We all know eating meat isn’t so great for the environment, but if your family is anything like mine, going 100% vegetarian just isn’t going to happen. However, that doesn’t mean you have to eat meat all of the time. For the sake of being “green”, our family has committed to going vegetarian part of the time, we call it “flexitarian“. This way, we still have some flexibility when we go out to eat, to a party, or simply feel like having burgers for dinner. It’s easier than you may think, and here are some good reasons you may want to consider eating a “flexitarian” diet in your home too…
- If all the women in America ate half as much meat, that would be like a quarter of the United States (80 million people) going vegetarian! It would mean that millions fewer cows, pigs & chickens would be bred and fed food crops that could feed people instead. There would also be less water polluted with animal waste, and fewer animals kept in inhumane conditions. Only a quarter of the fossil fuels used now would be burned to ship the meat around the country in refrigerated trucks, and only three-quarters of the animals now bred for meat would be eaten.
- Cow farts contribute to global warming, seriously! Cows produce methane, which they burp and fart out, which is twenty times worse for global warming than CO2. And cows aren’t the only ones- According to the United Nations, raising chickens, pigs and turkeys for food has a greater impact on Global Warming than all of the transportation in the world! So if you stop eating meat (even half of the time), it’s even better for the planet than switching from an SUV to a hybrid car.
- Rain forests are still being cut down to create grazing land for cattle. According to the Smithsonian Institution, seven football fields’ worth of land is chopped down every minute to create more grazing land for meat-producing animals.
- It takes a lot of energy to grow a pound of meat, in fact, nearly one-third of fossil fuels used in this country go to raise meat. A John Hopkins University study found that it takes thirty-five calories of energy to make one calorie of meat. When you look at it that way, is it really worth it to waste dwindling resources for every meal, just because something tastes good?
- You’ll live longer! A study in the British Medical Journal “Lancet” says that eating a vegetarian diet means you’ll have six more years of good times here on planet Earth! So going veg. half of the time means you could add 3 more years to your life!
- Non-meat diets are recommended by both The American Dietetic Association and The American Heart Association.
- You’ll save quite a bit of money on your monthly grocery bill, meat is expensive!
Here are some ideas to help you get started…
- Start a “Meatless Monday” tradition, where you and your family do not eat any meat on Mondays. Get creative, and if your kidlets are old enough, get them involved in coming up with meatless meal ideas & recipes.
- Use the vegetarian food pyramid below to help plan well balanced meat free meals.
- Experiment with different nut butters, and use them to make lunches. Almond butter & smashed fresh s
- trawberries make an amazing sandwich!
- Breakfast is one of the easiest meals to go meatless, cereals, waffles, pancakes, bagels, eggs and fruit with yogurt are all super yummy, and meat free options! And yes, since you are “flexitarian“, you can still have your ham omelet or bacon and eggs every now and then.
- Try eating meat free dinners 3 nights per week, and no, that doesn’t mean you have to eat salad every night! Veggie stir-frys, pastas, and even pizza are all great options.
*I personally do not recommend low-fat or non-fat dairy for women.
Going vegetarian part of the time is really quite easy, and the positive impact is has on your health, planet, and pocketbook should make it even easier ! So what do you think? Will you join me in being a flexitarian? Or are you already eating meat free part or all of the time? Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
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