July 4th is a day of red white and blue, fireworks, and grilling out with the family. An American tradition that we celebrate big, and loud. Not only are we honoring our country’s independence, but its also a day for our fellow meat eaters to take a break from a hardy burger, and try something different as fireworks rocket into the sky. Independence from Meat Day does just that. It’s a day to give our furry, feathery friends a helping hand simply by avoiding meat for one day of the year. According to Harvard Health Publishing approximately six to eight million adults in the United Sates eat no meat, fish or poultry. The site states “plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the rick for many chronic illnesses. The American Dietetic Association, another health site says, “Appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”These diseases include lower levels of obesity, reduced risk of heart disease, preventing cancer, reversing and beating diabetes, gallstones, kidney stones, and osteoporosis, and asthma. While this life style decreases these concerns the common vegetarian is also consuming lower portions of calories from fat and overall calories in general, more fiber, potassium and vitamin C compared to non-vegetarians. These could contribute to health benefits among vegetarians, according to eatright.org. There are different branches of a vegetarian based diet. These include: Ovo-Lacto which consists of plant based foods but may also include eggs and dairy, pescatarian based diet that only consists of fish, vegan abstains from ALL animal products and consumes only plant based foods (no meat, fish, eggs or dairy). Anyone attempting this lifestyle needs to educate themselves to ensure they continue to get their key nutrients. But if you prefer one day of the year, then Independence from Meat day is the holiday for you. If you’re considering this life style change, please view the sites listed, and referenced below for more information.