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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No Meat May

"Eating greens is a special treat. It makes long ears, and great bit feet. But it sure is awful stuff to eat." - Thumper

I hadn't originally planned to have a "diet" month, seeing as how I'm less of a dieter and more of a healthy lifestyler, or at the very least a healthy lifestyle attempter. I don't generally believe in fad diets or anything you put your body and metabolism through that you don't plan to or can't continue indefinitely.

One of the easiest - ok, best - ways to control your diet is to begin to make all your own food. I was able to start this during no spend month, because I couldn't eat out. Although the goal of the month was not to improve my diet, it did end up having that result. Making your own food means you control all the inputs, and more than that, you know what the inputs are. This has helped me to be able to cut out meat.

So I covered the how. Now for the why.

Green month started the "why". In learning about green living, I've reinforced something I already knew - meat takes a lot of energy. Cutting out meat can do good things for your carbon footprint. I'm not even cutting out milk and eggs, but animal-derived energy needs many times that energy for its production. This energy largely comes from fossil fuels, which aren't sustainable. Thus, a vegetarian lifestyle comes closer to a sustainable one. Growing lentils or beans, which are other good sources of protein, takes less energy than producing a similar amount of protein in meat. Getting a calf out of a cow, growing the feed for the calf, feeding and housing it, butchering it, and keeping that beef fit for consumption until it gets to the grocery store takes a whole lot more energy than it takes to grow a bag of beans. All this points me toward attempting to cut out meat. For no meat month, we are cutting it out completely, however in the future I expect we will eat it in limited quantities, especially for special occasions or when there aren't many options. For example, this week I got invited to lunch at a BBQ joint... I figured I could eat some beans, as long as they don't have any pork added.

That's my no meat story. I have tried several new recipes this month and have enjoyed them all. I don't feel run down or deficient in any way thus far. Time will tell!

I will have to post some of my favorite new recipes soon!