My friends have told me the many ethical, health and environmental reasons that they did away with animal products. I’ll be honest, none of it really stuck – I respected their views and was definitely interested, but carried on tucking into my chicken club sandwich as I nodded along. Sorry guys.
For me, the only thing that really hit home was watching Cowspiracy – for the first time ever, I really started to think about the ethics of meat and dairy.
Below are just a few Cowspiracy facts that really opened my eyes.
I want to put it out there right now – I’m NOT vegan. I’m not vegetarian. Sadly, even with these mind-boggling facts, I’m not brave enough to make the move right now – but that’s the point. I’m writing this as someone who openly eats meat (and probably will for the foreseeable future) but would still like to make positive changes when it comes to this whole issue, at least until I get the guts to make a heavier commitment.
Perhaps I’m not ready for a full-on transformation. But after watching the documentary, my boyfriend and I decided we could definitely shake up our diets a bit – we did a few really simple things that, I hope, make a difference when it comes to the staggering consumption of animal products. And here they are…
1. The thought of drinking cow’s milk made us feel a little queasy, so we decided to swap to alternatives – hazelnut and oat milks are yummy, almond milk is great in recipes, and soya milk can be bought super cheap. 🥛
2. We used to buy eggs every week and almost always throw them away because we hadn’t managed to use them up – so we simply stopped! I can’t remember the last time we bought eggs, so that’s a lot less waste.
3. Our first attempt at cutting down on meat was to only eat one meaty meal a day – for example, bacon sandwiches for breakfast meant we wouldn’t eat meat for the rest of the day. If we planned pepperoni pizza for dinner, we’d have a veggie lunch. It’s easy, really.
4. What started out as a way to make our food shop cheaper actually turned into a conscious ethical decision – all our weekday meals are now veggie (vegan on a good day!) and we only let our carnivorous side out on weekends, or when we’re ordering in / buying out – if I’m splashing cash on food, you better believe I’m ordering what I damn well fancy!
I really do try to make better choices. I try to buy cheese and tomato pizza instead of meat feast 🍕 order mixed bean instead of chilli con carne 🌶️ choose mushroom tagliatelle instead of lasagne 🍝. I’ve gone from eating ham sandwiches every lunchtime and barely considering meals that didn’t include chicken to eating meat twice, maybe three times, a week. It’s not perfect – but it’s better!
I’m definitely not one to preach about what you “should or shouldn’t” eat. Like, at all. I just want to show anyone who is reconsidering how they consume animal products that yeah, going vegetarian or vegan is scary, especially if it’s an alien concept. But you don’t have to go cold turkey (excuse the pun)! If we all make little changes, just try to cut down or choose alternatives every once in a while, the impact really could be huge.
Think about it.