Friday, September 21, 2012

For My Fellow Meat Lovers

Meatless Monday:
As told by a Self-Proclaimed Carnivore

Let’s talk Meatless Monday, carnivore to carnivore. For people who like to eat meat like myself, I know what regular “meat-eaters” think when they hear the term, “Meatless Monday”.  A familiar scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding comes to mind, “what do you mean, he don’t eat no meat!?!”

So if the thought of Meatless Monday strikes fear into the hearts of carnivores alike, believe me when I say; I know where you’re coming from. I crave a nice juicy steak or a mouth-watering burger like most girls crave chocolate. I’m from a family who could easily eat meat everyday and not even think twice about it.

But, for about year now, I have drastically cut back on the amount meat I consume. I went from eating meat almost every day, to currently only eating meat twice a week now. Why do you ask? What would make such a meat and potatoes girl decide to stop eating one of her favorite food groups? Well, as a person who deeply cares about the betterment of the environment, I have always felt conflicted. I know how much land and water resources are used to raise animals that produce meat.

To make a single quarter-pound hamburger you need to feed the cows 6.7 pounds of grain and forage, 52.8 gallons of water to irrigate feed crops, 74.5 acres of land for grazing and growing feed crops, and a whopping 1,036 Btus of fossil fuel energy for feed production and transport - that’s enough to power a typical microwave for 18 minutes?!  Just for ONE quarter pound hamburger!!!*

And yet, as meat lover, I continue to eat meat because it is something that I genuinely enjoy. So, how do I balance loving meat and loving my environment? The answer is cutting back. And what surprised me the most about my change in diet-I can do it!

Now, if you told me this back in January, I don’t think I would have believed myself either. But, it’s true! The less and less meat I ate, the easier it became for me not to miss it. I’ve developed a strong love for beans and tofu and I definitely get way more fruits and vegetables into my diet then before. I also lost about 10 pounds; without dieting or exercising-just cutting out meat 5 times a week! (Not to worry, I’m working on the exercising too, it’s a slow, yet steady battle).  And now when I do eat meat, it’s even more “special” for me because I don’t eat it all the time.

So, when I say you CAN go meatless one day a week for Meatless Monday, I really mean it! Take it from me, if a carnivore like me can go meatless five days a week, any meat eater can go meatless for one!

Your Fellow Meat Lover,

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