I grew up Catholic and remember how it felt like such a giant sacrifice to not eat meat on Fridays. OMG, we have to have FISH (which, HELLO, is technically meat)?!?!? CHEESE PIZZA?!?!? THE HORROR!!!
As I got older, I started enjoying meat less. Honestly, at the beginning, it wasn’t even about compassion for the animals or protecting the earth, meat just kinda grossed me out.
But then I started learning what meat production (especially factory farming) does to our planet and became more aware about how we’re raising and treating the animals that feed us, and I decided I would try to do better. Here are a few convincing motivators for eating more plants and less meat:
- This video:
2. Carbon footprints:
Beef = 26.61 kg
Lamb = 25.58 kg
Pork = 5.77 kg
Chicken = 3.65 kg
Fish = 3.49 kg
Eggs = 3.46 kg
Fruits & Veggies (from heated greenhouse) = 2.13 kg
Tree Nuts = 1.2 kg
Field Grown Veggies = .37 kg
(The moral?: If you want to lessen your environmental impact and still eat meat, choose fish or chicken.)
3. This book.
First of all, if you haven’t read any of Jonathan Safron Foer’s books (like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close or Everything Is Illuminated), I highly recommend. I was already a Safran Foer fan before Eating Animals.
Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, Eating Animals is difficult to read at times. I often teared up about how awful we humans are reading passage after passage to my husband before falling asleep at night (in hindsight, not the best bedtime reading). Yes, I have read articles and seen documentaries about factory farming. But none of them moved me the way this book did. This book is what pushed me over the edge to a mostly plant-based diet (still hanging on to eggs, dairy, fish and the occasional piece of chicken). It should be required reading for everyone. Not a reader? Maybe you’d prefer it in movie form instead (I haven’t seen the movie, but I’m guessing it can’t be as good as then book).
You don’t have to go completely vegan overnight. If you’re a meat lover, try starting with Meatless Monday. Or, maybe commit to buying ethically farmed beef and pork (look for words like “pasture-raised or grass fed.” (Yes, it costs a lot more but that might help you eat less!)
You can make a difference with just little steps. WE can make a difference.