World Food Day: Our ambassadors' journeys to reduce their meat consumption
In honor of World Food Day, we are celebrating those who have gone on their own journeys to reduce their meat intake whether it’s fully or partially to protect animals & our planet
Celebrities like Natalie Portman, Kevin Smith, Paul Wesley, and Joaquin Phoenix have dropped meat and dairy altogether to protect animals from cruel factory farms. World influencers like Greta Thunberg have done so to limit their contribution of global greenhouse gas emissions. Global plant-based food brands, such as Beyond Meat, have stated the majority of their customers are non-vegans and non-vegetarians, but are concerned for planetary health.
Whether you’re reducetarian, flexitarian, vegetarian, or vegan, we can all do our part to protect animals simply by the choices we make at the dinner table. The first step is reading and signing our Meat Reduction pledge.
Ready to be inspired? World Animal Protection spoke with a few of our ambassadors to learn about their lifestyle choices and why reducing or eliminating animal products promotes animal welfare and environmental protection.
Erika Tymrak, Professional soccer player & animal activist
Three years ago, I watched a documentary on factory farming and the next morning I went vegetarian. It took me about three months to completely phase out all animal products and I haven’t looked back once. I eat a vegan diet and live a vegan lifestyle because I could no longer contribute to animal suffering, abuse and slaughter. I then educated myself on the positive environmental impact a vegan diet can have on the world and it reinforced my decision that much more. On top of all the ethical and moral reasons, I physically feel great and I am able to perform on the field just as well, if not better.
Jessica Salazar, Cruelty-free Lifestyle blogger & animal advocate
I was an animal lover at a very young age, actually as far back as I can remember. Transitioning from what I knew and felt as a child to what I resemble now, veganism was the best path for me. Big changes in life are challenging. That's the beauty of it but being vegan is a choice I choose every single day. For me, it's allowed me to connect with animals, nature, and people like never before. I used to think vegans were "crazy" but now, I'm pretty proud to be one of those "crazy" people.
Christina Colondres, Travel blogger & animal welfare specialist
I choose to be a Reducetarian because I truly love animals and nature. I don't want any animal to suffer for my sake and it is an added bonus that I am eating in a sustainable way. I am 80% vegetarian, but when I do indulge in eggs, butter, cheese or milk, I read the package labels to make sure that they come from ethical sources or I buy from local farms in my area. Sometimes labeling can be a little misleading, but with a little research you can understand the meanings behind them all and how to buy ethical products. Being vegan or an ethical vegetarian is a lot easier than you think! In this day and age, there are so many delicious options that taste almost exactly like or better than meat and are much better for the environment!
Marilyn Hucek, Lifestyle blogger & animal lover
It's been five years since I decided to go pescatarian. Originally it started for health reasons, but the more I learned about the food industry overall, the more reasons I had for becoming one. I believe food is medicine, but also after researching more, my eyes were opened to the negative environmental effects that eating meat has on the world. Not to mention the treatment of animals is far from ethical. As a first step, I decided to give up meat but allow myself seafood. I decided to follow more of a Mediterranean diet while prioritizing eating plants. The next step will be to go vegetarian, but I take it day by day. It's hard to completely change the habit of eating meat overnight so taking baby steps has been my strategy, and it has been successful so far.
Change starts with you. Even small everyday actions can make a large impact for animals, the environment and even your health. Together, we can make a difference for our planet.