Going Meat-LESS and the Environment
I don’t know about you, but I am SO EXCITED for new beginnings in 2019! It’s a new year and a new chance for each of us to adopt some simple “Everyday Eco-Habits" that will collectively make our earth so much healthier. In 2018, we learned how to go Straw-LESS, Bag-LESS, Litter-LESS, Coffee Cup-LESS, Emissions-LESS, Fright-LESS(Halloween), Wrap-LESS and Holiday-Waste-LESS. You should feel so proud of all YOU have already done for YOUR earth! This year, my goal is to help you make even more “everyday” choices to create a better environment, and a better you. So, let’s begin our journey into 2019 by Going Meat-LESS. Not only will this make our earth healthier, but it will make our bodies healthier too. Remember, my blog is focused on simple, “Everyday” Eco-Habits, so I’m not asking you to give up meat completely, or even the entire month (unless you want to!). What I am asking you to do is to consider the benefits of Going Meat-LESS by eating just oneplant-based meal a day, or even one a week. You might even consider going flexitarian, which is someone who eats mostly a plant-based diet, but does occasionally eat meat.
Wondering what the benefits of Going Meat-LESS are in regard to your health and the environment? Come along with me on this month’s journey via Instagram and Facebook. I’ll be sharing stories and videos from inspiring guest bloggers, I’ll have special Meat-LESS recipes, and I’ll share tons more fun, informative facts about why Meat-LESS is good for our environment and your health. And for those of you who want to dig even deeper, I’ve created this handy PDF of my favorite books on eating plant based.
Going Meat-LESS is not only good for you, it can save the world. The statistics are mind boggling. By simply Going Meat-LESS, even occasionally, you and I can help solve many environmental problems as the production and distribution of meat profoundly affects our land, water, and air.
Going Meat-LESS preserves natural resources.
It turns out that raising livestock uses a lot of resources. Take a minute and think about it. Livestock, like cows, need food, water, space and shelter, just like any other animal in the world. About 30% of the world’s total land (ice-free) is used to raise livestock! And 40% of all of the grain produced is being fed to livestock instead of humans. A study done by Cornell University says the US could feed 800 million people with the grain that livestock eat. Each year, an estimated 41 million tons of plant protein is fed to U.S. livestock to produce an estimated 7 million tons of animal protein for human consumption. Something just doesn’t add up.
Going Meat-LESS can help combat climate change:
Did you know greenhouse-gas emissions could be significantly reduced if people followed a plant-based died? Livestock make up almost 80% of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization, livestock was estimated to contribute roughly 14.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than all of the transportation in the world combined, including cars, planes, trains and trucks! Since we are in a climate crisis, especially with the increase in population, we need to reach emissions reductions. The easiest way to do this is to eat a climate-friendly diet, which means less meat. All of the other efforts to combat climate change, such as electric cars, solar panels, wind power, etc. don't hold a candle to the simple act of eating less meat. Fun fact: If you simply skip meat and cheese one day a week with your family, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for five weeks! Do you know which food has the highest carbon footprint? Its lamb! Followed by beef, cheese and pork. Get this- eating just one serving of lamb is equivalent to driving 90 miles! Here is a link to the foods with the biggest carbon footprint.
Going Meat-LESS can help save water:
Imagine all of the water it takes to grow the crops to feed all of the livestock in the world? On top of that, they all need to drink water. Then, water is used in the production of the meat. About 29% of all the freshwater available on earth is used by the meat and dairy industry, with 4,068 gallons of water producing just 2 pounds of beef! According to the EPA, just one hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce, equivalent to 2 months’ worth of showers. Going Meat-LESS can drastically reduce our water footprint.
Going Meat-LESS can reduce pollution:
Livestock, and their waste, causes major issues in waterways, including the ocean. Millions of gallons of livestock waste creates nitrogen imbalances and encourages disease, algal blooms and ocean acidification. These poor cows are responsible for almost 2/3 of acid rain in our ecosystem. Livestock, especially cattle, are causing detrimental effects on our environment and if something doesn’t change soon, our earth won’t be able to support us.
James Cameron’s (famed director of the Titanic and Avatar) wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, has written a fantastic book titled “OMD, One Meal a Day for the Planet,” that shows how the simple act of eating just one plant-based meal can have a positive impact on our earth. I am proud to partner with My Green Friend Suzy on this important issue and encourage you to join me in her OMD 10-day challenge that starts today! Simply tag me with a picture of you eating a plant-based meal to be entered into a raffle to win a copy of her book.
Going Meat-LESS tastes good and is good for our health!
The bonus about eating plant-based? It tastes amazing and has many health benefits! For example, eating plant-based can reduce the risk of heart disease by 20-26%! But don’t take it from me. My Green Friend Pamela Salzman has a website with tons of Meat-LESS recipes, online classes, and my favorite, a weekly dinner planner with a Meat-LESS Monday meal to help us cook delicious, plant-based meals. Another Green Friend, Chrissy Roth, has an amazing website called Plant Based Luv, where she blogs about her journey, recipes, disease prevention, and even talks about how she got her husband on board. I love that she has a section with quick and easy plant-based recipes! Chrissy and I will be doing a video demonstration for you of an easy plant-based meal and snacks for your kids, so stay tuned for that. And My Green Friends Peggy and Megan Curry from Curry Girls Kitchen will be sharing one of their delicious plant-based meals for my Everyday Eco-Habits community.
We are so lucky to have these incredible environmental and health pros share their wisdom. With their help, I look forward to inspiring you to Go Meat-LESS in January. Your body will thank you – and so will the earth:)