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Eating Less Meat: Good for You, Good for the Planet

by Beth on April 14th, 2020

In anticipation of Earth Day, I’d like to share my thoughts on the benefits of eating less meat. I am convinced it is one of the most impactful things we can do to improve our health and the health of our planet. I stopped eating meat in January after reading Suzy Cameron’s book, The OMD Plan. She believes if everyone ate one plant-based meal a day, it would have a tremendously positive impact on the environment. It’s also great for your health!

Eating less meat helps the planet in multiple ways. Some of the positive benefits of reducing animal agriculture include:

  • Slow climate change by reducing green-house gas emissions
  • Reduce global deforestation
  • Protect biodiversity, which is lost through deforestation
  • Protect oceans, which are harmed by fertilizer runoff
  • Conserve fresh water (almost 1/3 of freshwater used in agriculture goes toward raising animals)

And what are the benefits for you? According to Suzy, “For every extra 3% of plant protein we eat, we cut our risk of death by 10%.” Here is what eating less meat can do for your health:

  • Reduce cholesterol and inflammation
  • Reverse heart disease
  • Prevent (and reverse) diabetes
  • Reduce the risk of cancer
  • Contribute to weight loss

If you’d like to learn more about the link between chronic disease and animal protein you can watch the documentary Forks Over Knives on Netflix.

I’m not ready to give up fish, eggs, or cheese, but I have found it surprisingly easy not to eat beef, pork, and chicken. And these are at the top of the list for negatively impacting our planet and our heath. Since we’ve spent the last month at home, my husband and daughter haven’t eaten meat either. Not only have they not complained once, they’ve both lost weight and feel great!

Eating less meat really isn’t that hard. You don’t have to become a vegetarian. All you need to do is start replacing some of your meals with plant-based options. This is actually a good time to try, because you don’t have the temptations of restaurant offerings nor do you have to eat what is served at meetings or events. And you may have more time to cook!

It does take some effort to find new recipes, but that can be fun! You can check out my Pinterest page for some ideas. Or visit some of these plant-based food blogs. Let me know how it goes!

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