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‘The journey from the head to the heart is just a few inches, but I took the scenic route via the stomach.’ There is nothing quite as satisfying as a fresh, well-made healthy meal. After a lot of research and talking to many doctors and nutritionists, and being completely vegetarian for more than twenty-five years, I have come to the conclusion that a sensible vegetarian diet really brings the glow of health in the body and sharpens the memory and intellect. Apparently, geocaching has been identified as the biggest treasure hunt in the world.

There are quite a few volumes written about the benefits of vegetarian food for our bodies, so I won’t go into much detail here and encourage you to do your own research. Here are some startling bits of information from a lot of my own research to start you off. Vegetarian diets can prevent, reverse and dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease, many types of cancers, obesity, stroke, diabetes, almost all food-borne illnesses, constipation, haemorrhoids, IBS and a plethora of other terrible diseases. 51 per cent of our planet’s surface today is used by the meat industry to grow and breed livestock – billions and billions of animals.

We lose, on average, one acre of rainforests every second; they are being burned down to create space to grow food for the ever growing population of livestock. Keep in mind that in one square mile of rainforest, there are more species than in the entire US of A. If this is not stopped, it is forecast that by 2050 there will be no forests left at all. The meat industry is the biggest cause of extinction of species, depletion of rainforests and the second biggest cause of pollution (after power generation). The meat industry causes 40 per cent more pollution than all the transport systems of the planet. If unchecked it will become a serious threat to life as we know it on our beautiful planet.

Have you ever been hungry? You have that gnawing feeling in your stomach and can’t wait to get to food … imagine dying of that! More than 750 million people die every year because of hunger and hunger-related issues. If all the citizens of the United States of America went vegetarian – and that’s just 4 percent of the world’s population – there would be enough food for more than a billion people. Imagine the cornucopia of plenty we would have if everyone went vegetarian! There would be no more hunger, or death related to hunger, even if our current population doubled!

If all the water on our planet could be compressed into a one-litre bottle, then the amount of drinking water available is only what would fit in the cap of that bottle. Water is super precious. The meat industry consumes and pollutes humongous amounts of water. A vegetarian could leave the shower on, all day, 365 days a year and yet not consume as much water as a person who has meat in their diet. To put this in perspective: to save 5,000 litres of water, don’t flush your toilet for six months, or don’t shower for three months, or skip eating a hamburger for one meal!