As readers of my blog will know, I feel passionately about how the benefits of reducing, or better yet, eliminating meat from our diet. Those to our health, the animals and the environment. The environmental benefits have been widely documented, and in my opinion there’s enough evidence out there to persuade heavy meat-eaters out there to change their ways a bit.The thing about this report and the organisation behind it, is that there is no veg agenda. It doesn’t even say that you should become vegan, although of course, common sense would conclude that this would be even better for the future of our world. It does say that we should rethink and reduce our meat consumption. I also like the way it explains how it came up with its results. Of course, it is incredibly hard to quantify the impact of a global economy with just one number when there are so many factors at play, and this can seem really confusing to those who just read the tiny extracts that will invariably reported in the newspapers and on Huffington Post in the upcoming weeks. Still, there are things you can do. You can explore the site and read the full report, or just the ‘at a glance’ to get an excellent picture on:
a: How this study was carried out
b: The results of the study (lamb, cheese and beef are the worst offenders while lentils are the least)
c: What you can do with this information to make a difference. (their message is reduce, reduce, reduce)
For me, it seems like a no brainer. The absolute best and easiest thing to do to help the environment is to reduce or eliminate meat consumption. I hope those who have seen the types of vegan food that I cook (and I ain’t no chef) will realise that there is no deprivation here. While we all need to be doing all we can to help the environment, switching from beef to lentils is way cheaper than buying a Prius or installing solar panels and much less heart wrenching than giving up a summer holiday in the sun (with carbon off-setting of course).
Can’t go vegan? Then consider going vegan before 6am or weekday vegan (remember milk and cheese are terrible). It’s a start. I mean, we could wait for governments to tax these and other highly polluting products, history has shown that this is very difficult to do (remember Kyoto?). I don’t know about you, but I would rather ‘be the change I wish to see in the world’ than to wait until someone forces me to do it, especially when it is for the good of others.
While writing this, I am reminded about a friend who teased me about a year ago. She said “Brighde, why do you care so much? You’re probably not going to be alive if/when the worst of this global warming happens. Also, you don’t intend to have kids so they won’t be impacted by global warming either!” What she says is probably correct, and I agreed, however, I can’t help thinking about my nieces and nephews, the children of my friends, the children of those I don’t know and the ones who haven’t been born yet who will be saying to their parents 40 years from now; “You knew, yet you didn’t do anything and look at what we are now dealing with”. I urge you, especially if you have children, to please consider decreasing your amount of animal products. I see parents who will sacrifice and work hard to make sure their children have the best opportunities in life, yet seem complacent when it comes to this issue. I would rather look back on my life knowing that I did everything to make sure I did as little harm based on the information that I had rather than leave it to our kids to deal with the aftermath.