Today I’m continuing my posts about green living. I was scratching my head trying to think about other changes I’ve made in my life to live greener, since I mentioned so many of them in my first post about green living, then I totally remembered something. It’s not as popular as recycling though, and part of the reason we decided to do it was health related.
Going meatless, or rather, mostly meatless.
Flat out, meat screws with my partner’s digestive tract, red meat in particular, so while I’d like to say we made some great philosophical stand against factory farming or did it entirely to try to live to be 100, that wouldn’t be the truth. I’d rather live to be 97ish and have bacon. Of course, I say that now, but at 97 I may want those extra three years. (I’ve decided I’m going to live to be about 115. My genetics are simply going to have to accept this.) However, after we started weeding the meat out of our diets we noticed we were feeling more energetic, and then I started reading more and more about how much pollution certain parts of agriculture can cause and I immediately felt the struggle to learn to cook vegetarian meals when I’d grown up cooking meat every day of my life was worth it.
I’m not going to regal you with the horrors of factory farming. First of all, it isn’t something I have any direct experience with, and second it upsets me to think about it. If you care enough to look go ahead and google “factory farming” and “pollution”. The results will make you squirm all around in your chair.
So, most people aren’t about to stop eating meat entirely. That’s cool. I mean, I did, (except the occasional bacon and OH MY GOSH ORGANIC BACON IS LIKE CANDY), but I don’t think I should have carte blanche to tell everyone else how to live their life. But, maybe you could check out some meat alternatives a few nights a week? I was shocked at how delicious a mean vegetable curry with chick peas can be. Every single bit that we do to help the planet is a step forward. Also, getting more vegetables into your diet is always a win.
I thought I was being good by eating mostly organic meats when we do choose to eat meat, but if the packaging doesn’t say your meat is free range it may not be much better than any other meat. I’m convinced buying local and organic is the best way to get sustainable meat if you’re going to do it so you know exactly what you’re purchasing. Maybe you could check that out too? The draw back, organic meat is expensive. It’s much more expensive than traditionally raised meat, so when we decided to try to eat organic meat that also pushed us well into the realm of choosing meatless over even the organics.
Another reason we’ve been even more committed than usual to eating no meat rather than going with the organics is something that was actually in a conservative article I read railing against how stupid organics are. I don’t agree with that, but, the article had the good point that even organically raised cattle and poultry are usually eating GMO feed, which means they aren’t truly organic in the first place. Now, I don’t want to get into a huge debate about GMO’s, but mostly GMO products have more pesticides dumped on them than non-GMO’s, which isn’t something I’m excited about having introduced into my food chain. (Since sitting at the top means I’m going to be accumulating most of the pesticides that do make their way to me.) So, one more nail in the coffin of meat products at my house.
Whatever you do, choosing to try out something that will be better for the planet is a huge win, even if it’s only a few days a week. I don’t believe that most people are going to do well with all or nothing. Changing the way we interact with the world around us is a process, something that takes time and we grow into.
Have a great day and I hope I’ve introduced you to a new thought or two about food, which is super important, because we all eat all day long.
Pick up a copy of Threefold Love.