Thursday, November 17, 2016

Why don't I eat meat?


Man, I've been busy. Keeping up with this blog is tough, but I was just inspired by a coworker to write a new post. Standing in the kitchen, a coworker was talking about how much he loves KFC and how much hate there is for it and he wanted to start a KFC Support Group (all jokes). I then said I wouldn't eat it even if I did eat meat, so then another one asked me why I don't eat meat.

Whenever I get this question I always hesitate for a second thinking to myself, how do I approach this person. I have only been here a few months and don't ever want to come off as preachy or judgey about ones food choices so I told her about how I interned at the Canadian Meat Council years ago, which solidified my thoughts on wanting to become vegetarian and since then (almost 3 years ago) I have learned so many more reasons why we shouldn't be eating meat which has just continued my support for this lifestyle.

SO; I'm going to write a blog about why I don't eat meat and what the implications of eating meat actually are because, most people are ignorant to the real hard facts of doing so. I am going to use that word a lot, ignorant. It comes with a lot of bad connotations, because people automatically think it comes as a negative. Not knowing something is ignorance. We can't know everything, I don't know everything and am ignorant to many things in the world. So take it all with a grain of salt, but I hope that every person that reads this comes out with thinking twice about what they eat because as they say "You are what you eat!"

In the past year I have been on this amazing food journey. I watch lots of food documentaries, read a lot of food articles, and have been really trying to educate myself on what is in my food and what the heck am I eating. Food has become my favorite topic to talk about; I even find myself talking about it on dates, which is weird, but I like it.

I do have to admit, I am technically a pescetarian (which means I don't eat any animal meat, but I eat fish, I also eat animal by-products like milk, eggs, yogurt). Although, after recently watching a documentary called Food Choices on Netflix and it truly opened my eyes to eating fish and the implications mass fishing does to our environment, and of course more specifically, our oceans. I also hardly ever have dairy. I don't drink milk (Almond Milk FTW), I eat vegan cheese, I don't use mayo. I do use butter every so often and eat eggs, but organic and free range.

I could go on for hours on this topic but I thought I would maybe just list off some facts about the meat and animal agriculture industry you might not know about!

  • Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation. That means, farming animals for meat produces more greenhouse gas emmissions than EVERY SINGLE VEHICLE ON THE PLANET.
  • Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day
  • 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. 
  • Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction
  • For every 1 pound of fish caught, up to 5 pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill
  • Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction
  • 82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries
  • Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life. 
If you got through all of that, props to you. Seriously. Now, some of you may think these facts are false, but please just google "Animal Agriculture Facts" and read a few articles. These are all cold hard facts that the agriculture industries do not want the general public to know.

Let me summarize: Farming animals takes water to keep them alive and drinking, land to have them roam and feed (if they're lucky), land to grow their feed, vehicles and exhaust to transport them and their meat, forests and trees destroyed for more land for them, in which they all produce tons of horrible emissions into the world. Which is all a very very sad reality.

You want to solve our environmental issues? Cut down on your meat consumption. Eat vegan a few times a week, buy organic, buy your eggs from free range farms where you can see all the little chickens running around.

Be smart. Please don't be ignorant. Our environment and the world cannot sustain this kind of lifestyle. It is impossible.

SOOOOOOO, with all that being said; I started off on this vegetarian and food lifestyle change because I did not agree with killing animals for food. We can find protein in tons of other foods like beans, nuts, peas, lentils, and organic soy products. Be creative with your foods, be smart about what your eating and how it won't just effect your waistline, it effects the environment, the sustainability of this planet and the well being of all animals. 

I will leave you with links to some of the best resources for facts and helpful tips to transition to being a smarter eater!

PS. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, this is just mine. But before knocking this off as just preachy junk, read up on this stuff, because you may be more convinced then you think!

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