If one of your goals is to cut back on meat consumption but you’re not sure where to start, then you’ve come to the right place! When I first decided to cut meat out of my diet it felt very frustrating trying to go from 0 to 60. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: it won’t happen overnight. So just take that pressure off right now!
Why you should eat less meat:
There are many reasons someone may decide to eat less meat. here are the most common and some reasons I think it’s important to re-think your meat consumption.
1. The environmental impact of meat
Animal products take a toll on our environment. Factory farming is the biggest cause of deforestation globally. Forests are cut down to make room for the sheer amount of meat we consume to be raised. Livestock also produces high amounts of greenhouse gases by releasing carbon emissions into our atmosphere with beef being the largest contributor.
2. Animal welfare
I know most people don’t like to think about it or like to pretend they don’t care, but the way farmed animals are treated is absolutely horrendous. I won’t go into too much detail here but these animals are kept in too small areas, abused, beaten, mutilated and more. They live awful, short lives just to feed our consumption.
3. Dietary reasons/health
I can’t sit here and tell you that eating a vegan diet will cure you or be healthier for you than any other diet. But I can tell you that cutting meat out entirely from my diet, did help me to feel a lot better and it’s done the same for others.
5 simple ways to eat less meat:
As I said, this transition most likely won’t happen overnight. Often when people do this, they end up feeling overwhelmed, underprepared and giving up. Here’s how you can avoid that.
1. Reduce one type of meat at a time
Reducing them one by one is much more manageable because it doesn’t leave you feeling like you have nothing to eat. I always suggest starting with beef because it does have the highest environmental footprint but you can start where you like. Try eliminating one for about a month or a couple of weeks before eliminating the next one.
2. Focus on one meatless meal a day
Breakfast is usually the easiest to make meatless as there are so many breakfast ideas that are already meatless! Even if you include eggs, you’re already reducing your carbon footprint by a lot!
3. Incorporate vegan meats
If meat’s still a little hard to give up, incorporate some vegan meats into your diet. This can help your diet still feel normal. And there are so many great options out there for any kind of meat you’re missing!
4. Focus on building your meals around plant-based proteins
Bean, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and lentils are just some of the wonderful vegan protein sources you can build your meal around! Now is the time to get creative. Oh, and if your tofu doesn’t taste great the first few times, please keep trying! It’s so wonderful and versatile, just takes a bit to get used to cooking with it!
5. Be flexible
If everyone in the world could be 100% vegan, that would be pretty cool. But it won’t happen and that’s ok. Have meat sometimes if that’s more sustainable long-term for you. Do what works for you. By simply eating less meat, you’re already achieving a lot and making a huge difference!
There’s no one way to be an environmentalist. And there’s no perfect way either! But as meat is such a huge contributor to the climate crisis, minimizing our consumption is a great form of activism.
I hope this post helped you on your journey to eat less meat! Please don’t forget to share this post and follow me on Instagram for daily low-waste living inspiration!