Reducing your consumption of animal products is easier than you think and should be on the very top of your list of resolutions for 2021.
I’m sure I speak for the majority when I say good riddance 2020. This past year has tested most of us, whether it was caring for children stuck at home, caring for an elderly family member, working around the clock as an essential worker, or losing a loved one. As we look to 2021 for hope and change, we should be reminded that we all hold the potential to create large scale improvements to our world through small individual actions. This may sound cliché, but it’s the truth.
As an animal lover, you’re likely wondering what can I do to help these innocent beings? Well, one of these small, everyday changes that we can make to improve our world and the lives of animals is to choose to eat less meat, dairy, and eggs. Fortunately reducing your consumption of animal products is easier than you think and should be on the very top of your list of resolutions for 2021. Here’s why.
1. It helps farmed animals.
Of the more than 70 billion animals farmed annually, 50 billion of them spend their lives on factory farms. They are treated more like machines, than living, breathing, feeling animals. They endure short, miserable lives and are often confined together in cages, crates, or pens which prevents them from engaging in natural behavior. Sadly, factory farming evolved as a means to satisfy an ever-increasing demand for meat. However, reducing your meat consumption will make a huge difference to the lives of these animals by allowing the industry to shift toward higher welfare practices.
Countless studies show the benefits of eating plants over animal-based proteins. From reducing cancer rates and heart disease, to showing an increased overall lifespan, by consuming more plant-based foods you’ll be helping to improve your own health and will set a good example for the health of others around you.
Factory farms are highly water intensive, with animal agriculture using a staggering 56 percent of water in the United States. Food Tank reports that it requires 1,799 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, and one pound of pork takes 576 gallons of water.
6. It helps fight hunger.
There are nearly a billion starving people on the planet, while it takes 16 pounds of grain to produce just one pound of beef. By eating less meat, we can help not only the billions of animals killed each year for food but also those who are food insecure by using the millions of acres of land currently used to grow grains to feed factory-farmed animals to grow nutritious and edible crops instead.
7. It helps workers.
From slave labor to sexual abuse, workers on factory farms are in many cases treated just as cruelly as the animals. These workers are often subjected to countless workplace hazards, including life-threatening injuries, respiratory illnesses, PTSD, and exposure to dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria. You can help stand up for these exploited workers by reducing your meat consumption and withdrawing financial support to the companies profiting from poor labor practices.
8. It will save you money.
A common misconception is that eating less meat will cost more, but a study by the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition found that participants who ate plant-based spent an average of $750 less on food per year than meat-eaters. The reason being that fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains are extremely affordable while meat products are more expensive.
9. It’s easy and delicious.
Plant-based foods are already here and more delicious and accessible than ever. Don’t believe us? Just check out these delicious plant-based breakfast recipes that will help you kickstart your day!
Change starts with you. Make 2021 the year you make a change to protect the planet, our health, workers and animals. Sign up for Meating Halfway, a 21-day journey to reduce your meat consumption and we’ll send you tools, recipes, and a FREE Meat Reduction Starter Guide.