What Is The Issue?
It is said that the only way to completely save and protect our environment is to be a vegetarian or vegan, but how true is this? According to the Vegetarian Times, a study shows that 7.3 million Americans are vegetarian and an additional 22.8 million follow a vegetarian-inclined diet. That leaves around 296.1 million people who are choosing to eat meat on a day to day basis, 296.1 million people who have the opportunity to either make or break our environment. Those who are choosing to eat meat can play a larger role than they think. They are the ones who are giving the meat industry what they want; money and support. Although many meat eaters feel that they can have no positive impact on how the meat industry is affecting our environment, they are wrong and with a few simple changes they are the ones who can have a very large impact and create changes for the future meat industries.
How Can Meat Eaters Play A Positive Role?
Some might say it is crazy to believe that those who eat meat can impact our meat industry and factories but I say that it is not crazy at all. It makes sense; those who eat meat are ultimately controlling how much is being produced, along with where and how they are farming the animals that are being slaughtered. The 296.1 million people who are living the omnivore lifestyle would begin to see nothing but positive effects happening around them if they began to live their life slightly different. There are many ways that this specific group of people can begin to work together in order to see a change within the meat industry and the overall health of our environment. We want these people to put forth an effort and push for a decrease in land that is going towards vegetables for livestock and begin to push for more land used to feed the millions of hungry people in our world.
So how can meat eaters begin a journey to give the animals a better life, eventually leading to a better life for themselves? It is rather simple actually. There are numerous actions that they can take, but ultimately the easiest options, needing the least amount of change include; being more aware of where your meat is coming from, raising your own animals for meat, eggs or milk, taking care of your personal health and lastly, the most obvious of them all, cutting meat from your diet at least one time a week. By beginning to focus on these things, the meat eater will become much more aware of the terrible things that are arising due to the meat industry and the factories that are spread all over our country.
Organizations Fighting For This Issue
Within this issue, there are a lot of organizations that play a role in pushing ways in which every single person can make a difference. One organization specifically, Green Monday rally’s and pushes for a greener earth with the help of not only vegetarians and vegans, but everybody who lives on our earth. Their website is full of statistics and information that blew my mind when I read it. They wrote “It takes 650L of water for 500g of wheat and 7000L of water for 500g of steak” (“Home”). This came as a shock because who would have thought that the difference between the two foods would be so large? Living a life of plant based meals can make a world of difference, but also, living a life of moderation when it comes to eating meat can also make that same difference. Green Monday is co-founded by David Yeung and he launched Green Common which is the world’s first plant based green living destination. Yeung is a graduate of Columbia and is a director of Search inside Yourself.
Green Monday is fighting on behalf of the vegetarians and the meat eaters just the same. They do however include a lot of information on their website that may sway people to cut meat from their diet, but as a whole they really push for people to go green simply once a week; hence their name Green Monday.
Green Monday Facts/Stats
As I looked more into the Green Monday website, I found a lot of information that is very useful and important for both meat eaters and vegetarians to know.
1. Cars, trucks and trains make up 13% of our greenhouse gases while the meat industry takes up 14.5%
2. 4,265L of water per day are used for those who follow a carnivore lifestyle and 2,654L of water are used per day for those following a vegetarian lifestyle
3. 35% of agriculture output is used to feed livestock while 1 in 8 people do not have enough food
4. 1 acre of land to raise cattle = 9000g of protein (180 people fed) while 1 acre of land to make soy = 166,000g of protein (3,320 people fed)
5. Eating 50g of processed meat a day (2 slices of bacon) raises your risk for colorectal cancer by 18%
All of these statistics are straight from the Green Monday website and can really push both groups of people to rethink the ways that they are living their life (“Impact on Environment). The issue and reason for this website is not to force people to give up meat, but after learning and doing more research one may do just that. The issue is that there are too many meat eaters, too much demand for something that is putting out such a negative impact on our one and only environment. Continue reading
How Do We Fix This Issue?
It is clearly a known issue that meat eaters play a large role in why our environment is as bad as it is and why global warming is happening today. With that in mind, it is now known that they can have just as much of a positive impact as they can a negative one.
So, how do we as a whole fix this issue that the meat industry is forcing upon our Earth?
Those who are eating meat can choose to devote one day a week where they do not eat anything that is animal based and even not wearing things that are made of animals. By doing so, this can help save our environment immensely. Not only that, but people can begin to raise their own animals that way they know exactly where there meat is coming from, how the animals are being raised and most importantly, what they are being fed. It is also said that when a person gets sick, their sickness can easily be given off to the animals that are near them and then, those same animals will get the disease and be slaughtered for their meat. If the meat eaters take better care of their health, they can have an impact there and lower the cases of tainted meat.
There are so many things that both meat eaters and vegetarians alike can be doing in order to better off our environment so the question then is whether or not the people care enough and want to help fix what has already been done.
“Home.” Green Monday. Copyright 2016 Green Monday, n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.
“Impact on Environment.” Green Monday. Copyright 2016 Green Monday, n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.
“How Does Eating Meat Harm the Environment?” PETA How Does Eating Meat Harm the Environment Comments. 2016 PETA, n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.
Why Do Some Not Eat Meat?
When a person hears that someone is vegetarian, they always ask why. The vegetarian can never just not eat meat because they do not want to, there always has to be a reason in the eyes of the person with an opposing opinion. It is hard because there are so many reasons that a person may choose not to eat meat but some stick out more than others. My Opinion About Vegetarianism is a website that I found and it lists different reasons why someone may choose to live without meat.
Some reasons include:
- A person may have chosen to become vegan or vegetarian to support the environment, reduce their footprint in terms of wasting water and landscape.
- They chose this way of living for moral and spiritual reasons such as not wanting to hurt any animals.
- Many are vegetarians because of religious or cultural reason.
- Individuals can also become dairy free for either lactose intolerance or dairy allergy from the protein of the commercially produces milk and milk products
These reasons from the website included are very logical and in the mind of the vegetarian themselves, they are doing what they want to do. The person will know that in their mind, the decisions that they are making are the best ones possible. People will always question when someone is doing something different than what they are used to, but in the end, they have their own reasons for doing what they do. Continue reading
This movement has been around for many years, but more recently has been brought into the limelight by Sid Lerner in 2003. People are now beginning to do research and realize that cutting meat from their diet one time a week can have nothing but positive effects. Meatless Mondays is a website that talks about all things regarding this movement and we can learn more about the history of the movement as well.
The overall goal of this website is to educate people on how cutting meat from one meal a week can have such a large impact on our health and the health of our environment. “Meatless Monday is not a new idea. During World War I, the U.S. Food Administration urged families to reduce consumption of key staples to aid the war effort. “Food Will Win the War,” the government proclaimed, and “Meatless Monday” and “Wheatless Wednesday” were introduced to encourage Americans to do their part” (Meatless Mondays). This movement has so much history and since 2003 has been completely revived and brought back to life. More schools, clubs and organizations join the movement every year and it will continue to grow. Continue reading
About the Website
The blog that I am choosing to write about is Naturally Ella, a vegetarian blog that “Answers the questions that we all ask ourselves everyday: “What’s for dinner?” It’s also the answer to every question you’ve ever had about substituting an ingredient, making your own pantry items, cooking grains (of all kinds) shopping for produce-and much, much more” (Naturally Ella). This blog offers recipes, and information to why the vegetarian life can pay off health wise, indirectly persuading people to cut down on their meat intake because there are so many other yummy substitutes.
About the Author
On this blog, there is an “About” page and it includes her name, Erin, and a brief description about her. She states, “I grew up on fast food, was overweight my entire youth, and watched my father suffer from a heart attack. I had a wake-up call during my college years and since then, my passion has been learning and sharing knowledge to empower others to cook” (Naturally Ella). This is important to note because it begins to establish credibility because we now know she was overweight, but because of her lifestyle choice to cut out fast food and focus on vegetables, she is healthy. The contact information is included in a “Contact” section that has her email address and a place for you to send her a message.
Purpose and Objectivity
Moving on to purpose, I think it becomes clear right away what the authors purpose is because as soon as one clicks on the page, you see vegetables and pictures related to different recipes that will be listed. The intended audience for a website like this can really be anyone and everyone. I am sure that specifically it is focusing to target the vegetarians out there, but nowhere does it state that this is strictly for those people and I think that is what makes this blog more relatable. The reason for this site is simple, inform those who are both new to the veggie based life and those who have been a part of it for years on how to change up the food they are eating. One could also argue that this site is teaching viewers how to be healthy, through the different recipes and the included “Explore an Ingredient” section which has a list, A-Z, of different vegetables and a brief explanation about them as well as how to prepare them.
When thinking about objectivity in relation to this blog, I would say that this is mainly opinion based. It is easy to note this because not everyone chooses to be a vegetarian, but in Erin’s opinion, it is a better choice and she is trying to inform us why this is the best life we can choose. I liked this blog the best because sometime food blogs can be full of emotion and bias based on their reasoning’s, but this blog is solely used for the recipes and information on different vegetables. Continue reading
Why Go Meatless?
Throughout my research and viewing many different websites, The “Fake” Meat Revolution greatly stood out from the rest. The argument is that yes, meat is delicious but in reality, it uses so many of our resources. In order to make just one hamburger, that is equivalent to two weeks’ worth of shower water. The author, Nicholas Kristof is pushing veggie burgers for health benefits and environmental benefits. Kristof says “Veggie burgers used to seem like a blend of tofu and cardboard but in the last few years food scientists have come up with first-rate faux chicken strips and beef crumbles.” This argument is fitting for what this website is about because the author is discussing how these meat alternatives will be so tasty that meat lovers and vegetarians alike will want to enjoy it. These foods will also give enough protein that the consumers will not be missing out on the proteins that meat has to offer.
“Fake” Revolution, Truthful Author
We know that the author of this piece did a lot of research and wanted to be able to hit both people who eat meat and those who do not. We also know that the author has been looking into the work that Whole Foods does by stating, “Whole Foods once inadvertently swapped real curried chicken salad with fake curried chicken salad and no one noticed for two days” (Kristof). The author is passionate about this topic and we can really see that he is invested in his studies. We can also see this as he has his other posts linked onto each current post, connecting back to his New York Times page. Continue reading
I am sure that everyone knows that it is a lifestyle choice where one does not consume any meat products, but has anyone really thought about why they are choosing to live this way? Typically the people will do this in order to save the animals and to stop the animal cruelty that takes place, but some may be doing it to save our environment. The main question that I want to focus on is how people who are following a vegetarian lifestyle maintain proper nutrition, allowing their bodies to take in the proper nutrients it needs.
My Personal Journey
My curiosity and interest on this topic really came about around my junior year of high school. This was the first time I had ever been around people who were choosing to not eat meat. Due to this, I really began to think about and I began to question whether or not I wanted to continue eating meat. This spark of curiosity never really left me, it stayed with me even as I moved to San Francisco last fall. I would say that this is where the interest and real quest for knowledge began. I started to be around more people who were vegetarian and listened to their stories as to why they choose to live this way. Most of them for the reason that I thought, that they want to save the animals and also help to conserve the scarce materials that our earth has to give to us. This then followed me to our dining center and there, they are always offering meatless options or alternate proteins besides meat so I began to think more and more about this life changing decision. As I thought more about it all, I realized that I never really cared for red meat all that much, so that would be an easy thing to stop eating but I love chicken so that would be the tough one to stop eating.
Fast forward one year and here I am. I have not had red meat since October of 2014 and went full vegetarian for six months, but as previously stated, I loved chicken so much so I could not give it up. My interest in this topic as of now has grown tremendously and now I feel much more educated as to why people participate in the lifestyle. Before I began to do research, I always wondered how vegetarians took in the proper amount of nutrients and what types of alternate proteins they ate in order to give their bodies its proper fuel. Continue reading