I’ve been reading a lot lately about why we shouldn’t eat meat. I have always wanted to be a vegetarian for these reasons, but I like meat. And I don’t have the most varied eating habits when it comes to things like vegetables, grains and beans. So I knew I would most likely starve or eat lots of sugar if I became a vegetarian.
For some reason, I just always assumed that either you were a vegetarian or you weren’t. But then I realized that it didn’t have to be one or the other. So I became a lessetarian.
A “lessetarian” is someone who eats less meat. In my case, I’m down to once every week or two. Choosing to reduce the amount of meat I eat has been a revelation – I realize that there are a lot of good healthy things that I like to eat that don’t involve meat. I have even found a lot of vegetarian options at restaurants. Times are changing, and businesses are becoming more aware of the existence and increase of vegetarians. And when I can’t find a vegetarian option that I like, I eat meat.
I am amazed at how long I can go without eating meat. Even better, I am finding that I am developing a preference for leafy greens and plump tomatoes. I couldn’t have chosen a better time – the farmers’ market is chock full of gorgeous fruits and vegetables right now.
Why I Chose to Reduce My Meat Consumption:
- Meat is expensive. It is even more expensive considering the fact that I always try to choose free-range, grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free beef and poultry. Since I am eating less meat, I have more money to put toward quality choices when I do buy it. Also, I used to buy tons of prepackaged chicken stock. Now I make my own vegetable stock using the ends of onions, carrot peels and other leftovers. I just put them in a pot barely covered with water and simmer for an hour. Then I freeze it in glass jars and use it when I need it.
- It’s healthier. Eating too much meat can lead to obesity and other health problems. When I eat meat, I eat smaller and leaner cuts. Plus, I don’t have to worry as much about things like e. coli and mad cow disease and other contaminations in meat.
- It’s better for the animals. I won’t go into the way animals are treated on most of these farms, but it is horrible. Check out PETA’s list of the Top 10 Movies That Make You Go Meatless.
- Eating less meat is better for the environment. Animal waste is a huge source of pollution, including methane from cows. Methane is a greenhouse gas that can contribute to climate change, and cows contribute around 20% of methane emissions in the U.S. Visit the EPA’s website for more information. And we have to cut down a lot of trees to make room for cows and to grow their feed.
- It reduces the amount of plastic. When you buy meat, it is usually in a styrofoam tray and wrapped in plastic. I am making a real effort to reduce the amount of plastic that I buy and use, partly because of the shock of the oil spill and partly because I don’t want to expose myself and my family to the toxins that leach out of plastic.
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