I have to be honest the idea of not eating meat or drinking milk anymore was never on my agenda when I started my “save the planet” journey. I thought it was all about plastic and they are the main cause of destroying our environment. Last week however things changed. I read and learnt so much about our agriculture pollution it made me sick to the stomach. So I decided I am going to work towards becoming a vegan / vegetarian as best I can. Here are the reasons why and how I am going to go about it…
#1 Agriculture pollution. Farming animals we eat in the quantity we do is now became unsustainable for the planet. We simply don’t have enough land to grow their food / deal with their waste which releases gases causing climate change / drinking water to quench their thirst. We are over fishing our oceans killing huge amount of fish we end up not eating and making species extinct by dropping down massive nets which catch sea creatures we don’t need but killing them in the process. I honestly could go on about this and write the synopsis for the film showcasing this but it is better to watch it, see it first hand. The film called, Cowspiracy and I couldn’t recommend it enough.
#2 Just too many of us now. It really is the fact, in the last 100 years our planet got crowded. In 1912 we were only just over 1.7 billion. 2012 7 billion (More facts here) That is a massive jump. So in order to sustain ourselves we had to upscale farming because we all love a bit of bacon (I been eating it for 30 years at least – how could I say no to it?) but we are draining our resources and our planet simply can’t take it. Overpopulation is happening and it has to bring a change to our diet. Corporations and farmers aren’t keen to change this around so we have to be the driving force.
#3 Vegan diet can sustain human but we don’t have to be all vegans. I mean I just can’t see that happening for humanity (not even possible for people living in sub-Saharan Africa where raising a livestock is the only option for survival – source ) or our household even. Also there are arguments and valid points about land not suitable for growing our food but livestock’s / new and high demands for nuts could also cause similar deforestation / the production of vegan cheese (e.g.) is more polluting than the normal (yet). So I agree, we can’t just turn around and be vegan altogether (including me) but reducing meat consumption and possibly some dairy products could make a dent.
#4 Cheat days are allowed. Honestly, I can’t imagine saying no to ice cream in the summer in Hungary. Cheese on toast and ALL the cakes ever. So although I am going to reduce how much meat and dairy we eat but I think in small quantities they are still going to be part of our life. I also can’t see staying with family and asking them to cook for us separately / going for a dinner date (if it ever happen again) or being stuck on an airport / train station anywhere where there is no other option or like an anniversary /my birthday. I feel I need to be relaxed / flexible and have the option to indulged a few times a year (perhaps once a month in the first year – but let’s see).
#5 Poor animals – Please don’t hate me for saying this but although I love animals I am not that bother about “food” animals. I know it is horrible to say but I just managed to separate the 2 things. Cute cows and pigs on the local farm I take Brendan to and packaged meat I get from our local supermarket to make shepherds pie somehow 2 different things in my head. But I guess they really aren’t. Respecting our neighbours on this planet.
#6 Health benefits. I watched a few nights ago Forks over Knives which are looking at health benefits veganism has. I know the film has been criticized and was labelled as one sided and same facts being incorrect (I think most documentaries could be) but still if only half of them are true I am in it. Becoming a parent made me realise even more how important my family and my own health is. Touch wood, we are fine but let’s keep it that way and if it means reducing meat and dairy, count me in. Whole meal, plant – based diet, here we come. It is cheaper / less packaged and as varied as meat based (as it claimed to be and I can’t wait to experiment to find out more).
#7 Milk alternatives. Finally I got it after a week of trying. (thanks to the wonderful community over on Instagram). We have porridge with either coconut milk or almond milk (I heard almond milk is not the best in terms of its production and sustainability so I think we are going to reduce that). For my coffee / my morning gold I use oatly and it is amazing. I just love the flavour. I also started to give it to Brendan in the evenings. He goes to sleep with milk. Unfortunately my home-made oat milk didn’t taste great (even thought from the Zero waste perspective it would have been perfect) but I am going to keep trying and adding things to it. Will keep you up to date on that.
#8 Next generation. While for us, adults meat has such a major part in our meal I am hoping by being more of a vegetarian / vegan I could raise my boys with less emphasis on it. If it is not good for our health / our planet I don’t see why they should grow up the same way as we did thinking it is an essential part of our meals.
#9 Meat Free Monday (hashtag) and reducing meat– here is how everybody (mainly looking at us, living in Developed countries) joint the revolution and saying no to meat for at least one day a week. Imagine McDonald’s not selling a single burger on that day. Byron burger closing on Mondays and we just accept it as we do that Monday till Friday is our work days. Again, small steps but if we all do it?!
#10. Cooking more (being on my phone less) so we decided to cancel Hello Fresh – it was a disaster for my Zero Waste journey anyway and looking at meal planing. Mainly plant based (obviously). I got 3-4 recipes from Forks over Knives – The Cookbook I can’t wait to try but let’s talk about this in a few months time in another post… good bye for now xx
Thank you for reading me. Do feel free to comment, I always love reading your thoughts.