I am not writing a post about the cookie monster renamed as a veggie monster. This is about the food we eat, and how our choices can really affect our wallets and the environment. Simply by eating less meat and more vegetables we can save the earth and pay less for our groceries!
My close cousin is a good example of someone who puts this into practice every single day. She has been a pescatarian for over 10 years! A pescatarian is someone who only eats vegetables, fruits, grains and seafood. The only reason I even know this term is because of her actually. Otherwise, I would just call people who do not eat meat, vegetarians. She was mostly motivated to become a vegetarian because she loves animals and hates the thought of hurting them in any way. She has been misunderstood many times, especially in the first few years that she started doing this. Our family did not quite understand that this was a lifestyle choice and not because of anything else. They also did not know what types of food she could or could not eat. Family gatherings were always interesting because someone would cook what they thought was a vegetarian dish for her, but in reality, it would not be because they used chicken broth. These days it can be hilarious even though our family has gotten the hang of it. A family member would cook a special dish only for her, and everyone would not touch it because it was designated. It is always a massive dish for 10 that no one else touched because we were afraid she would not have enough to eat!
I also happen to have a friend who has gone beyond vegetarian to vegan! Even more extreme in terms of how limited her food supply is. She does not eat anything with animal products in it. That means no milk, no eggs, no fish, basically anything that moves. She is absolutely passionate about being vegan and definitely lets everyone know. She also loves animals and that is her main motivation to being vegan. It is wonderful to see how much she does to try to pass along her message. She is always posting about her vegan lifestyle, and the things she does against animal cruelty.
My cousin and friend are very good examples to follow if that is the route that you want to go. Their passion for their lifestyle helps influence me to eat fewer meat products. Just by their choice in becoming a pescatarian or vegan, they have already put into motion a way to really save the earth and money. Meat is one of the food products that takes the most resources to create. Think of it this way: if you eat corn, then you just grow the corn. If you eat a steak, then you must grow the corn to feed the cow. It takes a lot more resources to get that steak on a plate compared to that corn.
Most people though, would not want to go that route at all. Myself being one of them! I love eating and I would not be able to give up meat and seafood entirely. There are only two items actually that I do not like to eat, durian and bitter melon. Both of which are not meat at all. It is a lifestyle that is not for me. This does not mean that I cannot do my part to cut down on meat products though. One way to incorporate this is by going meatless once a week! There are plenty of creative ways to cook meals that are vegetarian and still delicious! Sometimes it just takes more spices and a little more imagination, but there are a ton of wonderful recipes to help you get started. If everyone in the US ate one meatless meal a week, think of the resources we could save! Not to mention cows too.
Are you a vegetarian or vegan? Do you ever have meatless meals to spend less and be earth-friendly?