Friday, December 16, 2011

Weekday Veg

I loved the encouraging words from my Turkey Free Turkey Day post. Jana, over at Running Vegetarian, recently made her own post about how even being a "mostly vegetarian" can be healthier and more environmentally and animal friendly. The video she posted really sparked my interest so I thought I would share.

It's pretty incredible to think how much environment damage can be prevented just be eating less meat. I won't even get started on the animals. What I like about this video is that it's not all or nothing.

I know The Pilot would admit that being a vegetarian isn't always convenient. Especially when he's often stuck in airports or hotels near the airport where there is an abundance of fast food restaurants. Can you say processed, factory farmed beef and chicken? The combination of his lifestyle and his job means that he has to take some extra steps to prepare his meals but he makes it work because it is important to him and now it's probably like tying his shoes, he just does it.

But for those just starting out, it's a challenge. Some may get discouraged and give up. While a full-on vegan or vegetarian might say that is a cop-out, I think it's the truth. The average American isn't going to go cold Turkey (no pun intended) and quit eating meat. They might have good intentions but it may prove too difficult or like with any elimination diet (Atkins or anything else that eliminates a certain type of food), they may just miss certain foods. The "weekday veg" seems like a great compromise for those not ready or wanting to become a full time vegetarian.

While I am falling into that "week day veg" category, I think my reasoning behind it is slightly different. The Pilot has really opened my eyes to where my food comes from, which has led to some of the changes I've made in my diet ( I don't think I've eaten ANY chicken nuggets since I found out exactly how the meat was processed). Also, I don't like to cook so when The Pilot is home, he cooks and is obviously making vegetarian meals. My challenge is eating out and in other social settings like potlucks or menu tastings. As an event planner, I sometimes have to go to menu tastings. I haven't figured out how to approach that if I do decide to become a full-time vegetarian. But, as a "week day veg," this isn't a problem.

So is that enough? Am I doing enough to reduce my footprint on the earth? Am I doing enough to show compassion for animals? Who really as the answers to those questions anyways...but it is some food for thought. Pun intended.

1 comment:

  1. Aweee thanks for the plug!!

    My journey to full on vegetarianism was a slow one. I started by eating less meat. Eventually I didn't want it anymore.

    Restaurants are hard. Just today I was talking to my mom. We plan to meet some extended family for lunch. My mom asked my cousin to pick the place and said, Please keep in mind Jana's vegetarian diet. My cousin picked Applebees, which means my cousin did not take a look at the menu before picking the place. Applesbees is one of the worst when it comes to options.

    Potlucks are hard too. But it has gotten easier. People know I am vegetarian so when they make a meatless meal they make sure to point it out to me.

    Do I think you eating less meat is enough? Yes I do! Are you reducing your carbon footprint? You sure are! I recommend reading "food matters" by Mark Bittman. He touches a lot on the environment and how much of an impact eating less meat is. You will be surprised at how much just going meatless for one day helps.

    Here is something from his book:
    "For a family that usually drives 12,000 miles a year, switching from eating red meat and dairy to chicken, fish and eggs just one day a week--in terms of greenhouse gas emissions--is the equivalent of driving 760 miles less a year. And if you switch to a vegetable based diet for that one day a week, you reduce emission even more, to the equivalent of driving 1,160 miles less.

    And this impact is exponential: By moving totally away from red meat and dairy to a diet made up of chicken, fish and eggs you reduce your emissions by a further 5,340 miles a year. And if you switch to a completely vegetable based diet? That same family reduces its emissions by more than 60 percent; the same as cutting their mileage down from 12,000 to just 3,900 a year."