken and turkey too goes at Christmas, Easter and New Year and you don’t even get a taste.
What’s worse, you’ll have to pretend like it doesn’t smell good. Then how do you explain to guests at your occasions that you don’t eat meat. For God’s sake, you’ll find yourself visiting Synagogue Church for healing and deliverance.
Soberly speaking now, we really need vegetarians in Nigeria. In prospective studies of adults, compared to non-vegetarian eating patterns, vegetarian-style eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes such as:
*Lower levels of obesity
*A reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and lower total mortality. *Several clinical trials have documented that vegetarian eating patterns lower blood pressure.
On average, vegetarians consume a lower proportion of calories from fats(particularly saturated fatty acids), fewer overall calories, more fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, than do non-vegetarians. Vegetarians generally have a lower body mass index. These characteristics and other lifestyle factors associated with a vegetarian diet may contribute to the positive health outcomes that have been identified among vegetarians.
The health benefits being highlighted thus, I’ll give another important reason -economic reasons. Cost of beef and cost of poultry products keep increasing due to increasing cost of transporting the animals from the highly-violent North where they are being bred. Also, cost of cooking meat to a medically recommended hygienic level has also increased as cooking gas prices keep increasing from 2000Naira to 2500Naira(12.5Kg standard) in the last 10 months and prices are expected to hit a 36-month high of 2800Naira in december 2014. I’ve personally noticed that eating meat is becoming more stressful for my teeth and I’m just in my 20s-no medical conditions attached.
Anyway, some animals whose meats we eat are prime carriers of such things like Tapeworm and Ebola Virus (yeah, I know you just got scared, right). Scientists
have found that a bovine immunodeficiency virus (BIV), the
equivalent of the AIDS virus in cows, can
also infect human cells. It is supposed that BIV may have a role in the
development of a number of malignant or slow viruses in humans. If we consider the above stated facts that Nigerians are getting more economical in cooking meat(I’m a witness to that) in the face of the looming truths. The worst fear isn’t so far.
However, it’s not all bad news. You can still choose to eat eggs, honey and milk and fish but you’ll be called an ovo-lacto-pescetarian. Don’t worry, that’s still a type of vegetarian.
The Roman writer Ovid concluded his book titled Metamorphoses, in part, with the argument that in order for humanity to change, or metamorphose, into a better, more harmonious species, it must strive towards more humane tendencies. He cited vegetarianism as the crucial decision in this metamorphosis, explaining his belief that human life and animal life are so entwined that to kill an animal is virtually the same as killing a fellow human. Does this not resonate with the fact that North-Eastern Nigeria, where killing livestock for food is a major occupation is also the place where killing humans for fun(#BokoHaram) is also prevalent.
It’s just the right time to start embracing healthier diets and better living. I believe having more vegetarians in Nigeria will put an end to insurgency. I’ve decided to take the lead but not because I’m afraid of animals revolting. I’m just tired of chewing meat for hours. Aren’t you?
Gas Price information obtained from http://www.chimons.com
Hill, John Lawrence
*Rowman and Littlefield (1996). The case for vegetarianism. p. 89. ISBN 0-8476-8138-6. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
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