Studies show that people, in general, don’t give accurate representation of their behavior. So, many people who say they are vegetarian actually are not. Most people who think they don’t eat much meat, eat more than they realize. Wherever you are coming from, unless you are completely vegan, there are steps to take. The truly beautiful thing is that we can make this choice every single day at least three times. I would love to hear if you have other ideas, and if you try one of these.
This is an evolving list that I created and will add to it. In no particular order…
1. Substitute almond, soy, coconut or rice milk where you might use dairy. Especially where you won’t even notice. If used in cereal or within a recipe, you won’t even notice it. Gradually you could try finding a milk you like with coffee. We just stopped drinking any milk alone, and drink water instead.
2. Buy earth balance instead of butter.
3. I highly recommend trying Just Mayo, the egg-free mayo that threw the egg industry into a panic.
4. Try one of the great meat alternatives in your tacos, or as part of a salad or sandwich. I will write a post on my favorites, but will mention Field Roast sausages as the best sausage alternative (apple sage is my favorite flavor). I have to also mention the Gardein chickenless nuggets.
5. Reduce portions. If you feel you need to use meat in a recipe, try cutting your normal amount in half. You can even add more vegetables instead in most cases for lasagnes, soups, pasta dishes, etc. Don’t assume you will just eat less meat without making conscious decisions.
Many people decide to cut back on the red meat and consider that enough. Chickens (both meat and egg-laying) and fish account for 92% of the farm animals killed for food in the U.S. They also represent 95% of the days of animal suffering caused each year by omnivores (Veganomics).
The fact that poultry is one of the most contaminated meats also is shocking. It really feels like they are pushing to see how far they can push limits with consumers, even shipping chicken to China and back. As far as eggs, consider that all the male chicks born for the meat industry are ground up alive. Chicken and fish are perhaps harder for humans to relate to than mammals, however that doesn’t mean they don’t suffer.
Meatless Monday is an international movement to help people reduce their meat consumption by 15%.
On average, Americans consume 8 ounces of meat per day – 45% more than the USDA recommends. Going meatless one day a week can reduce the risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help limit people’s carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.
For more information on the benefits of reducing meat consumption along with delicious meatless recipes and other resources visit MeatlessMonday.com. And be sure to sign up for our weekly Eater’s Digest newsletter with featured recipes and news.
Mark Bittman wrote a book on this, where he eats vegan for breakfast and lunch, but after 6, leaves it open. You’d need to read his book to learn all the details, but this seems like a way to curb meat consumption up to 2/3!
Take the #eatlessmeat challenge and simply reduce meat
It is an identity, community, and movement. It is composed of individuals who are committed to eating less meat – red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal. The concept is appealing because not everyone is able or willing to completely eliminate meat from their diet.
Give it a trial run. It is only for 30 days.
This is currently available FREE and will give you expert, daily guidance.
Please let us know if you have other ideas to reduce the strain that eating too much meat has caused for us all!
If all you do is spend a few hours to watch videos, that can be very motivating. Here are the most popular.
Forks Over Knives: This approaches more of the plant-based diet from a health angle. This was very impactful for me.
Cowspiracy, the sustainability secret: Now on Netflix. Eye-opening documentary about the meat industry, the environment, and why no one is talking about it.
Vegucated: If you think you could never be vegan, see what happens when this film follows 3 meat and cheese-loving New Yorkers as they try to adopt a vegan diet for 6 weeks.
Earthlings: To be honest, I have never watched this. It is a documentary about humanity’s use of other animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment and for scientific research. I know it is powerful and uses undercover videos to expose the truth.
Ellen Degeneres interview: There may be better interviews than this, but I love Ellen and she explains her personal reasons is a 4 minute snippet. At the 3 minute mark, she makes a very interesting tie to personal positive energy.