The EPA isn’t the only one who can cut carbon emissions drastically (haven’t heard the news? Click here) – you can too! Yes, we can definitely use renewable energy instead of messing with those high-polluting, non-renewable resources (coal, oil, etc..), but there is also an easier, cheaper way to limit your carbon footprint straight from home! What is it, you ask? You may have never figured this, but it’s eat less meat.
I know, I know, we love our burgers, steaks, fish sticks, hot dogs, fried chicken, and more, but eating less meat will not only lower the extreme levels of CO2 being emitted into our environment, it will help improve our bodies health and, obviously, save a few animals from their torturous demise. (Look at these happy cows!) According to a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), our diets and, specifically, the meat in them cause more greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and the like to spew into the atmosphere than either transportation or industry. (Greenhouse gases trap solar energy, thereby warming the earth’s surface. Because gases vary in greenhouse potency, every greenhouse gas is usually expressed as an amount of CO2 with the same global-warming potential.) The livestock sector is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” And even more so, large amounts of fresh water are used in the overall production of meat – with the sea levels rising we are losing more and more access to our fresh water supplies, and all the droughts due to the extreme weather conditions all over the planet aren’t helping either! We need to conserve as much water as possible!
The World Cancer Research Fund recommends we “choose mostly plant foods, limit red meat and avoid processed meat”. In 2010, a study carried out by Oxford University’s department of public health found that eating meat no more than three times a week could prevent 31,000 deaths from heart disease, 9,000 deaths from cancer and 5,000 deaths from stroke, as well as save the NHS £1.2 billion in costs each year. Why in cow’s name are we eating meat all the time?
So what is meat free monday? Meat Free Monday (aka Meatless Monday) is an international campaign encouraging people to eat less meat weekly. It is supported by many people around the world, with a long list of celebrity backers including: Oprah, Paul McCartney, Stella McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Rick Gervais, and more. To get more involved at home, all you have to do is find ways to substitute meat with awesome vegan/vegetarian alternatives. Check out some delectable, easy-to-make recipes from the award-winning, vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli at chefchloe.com. After eating a couple of those dishes, you may never want to eat meat again!
Or….at least not every day.
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