Interestingly, over the last year, I’ve seen lots of my friends go from looking forward to their weekly steak night to becoming red-meat free (or consuming it once a month at most) and part-time vegetarians. Myself included. When asked why, myself, like many others, will go on to explain that it is to reduce our contribution towards global warming (aka our ‘carbon footprint’).
If we all became part-time vegetarians (when one can count the number of times you’ve had meat that week using just a few fingers) this could cut global food-related emissions of green house gases by 63%. This is because the farming of animals has many steps, all that harm the environment. For a very brief snap shot:
1) Animals need land to graze – non-agricultural land has to be converted into agricultural land (…think trees being cut down. Trees that would help to absorb greenhouse gases)
2) Animals need to be fed – this means lots of water and lots of effort into growing food
3) Animals themselves will release greenhouse gases. It’s no myth that cows fart methane, additionally, the manure of animals release even more harmful products into our atmosphere.
One of the most frustrating things I’ve heard is people who are vegan/vegetarian telling those who are partaking in a diet like this, of hugely reducing their meat consumption, that it’s stupid and hypocritical. Additionally, it is just as frustrating (if not more), when you hear avid meat eaters saying that people who don’t eat meat are crazy and the whole thing is “pointless”.
Data from many different sources all agree on the same thing: eating less meat will help limit the negative effects on the environment. So all of this name calling etc. is absolutely pointless. If we all reduced the amount of meat we eat, this would have a huge, lasting impact, helping to slow down global warming by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. In the end, if someone is willing to go through their week without their usual steak night or someone is willing to try out veganism, we should celebrate this, as every little bit will help.
If you need more convincing, meat reduction is also beneficial to your health. By having a diet filled with vegetables and less meat, you are less likely to suffer from heart disease than big meat-eaters. Also, it will leave you feeling a lot better in your body… if you don’t believe me just look at this:
In conclusion… My aim of writing this blog post was to try my best to convince a few people out there to choose the veggie option in their meal deal, work lunch, Saturday brunch etc. more regularly. This is a great way to start off and the more you do it, the more you will be doing your bit. So why not try and be a part-time vegetarian next week and see how it goes?