Many times when I was asked why I became a vegetarian, or pescatarian (vegetarian who eats fish), my answer was twofold. One of the first reasons was due to the treatment of animals, which in a recent film I watched were actually termed “animal cities” and that term was not meant as one of endearment. The quality of life our animals have, from cows to chickens to pigs, is horrendous. Whether being kept in pens or tight quarters where slight movements are difficult or never seeing sunlight, I could not fathom taking part in allowing this to continue so I stopped giving those stock yards and farmers my money.
The second reason was the environmental impact. Cows that are herbivores, meaning they are meant to eat grass, are fed corn; this is a technique used to help the cows grow fatter, quicker all the while keeping them in restricted and tight areas. The problem that presents itself is in turn they need to be injected with hormones and antibiotics to ward off disease and other issues that come with altering the natural ways and habits of these animals. Outside of the quality and treatment of these cows being inhumane, the feces of the thousands and thousands animals are then washed into our water ways infecting them with all of the antibiotics and hormones the cows were given. This is just one example of this kind of treatment and environmental impact.
So, when I read about the initiative to get families, friends and essentially anyone who wants to get on board to stop eating meat for all meals one day a week, I knew I had to help spread the word. The goal of MeatlessMondays.com is to reduce meat consumption by 15 percent to improve our personal health as well as the health of our planet.
The other important note I wanted to add, in addition to encouraging us all to lower our meat consumption, is to ensure that when you are purchasing meat and poultry products, be aware of where it comes from. While packaging can sway you into thinking that what you are buying comes from picture-perfect farms with animals frolicking on the hills, this is certainly not the case. When possible, buy from a local farmer where you can see the farming practices used or even a local farmer’s market. Getting out of the supermarket and away from industrialized and processed foods is key.
Click here to make your pledge or via twitter (@dietsinreview). Whether you plan to go Meatless on Mondays or any day in the week, let’s all work to lower our animal consumption, and be more conscious of the meat we do purchase to help rid the practices currently in place.
February 8th, 2010