Okay, so there are some things happening around here.
We are becoming “that” family. You know, the ones who are actually crazy enough to plan on building and living in a mud hut (better known as cob house and seriously, way cool), the type who opt for natural remedies and medicines before filling a prescription at the pharmacy; the kind who are willing to give the vegan diet a go…
That last one kind of just happened. I’ll admit, I’ve been of the thought that vegans were “an odd bunch” to say the least.
It started with a documentary – gotta love another person’s compilation of regurgitated information. We all know that the meat industry practices are highly controversial and downright cruel but what do you do? Most of us aren’t in the position to farm our own cattle or poultry for consumption or even have a small farmer down the road to support. I feel like too much of my life has already been spent defending why I can’t change things and simply resigning myself to the age old expression “that’s just how it is.” I am increasingly willing and ready to see how myself and my family can try different ways of sustaining ourselves outside of the standard model (buy big houses, multiple vehicles, work lots, fill time and keep busy, shop for cheap and quick, fall asleep by the light of our smart phones, repeat). Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means saying any of this is bad or that I am giving up my smartphone. I honestly don’t know what conscious living means for me but it is something I am passionate about pursuing it. To me, it simply means seeking to reduce my carbon footprint and make more mindful choices regarding my food consumption. Which brings me back to the vegan thing. Our plan is to eat a vegan diet for one month with the exception of eggs since we buy them from a neighbour’s coop down the road.
Why are we going vegan this month?
- Why not? There’s a possibility mine and my boys’ skin issues might clear up (We have sensitivities to cow’s milk, mild but still annoying).
- So many meal plans (my own included) are centered around meat despite the fact that a diet high in meat leads to high cholesterol. Why not explore a world of getting all the protein we need without consuming meat? Might just add some new standby dishes to the old reliables (spaghetti, tacos, chicken stir fry…).
- I’m not okay with being indifferent to the factory farming practices anymore. It’s not a simple choice and I don’t judge anyone (ourselves included) for being meat eaters. I just want to step back and evaluate how much meat I want/need in my life.
- Meat production and distribution accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions than all mechanical transportation around the globe combined.
Some interesting facts…
- Canadians consumed approximately 238.32 lbs. of meat (per capita) in 2002 – think about eating approximately 953 4 oz. burgers a year. Only 40 years earlier, that number was 177.47 lbs ( roughly 710 burgers).
- In 2011, 42,043 people died of coronary heart disease in Canada accounting for 21.84 per cent of all deaths. The same year in South Korea, only 6,587 people died by the same disease according to The World Health Organization. Might this have something to do with the fact that South Koreans eat 56 per cent less meat than Canadians? I’m betting it has something to do with it.
- Livestock farming results in the creation of 90 million tonnes of methane. According to a journal article that appear in Elsevier (2009) regarding food and climate research, global meat production accounts for 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
- Meat and dairy consumption is predicted to double by 2050 despite GHG needing to drop by at least 50 per cent each year in lieu of potentially dangerous consequences.
Contrary to what you may be thinking, I like eating meat. I love cheese. I don’t actually want to cut these things out forever. But, I am pretty excited to discover new ways of cooking and baking and I will be sure to post my favourites here in this space. Who doesn’t get tired of the same old, same old?
Disclaimer: Research shown is not a product of cutting and pasting but rather hours of scouring documents and articles in search for legitimate sources.
- World Research Institute
- Elsevier – Environmental Science & Policy