It’s time to get healthy! Or at least that was the intention of Aaron Brooks—lead guitarist for The Ghost Inside—when he decided to cut out fast food, quit eating meat, and go vegetarian. It can seem like a daunting decision to make on your own, especially when you’re in a band full of omnivores, but Aaron went vegetarian nearly nine years ago and continues to reap the rewarding benefits

Deciding to go vegetarian to improve one’s health is a common catalyst for change. Once the new regime is in effect, it’s only natural to become aware of the animal welfare issues surrounding our food choices, including the harsh realities of factory farming. Cows, chickens, and pigs on factory farms endure filthy, disease-ridden conditions and experience horrible pain and suffering. Whether you stumble upon PETA’s undercover investigation videos or find yourself watching documentaries such as Earthlings and Forks Over Knives, it’s important to do your research and know the facts so you can be informed and feel better inside and out.

Every person who chooses a meat-free diet saves 100 animals a year and helps the environment! According to the United Nations, raising animals for food generates more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, planes, ships, trucks, and trains in the world combined. A staggering 51 percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute. Now, that’s a lot of airborne waste! Be sure to take a stand and speak up about all the advantages of a meat-free diet.