Meat me on a healthier planet.
Steve Kux’s article really got me thinking. It got me thinking about my own eating habits and why I chose to ditch my carnivorous ways. For the last 5 months I have been a die-hard piscatarian—a “vegetarian” who still consumes seafood, but no other forms of meat or poultry. I don’t really consider this to be a vegetarian…..for obvious reasons (I mean, sea creatures are animals and thus seafood is still meat). Regardless, I truly believe that small changes like this can really lead to a collective benefit for our earth.
However, it may not benefit you right away. For example, when I first cut out meat from my diet (back in April), I felt an immediate drop in my energy. I felt tired and sleepy. But this lasted about a week—I guess this is a very short amount of time to get adjusted to such a major change. By the second week, I was feeling better than ever! I had a ton of energy and I just felt fantastic from the inside out.
The anthropologist in me thought giving up meat was just about the stupidest lifestyle change I (or any other human) could make. Our ancestors consumed meat. Some of our major evolutionary changes occurred as a result of meat consumption. Our guts are evolved to digest meat.
But then the environmentalist in me came out screaming:
“Canadians consume 40 kg of meat annually”. (This adds up to 1.5 billion kg collectively!)
“A meat-based diet requires 7 times more land than a plant-based diet”.
And besides, the meat that our ancestors consumed was much leaner and healthier (as animals raised during those early human periods had much more space to run about and be active). Typically the meat consumed today is raised in tight, constricted conditions that barely give animals breathing space. On top of this, the way in which animals are slaughtered passes on a kind of evil energy. When we consume that meat, does this energy not get transferred to us? Evidence: energy is neither created nor destroyed..Just rearranged.
Some other benefits of giving up the carnivorous trough:
1) Researchers have found that vegetarians are 12% less likely to be diagnosed with cancer than meat-eaters (even after accounting for other risks such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity)
2) Meat production requires 10 -20 times more energy per edible tonne than grain production
3) The amount of meat that people eat is growing by about five million tonnes per year.
4) We can cut back on an incredible amount of energy production, land, and waste if each of us makes a reduction in how much meat we consume on a regular basis.
My goal wasn’t to change your mind. It was just to provide some insight. So consider shedding the meat and opting for some fresh greens. Or not.
But one small step for you,
could be one giant leap for mankind.