Unnecessary Meat

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Have you ever discovered that you’re being green without knowing it? Upon reading, ‘Greenpeace: A Guide to Living,’ we were surprised that a vegetable-based diet was ranked second right behind “don’t drive” as a way to lower your environmental impact. Chad and I have been lacto-ovo-vegetarians for over a decade.

In my opinion, humans are simply not meant to be raising, slaughtering and eating all of this livestock. It’s neither natural for our planet, nor our bodies. Look at your teeth in the mirror. Do they look like those of a carnivore? I’ll bet not. Molars are for for gnashing and grinding, and if your canines look long enough for tearing flesh, you might want to visit an orthodontist.

The impact of animal agriculture to our planet is devastating. Think of the amount of energy required! First, the crops must be grown and transported for the livestock feed. Then the animals have to be moved to the slaughterhouse. From there, it’s a fun-filled trip to the packing plant! Finally, the meat is wrapped and stamped and delivered to the grocery store. I wonder on road trips which trucks are driving for animal agriculture – more than I think.

It has been estimated that more than one-third of U.S. fossil fuel production goes towards animal agriculture. One-third.

Now, let’s talk water usage. Animal agriculture consumes roughly the equivalent amount of ALL OTHER USES of water in the U.S. combined. One pound of beef requires an input of about 2500 gallons of water- a pound of wheat requires 25 gallons.

Besides the chemicals used in cultivation (think seeping nitrates,) accidental pollution from manure dumps are an ongoing source of water pollution. Meaning our oceans, rivers and lakes are losing fish populations because of cow poop.

The reports are in! Adopting a vegan diet cuts more emissions annually than driving a Hybrid vehicle. I am not a vegan, but I don’t eat burgers.

So what do we eat?

It is so easy to prepare vegetarian dishes (and cheap!!) We include dairy and eggs in our diets. For breakfast I usually scramble an egg and microwave pancakes for the boys, and we all nosh on fruit all morning. I don’t care much for lunch, so I usually make the boys peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Lately I’ve been eating a honking huge genetically-engineered apple at lunch, it’s been freaking me out lately…another post, another time.

I am not a good cook, I am a messy cook. If I am motivated to play chef Jenny, it’s at dinner. Chad and Cooper love sandwiches, Garden Burgers and Moe’s. We all like pasta night. I enjoy making tacos with Boca Burger crumbles. I like making omelettes too. But, mostly, I love having a beer before and M&Ms after dinner.

There are so many wonderful restaurants in the area that offer vegetarian selections. In Mt. Pleasant, we frequent Five Loaves Cafe, Benito’s, Pattaya Thai and Mustard Seed. On the peninsula, the competition is so fierce, almost any chef will accommodate. We enjoy Basil, Mellow Mushroom and Il Cortile del Rey. Eating out is also a little cheaper when the meat is omitted.

It is comforting to know, that years ago, my instinct towards a vegetarian diet is and has been a little better for the planet. Eating a vegetable and fruit-based diet has always felt natural to me. Science is proving that our diet has a huge impact on Earth. We choose what we eat. See what feels natural to you AND your planet.

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