When it comes to diet, and more specifically the ideal diet, there is an overwhelming amount of information to sort through, most of it conflicting. We have paleo, ketogenic, raw, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, and numerous other types of diets, and while each one claims to be the best, how can we ever really know? It seems each diet offers pros and cons, and so people often argue that you should eat what makes you feel good. But, in addition to health implications, do you ever consider environmental and ethical factors when choosing which diet is right for you?
People will argue until they are blue in the face that their diet is the best diet. We have vegetarians and vegans claiming theirs is the way to optimal health and is absolutely necessary if you want to help the environment. Unfortunately, this all or nothing type of attitude often turns people away from considering making a change at all. This is a huge shame, because making an effort to eat less meat and animal products can be hugely beneficial for the environment and would mean that millions of animals, if not more, would no longer have to suffer.
Is It All Or Nothing?
Absolutely not! As a former “vegan,” I used to feel this way and would advocate for veganism, trying to inspire and encourage others to adopt this type of lifestyle, and I still do, but what I eventually learned was that there are certain ways to do that. I am not a health expert or professional, so who am I to tell people what kind of diet they should be eating? Regardless of what I think, or how I feel about factory farming, animal welfare, and the environment, people still eat meat, and while I might not do so myself, I’m not here to judge those who do, but to help shed light on another perspective.
But, something that absolutely everyone can do, and should if they’d like to be a part of the solution rather than contributing to the problem — the destruction of our environment — is to simply cut back the amount of meat and animal products they are consuming on a regular basis. Maybe you’ve already heard about all of the benefits that come from eating less meat, for the animals, the environment, and potentially your health, but you just can’t seem to bring yourself to give it up. The good thing is that you don’t have to give it up completely; there are many options for you to consider and many initiatives out there to assist this process. If you are a meat and potatoes for dinner every night kind of person and you have no idea where to begin, there are some great tools and resources available online. Meatless Mondays, for example, is an initiative to go meatless for one day a week, which might seem insignificant, but when you multiply that by millions of people around the world, the impact is huge.
This is a great place to start! By making a conscious decision to consume less meat and animal products, you are opening up doors to many new recipes, dining options, and plant-based substitutes. Even just switching over to plant-based nut milks will have a huge impact when multiplied by millions.
What About a Weekday Vegetarian?
By restricting your meat consumption to weekends only, you are reducing your meat consumption by about 70%. That is certainly a way to take things to the next level. The following video is a snippet from a TedX talk with Graham Hill. Here’s his take on the reducetarian movement and why he calls himself a “Weekday Vegetarian.”
Could you do it?