Thursday, December 18, 2008

Eat Less Meat: Help the Planet and Your Health!

While I sincerely hope that one day a vegan diet will be practiced by the majority, rather than a steadfast, caring minority, this blog post is for the folks who aren't quite ready to transition to a vegan - or at least vegetarian - diet.

There are many reasons to go vegan - animal rights, human rights, environmental concerns, spiritual beliefs, health and wellness, and an ethical belief in non-violence are just a few.

This quick blog post is addressed to those folks who aren't yet veg*n, but are concerned about their environmental impact and interested in ways they can help save the planet by making easy changes in their lifestyle.

So, here goes:

The energy, water and transportation involved in raising, processing and transporting animals raised for food and the resulting meat products have an enormous impact on the environment. Because of this, vegans and vegetarians significantly lower their impact on the environment the day they stop eating meat.

But, even if you aren’t quite ready to transform your diet and go meat-free, you can still lessen your impact on the environment by limiting your meat consumption – even if you go meatless just one day each week.

Meat alternatives are a great way to ease your (or your family’s) transition and still thoroughly enjoy hearty, filling meals on the days you choose to help the environment – and your health – by going meatless. Morning Star Farms, Boca, Yves and many other companies offer excellent fake meat products that allow you and your family to enjoy your favorite dishes and comfort foods without missing the meat you usually use.

Although meat substitutes do still require energy, water, transport and packaging, the environmental impact of fake meats is significantly less than animal-derived meat products, making vegetarian and vegan meat products a good place to start for folks who would like to improve their health and lower their environmental impact by limiting their intake of meat.

Check out the links in the right column to find easy vegan recipes, vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives and resources that will help you go meat-free for at least just one day each week.