Meat meets Veggi — Be a Flexitarian

Raising animals to eat produces more greenhouse gasses, via methane and nitrous oxide, than all of the carbon dioxide exhausted by automobiles, boats, planes and trains in the world combined [Livestock‘s Long Shadow – Report by FAO of the UN]. Yes, quitting meat can reduce your carbon footprint significantly more than quitting driving.

Nonetheless, you might think now: ‘I am just one person. The meat industry won’t scale down its production, if only I reduce my meat consumption.’ But keep in mind:

One can start a movement, if other brave people follow.

But still it’s not easy to just stop from one to another day. Especially, if you’re one of these meat lovers. Even if some people tell you: ‘There are amazing replacements, such as soya.’ It’s still not the same for some of us.

Additionally, one awful joke of my biology teacher got stuck in my head since high school: ‘What’s one step backward in evolution? Vegetarianism.’ There is something true in it, as there is no doubt that human evolution has been linked to meat in many fundamental ways, such as enhanced physical growth. Still meat also contains lots of saturated fat and cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease. Red meat has even been linked to cancer in recent studies. Overuse of antibiotics in conventional farms is reportedly contributing to increased resistance to antibiotics in humans.

My way of dealing with all the up and downsides of meat consumption? I’m a vegetarian who occasionally has a desire for meat. Call me Flexitarian.

It’s quite simple: There are no rules to it. You make your own. Some flexitarians have a meat-free meal once a week while others will only eat meat on rare occasions. It allows you a flexibility that you can easily adapt to your lifestyle, social life and health conditions. It’s up to you.

As an example, during the week I like the convenience of joining my colleagues in the canteen where I normally head for the vegetarian buffet or I just bring something small from home. On weekends, I like to spend some time with cooking. I love getting some quality food — ecological food from the local agriculture market.

Where do you start?

  • Make a commitment: 
    One meat-free day a week or just think of reducing your daily portions. Most-likely, you’re most flexible in your choices on weekends.
  • Change the way you shop:
    Go local. Go organic. Go seasonal. Be more veggi. Less meat lover.
  • Choose quality over quantity:
    Rather buy some good quality, organic meat instead of the cheap meat from the discounter.

Just take one step at a time. You don’t need to push yourself to a radical change in one day. But each little step each person goes, moves the entire world to being a better place.

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