Posted on March 24, 2014
Some people are vegetarians and never eat meat, ever. There are several reasons people might be meat-free: some practice a religion that demands a no-meat diet; some avoid eating meat because they hate the way in which animals are raised and slaughtered by the meat industry, or they simply will not eat a once-living animal; some believe that meat-free is healthier, at least for them; and some are thoughtful about the impact that the meat industry has on the environment.
Yep. Eating less meat helps the environment. Because the plant foods that can be grown on an acre of land feed more people than can the meat from livestock grown on that acre of land, reducing meat consumption could result in having fewer hungry people in the world. Also, producing a pound of meat doesn't just take more land than producing a pound of plant crops—it also takes more energy and water, and produces more pollutants!
|Can you believe that it takes more than six pounds of plant foods|
to make just one quarter-pound burger? And check out how much
water, land, and energy it takes to make that one measly burger!
Eating meat even adds to global warming. The United Nations has shown that the world's livestock is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions!
I personally am not a vegetarian. I know that there are some nutrients that are easier to get from meat than from plants, and I don't want to become a difficult guest. But I often eat “low on the food chain” – which means that, many days or many meals, I choose to eat plants rather than meat – for many of the environmental, animal-rights, and health reasons listed above. In other words, I'm a part-time vegetarian and only a some-time carnivore.
It can be very interesting to change your diet for a while and see how you like a new way of eating—and what better time to try a vegetarian diet than Meat Free Week?
From March 24 to 30, we are encouraged to “Eat less, care more, feel good.”
The people who created Meat Free Week offer loads of recipes, but it's easy to find vegetarian and vegan recipes elsewhere, too.
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