A lot of folks get that eating a plant-based diet is the most Earth-friendly and sustainable food choice. But as we all know, the chasm between knowledge and action can be huge.
In the case of eating less meat, it becomes even wider depending on where you grew up. In South Africa, for example, meat isn?t just something we eat, it?s woven into the fabric of our culture.
When you grow up eating meat, eggs and dairy, it can be hard to give those things up. Black coffee is gross and toast without scrambled eggs is, well, toast. And what about grilled cheese, how on earth are you supposed to survive without that childhood staple?
What is the MeatLess May Campaign?
If you?ve been toying with the idea of eating a plant-based diet, but haven?t been able to wrap your head around the idea of never eating another cheeseburger ever, the MeatLess May campaign is the perfect way to test the water.
Rather than have you quit all animal products outright for the month of May (gasp), it simply challenges you to commit to a more sustainable diet. You choose your ?dietary tribe? based on what you?re able to give up.
For example, meat lovers can opt for the Positive Pioneers tribe, which means you only give up meat, poultry and fish from Monday to Thursday. If you think you can do without meat, but not your morning cappuccino, then the Virtually Veggies tribe is for you.
For vegetarians, this is a great opportunity to quit eggs and dairy and eat 100 percent vegan. The Groovy Gardeners slogan says it all: if it grows in the ground, you can eat it.
10 Reasons to Try MeatLess May
Along with encouraging people to eat fewer animal products, the campaign also aims to raise awareness around the key issues affecting our planet. Ultimately, we are all responsible for the habitat we live in.
These are?10 compelling?reasons to support the MeatLess May campaign.
- Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water and causes immense animal suffering.
- Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.
- People under 65 who eat a lot of meat, eggs and dairy are four times as likely to die from cancer or diabetes.
- Pigs, cows, chickens, fish, and other animals raised at factory farms experience unimaginable cruelty.
- Humane meat is a contradiction in terms.
- Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction.
- For every pound of fish caught, five pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill.
- Animal agriculture increases acid rain.
- Most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.
- Eating organic meat will not help you avoid contaminants.
Resources to Keep You on Track during MeatLess May (and beyond!)
We?ve all been there. Something gets you all fired up and raring to go, and then a day or two later you?re flailing. Inspiration is a wonderful thing, but you also need motivation to keep going when things get tough. As they usually do.
If you feel your motivation?flagging, these talks, movies, and books can help you remember why you’re?trying to cut back on (or cut out) animal products.
A Vegan Bodybuilding Experiment by Joshua Knox
The Secrets of Food Marketing by Kate Cooper
Why I?m a Weekday Vegetarian by Graham Hill
Cowspiracy by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn
What The Health by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn
The Secret Reason We Eat Meat by Dr. Melanie Joy [animated]
8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Dr. Andrew Weil
The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner
Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter and Caprice Crane
You?re also welcome to download a free, no strings attached copy of my e-book: Eating a Plant-Based Diet for Beginners (and Curious Omnivores).
Eliminating animal products from your diet benefits you, the planet and of course, the animals. May is a little over a week away, so you?ve got plenty of time to get your head in the game.
Make the commitment to eat less meat for the month. You?ll find plenty of support and inspiration on the MeatLess May Facebook page and by following #meatlessmay on Instagram.
Related at Care2
A Guide to Plant-Based Milks
Why do Vegans Eat Meat and Cheese Alternatives?
10 Reasons the Meat and Dairy Industries are Unsustainable
Photo Credit: Thinkstock
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.
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10 Reasons to Support the MeatLess May Campaign (and How to Make a Success of It)