Why we should eat less meat
Eating less meat is good for the planet, good for animals, and good for your health.
It’s not all or nothing. While adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet is commendable, it may not be possible for everyone.
Fortunately, we can make a positive impact on the Earth, animals, and our health by simply eating less, and higher welfare, animal products (meat, eggs, dairy).
1. Reducing your meat intake is better for animals
The current demand for animal protein (meat, dairy, and eggs) is unsustainable. It enforces the need for intensive farming methods, where animals are inhumanely caged in small spaces that restrict their natural behaviours, selectively bred to grow quickly, and pumped full of antibiotics unnecessarily.
Of the 70+ billion animals farmed globally each year, an estimated 50 billion of them will spend their entire lives on these factory farms where they are treated like commodities, and not the sentient beings they are.
By choosing to eat less animal products and more plant-based proteins, we can transform our food system and improve the lives of billions of farmed animals.
A substantial reduction in animal protein consumption across the globe would free up land and other resources, making room for higher welfare, more sustainable production systems, that would benefit both the animals and humans. By avoiding cruelly produced cheap meat, consumers can support farmers who are doing the right thing and oppose intensive farming.
2. Reducing your meat intake is better for the environment
The high demand for animal products is putting our planet at risk. Factory farming fuels climate change, pollutes landscapes and waterways, and wastefully uses precious resources.
One of the most impactful things we can do as individuals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help conserve our Earth, is to eat less meat and other animal products.
Animal agriculture is estimated to account for nearly 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, even more than all the cars, planes, and other forms of transport put together.
Decreasing the demand for animal products will help conserve water and save vital habitats. Industrial animal agriculture is the single largest driver of habitat loss and deforestation worldwide.
Without substantial changes to our eating habits, intensive animal agriculture will continue to have severe and ever-lasting environmental impacts.
By simply swapping one meal a week for a meatless meal, you can reduce your carbon footprint by almost 4kgs, and reduce precious freshwater and land use. Keep this up for a year and you’ll have reduced your carbon footprint by around 400 pounds! Of course, a few more meatless meals will go even further to help animals and the planet! Small changes can make a big difference.
3. Reducing your meat intake is better for your health
The health benefits of reducing your meat consumption are significant. Eating less meat has been found to decrease the chances of developing certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease or lung disease. The World Health Organization has even classified processed meats, like sausage, bacon, and ham, as carcinogenic (having the potential to cause cancer) to humans.
These cheaply produced, poor-welfare animal products, also increase the risk of foodborne diseases and contribute to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Animals in industrial farming are crowded and stressed, putting them at higher risk of illness. To combat this, they are given a low dose of antibiotics. This routine use of antibiotics contributes to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs”, that can be passed on to people. Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise globally – as it stands, every year over 1-million deaths are directly attributed to AMR.
On top of that, intensive animal production is a risk factor for the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases and pandemics.
4. It’s never been easier to reduce your meat consumption
If we want to protect the planet, animals, and our health, we need to reduce our meat consumption. Luckily, eating fewer, high-quality, animal products has never been easier.
More and more restaurants are offering plant-based menu items, plant-based meat alternatives are exploding in variety and popularity, and much of the world has access to an incredible range of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts and seeds.
Want to reduce your meat consumption but not sure where to start?
Right now, you can sign up for our “Plan Meatless Better” campaign to receive a free, personalized recipe plan that will help you add a meatless day to your week. Simply answer a few short questions about your favourite foods and your meatless recipes will be sent directly to your inbox!