It’s been a while now that I cut down my consumption of meat. Caring about the environment, climate change, health and animals’ treatment automatically lead to a change in my diet. At 20 years old, I started being what we now call « flexitarian », a way to say that you are flexible with your meat consumption. In my case, when I started living on my own, I stopped buying and eating meat and only eat sometimes when I was invited at parties or family diner. Because, yes, saying that I was vegetarian sounded like a « coming out », something bad that makes me a weird person. My family couldn’t understand, and I already had so much debates about climate change and other topics related to our capitalist society that I couldn’t add a new debate about vegetarianism; that would have been too much 🙂 Saying that I was thinking of being vegetarian was automatically a synonym of being sick and that I would need to take some pills…
Anyway, being vegetarian should be the new normal and not something to be ashamed of. Our society is full of clichés about meat and one of the most popular one is saying that we need it to get certain nutrients, or that it is in our Human nature to eat meat or eating meat is a proof of wealth… All these ideas are socially founded and in my belief wrong. Indeed, all the nutrients can be found in other food such as lentils, nuts, spinach… There is enough proofs of the benefits related to being vegetarians, that I don’t need to extend on the topic here.
Nowadays, we do have access to so much information online that it is easier to be informed and less ignorant about our impact on Nature and on our own health caused by the food we eat. Now, we know that the meat production has a huge impact on climate change and damage our ecosystem: emissions of greenhouse gas, excessive water consumption, soil degradation, deforestation… So, if there was one thing to do, at an individual level to fight climate change, it would be to limit our personal meat consumption and that would already be a huge step and in my opinion the minimum we can do!
In top of that, if for one second, we let our empathy takes over and start caring about the animals themselves and reconnecting with our environment, we may finally open our eyes and realise that they do have emotions and feelings and maybe we will finally understand that our industrialized agriculture is synonym of torture.
For some more information, here an article on the Guardian: « Why you should go animal-free: 18 arguments for eating meat debunked »