How to Eat Less Meat

As we begin to move through 2020, we have some concerns.

Young people, in particular, are becoming increasingly anxious about the ongoing climate crisis that threatens all of our futures. 

We wonder what we can do to improve our chances of creating a healthier, cleaner world yet sometimes we feel hopeless. We wonder if the people with power are listening and if they will act upon the promises they make. 

As fast-food chains and restaurants phase-out mindless plastics, like straws, we wonder how much of an impact it really has. The straw ban, in particular, is problematic, as it makes drinking less accessible for disabled people with compromised motor skills.

Something that I've been trying to commit to at home is eating less meat. I am still very much an omnivore, but I am buying and eating less, nonetheless. There are many benefits to eating less meat, including benefits for our environment, and your health. There are many different diets, with varying levels of commitment to eliminating animal meat and its by-products.

I would like to make a disclaimer that I do not support diet culture. Going meat-free, I believe, should not be done in an effort to restrict your food intake for the purpose of weight gain. If you struggle with body image or have a history of disordered eating, please talk to a medical or mental health professional before you begin a new diet.

Image Credits: Markus Spiske 

Omnivore

This is the standard diet in North America and consists of a balance between meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables, and grains. The structure of this diet has changed over the past decades, and Health Canada now recommends smaller portions of meat. When I have a meal with meat, I like it to take up about 25% or less of the plate.

Pescatarian

Pescatarianism is gaining popularity as it is the meat-free diet that requires the least amount of effort. Pescatarians do not eat any meat, but still consume fish and shellfish, as well as animal products, like milk and cheese. 

Vegetarian

Vegetarians do not eat any meat or fish, getting their protein from beans and legumes, eggs, and other sources. They may still consume animal by-products. 

Vegan

Vegan diets contain no animal products at all. It is entirely plant-based. Everything that one consumes must come from the ground which means meat, fish, dairy and other man-made things are ruled out.