March is veggie month! It's the perfect time to kick the meat habit. The vegetarian diet is so full of positive benefits - and easy too - that you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

In the UK alone, around 2.5 million animals are slaughtered for food every day. Most will have been raised in crowded, filthy, disease-ridden conditions, before meeting a brutal end in a slaughterhouse. Such conditions have led to a spate of disease outbreaks, including BSE, foot and mouth and recently the bird flu crisis. Animal Aid encourages people to drop meat from their diets in order to spare animals from suffering, and also to protect and boost their own health.

Vegetarians are less likely to suffer from various cancers, diabetes, heart disease and obesity - and, therefore, have a longer life expectancy.

Switching to a plant-based diet is also kind to the planet. It is one of the simplest steps any individual can take towards combating climate change, as an enormous amount of methane gas - the second largest contributor to global warming - is produced by farmed animals. Animal farming also uses much more land, energy and water than plant-based agriculture.

Turn over a new leaf and order a free Go Veggie pack, full of shopping tips, nutritional advice and a fabulous recipe booklet with delicious dishes.

Contact Animal Aid on 01732 354032 or visit

KELLY SLADE, campaigns officer.