Going Meatless on Monday

Today, I gave up meat.  Technically I stopped eating it yesterday (after a trip to Chick-fil-A and one last gyro on Saturday), but since it’s “meatless monday”, just go with me.

The fact that I’m telling you I gave it up is a clue that it wasn’t entirely easy.  I like meat. Steak doesn’t always do it for me, but I love chicken, and BBQ, and hamburgers. I don’t see anything wrong with eating animals – after all, that’s the food chain. And although some of my friends abstain from meant in solidarity with the people of the world who can’t afford it, I can’t say I’m quite as disciplined as they are.

So why am I abandoning my favorite source of protein? Well, because my introductory public health studies happened to include a lesson in Animal Agriculture.  And honestly, the things you can learn about the industry is terrifying, and I’m not even talking about the dismal living conditions and inhumane killings of animals grown for food – the real consequences of Animal Ag are even worse.

As I read the assigned articles about Animal Ag for class, I felt myself sinking into the chair with a mix of regret and revulsion.  Among the facts and figures, three basic reasons for my personal vegetarianism emerged:

1) The meat we eat is full of toxins. Thanks to bio-accumulation, all the chemical pollution we’ve put into the environment for the last two or three hundred years gets increasingly more concentrated in the animals we’re eating.

2) Diets high in meat cause chronic disease.  Biologically, we’re not supposed to eat so much meat.  Because of the industrialization of Animal Ag, meat has become more accessible and affordable than ever in the last 50 years.  This increase in meat consumption has contributed to the rise in chronic disease, and not just in the U.S. and other developed nations – the trend is now spreading all over the world.

3) Current food sources are not sustainable.  This high-meat pattern can’t continue.  Right now, 2/3 of the world’s grain goes to feeding animal food sources, but it takes 3 lbs of grain to produce just 1 lb of chicken product – not too mention the amount of water that’s used in Animal Ag, which will become increasingly problematic as the world’s population grows.

So I’m giving up meat.  Day one done, and it’s been a success – but I’ll have to keep you updated.


To read more and check up on my facts, click here.


3 thoughts on “Going Meatless on Monday

  1. Wonderful post!

    I’m a “part-time meat-eater”. I do go through phases, but most of the time I like meat. However, learning about CAFOs and all the implications they are having on the environment really soured me to it. These days, I’m all about the message of Meatless Monday and how just simply cutting back on our meat intake can have a huge impact on the industry and the environment. I really wish that message could get out there stronger–it’s not necessarily about quitting meat entirely, it’s about cutting back. But I don’t mean to belittle your convictions, going meatless all the time is great too! 🙂

  2. Pingback: EpidemioLogical – Meatless Mondays? No, thanks.

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