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Meatout 2011 -- www.meatout.org

Okay, so this post is for anyone who is even vaguely interested in going vegetarian/vegan or even just decreasing their meat consumption.

So I stumbled across a posting on facebook about meatout 2011 and they include a list of bloggers who do posts to spread the word so I thought I'd get involved.

Some info: 


Meatout reflects national trends:
  • Mainstream health advocacy organizations and the official government publication "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" tout plant-based foods.
  • Over 30 million Americans have explored a meat-free diet.
  • One in five teens thinks vegetarianism is "cool."
  • National beef and veal consumption have dropped by 25 and 70%, respectively.
  • Major manufacturers and retailers are marketing meat-free and dairy-free meals.
  • Several national fast food chains are offering veggie burgers and several major baseball parks are selling veggie dogs.

I'd like to start by addressing the points made in the banner and one additional point that was on a separate banner.

Most of you who read my blog are either already veg/vegan or are on a weight loss journey yourself. So I thought I would start with the health benefits of going veg, this info is from: http://www.nursingdegree.net/blog/19/57-health-benefits-of-going-vegan/

12.                Cardiovascular disease. Eating nuts and whole grains, while eliminating dairy products and meat, will improve your cardiovascular health. A British study indicates that a vegan diet reduces the risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Vegan diets go far in preventing heart attack and stroke.
13.                Cholesterol. Eliminating any food that comes from an animal and you will eliminate all dietary cholesterol from your diet. Your heart will thank you for that.
14.                Blood pressure. A diet rich in whole grains is beneficial to your health in many ways, including lowering high blood pressure.
15.                Type 2 diabetes. Not only is a vegan diet a weapon against Type 2 diabetes, it is also "easier to follow than the standard diet recommended by the American Diabetic Association." Read more about it here.
16.                Prostate cancer. A major study showed that men in the early stages of prostate cancer who switched to a vegan diet either stopped the progress of the cancer or may have even reversed the illness.
17.                Colon cancer. Eating a diet consisting of whole grains, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, can greatly reduce your chances of colon cancer.
18.                Breast cancer. Countries where women eat very little meat and animal products have a much lower rate of breast cancer than do the women in countries that consume more animal products.
19.                Macular degeneration. Diets with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, can help prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration.
20.                Cataracts. Much the same way macular degeneration is headed off by a vegan diet, cataracts are also thought to be prevented through the intake of the same fruits and vegetables. Produce high in antioxidants are also believed to help prevent cataracts.
21.                Arthritis. Eliminating dairy consumption has long been connected with alleviating arthritis symptoms, but a new study indicates that a combination of gluten-free and vegan diet is very promising for improving the health of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
22.                Osteoporosis. Bone health depends on a balance of neither too much or too little protein, adequate calcium intake, high potassium, and low sodium. With a healthy vegan diet, all four of these points set a perfect scenario for preventing osteoporosis.

Don't get me wrong. It's easy to be a fat, unhealthy vegetarian. I guess if you ate only pizza and french fries every day it'd be pretty easy to pack on the pounds. What I'm encouraging is to eat a healthy plant based diet. 


and honestly, the U.S 'food pyramid' only recommends 5.5 ounces of meat a day. You get more than that with one small chicken breast. 

In regards to the impact of factory farming on the environment, it's pretty undeniable that if you take up acres and acres of land for such things, that the feces and other runoff is going to do some damage, (explaining e-coli in spinach, etc) not to mention issues from methane. 

This is a quote from the United Nations: 

 "Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products."

If you're interested in more info on the impact of factory farming, I'd suggest watching Food, Inc. (You can get it through netflix).

Food, Inc trailer:






I also wanted to discuss the issue of animal cruelty. But first, here is a www.meatout.org ad: 



I'm not going to get all into this subject,  I think we get desensitized because it comes in plastic wrap. (in industrialized countries). Sure some people hunt and have no problem with it, but that's not where most of us get our food. Times change.  Just like when we were cavemen and hunted our own meat (which was hard to come by and we expended more energy to get it than we do today driving to mcdonalds). 


"Agriculture committees in the Iowa House and Senate have approved a bill that would prohibit such recordings and punish people who take agriculture jobs only to gain access to animals to record their treatment. Proposed penalties include fines of up to $7,500 and up to five years in prison. Votes by the full House and Senate have not yet been set."


I'll just leave this subject with a link, honestly I couldn't watch this, I tried to watch 10 seconds of the trailer and burst into tears. My boyfriend joey, who has always been a meat eater, went veg after watching it, and honestly, I was shocked. Even the first few seconds I'm sure could change your life, even if you can't get through it. It did mine. < Earthlings >

My fridge:


The cost of eating veg. I always bought into the idea that eating vegetarian would be more expensive. When I tried years ago (unsuccessfully after only 6 months), it was. I was eating the wrong things though. I ate a ton of prepackaged, frozen fake meats and microwaveable convenience foods.  When I gave it another shot in 2009 and started to eat a 99% whole foods diet, my life changed for the better. My skin glows, I have more energy, all of my labs came back lower than they were when I ate meat and we spend a bit less on groceries and we also eat out less, freeing up money for other things. (like the raw cookbook I bought today!)

Joey and I generally spend abut 50$ a week on groceries for the two of us. We buy ours from a local store that works with an online grocer and we get them delivered for free.  To be fair joey is a cook so he eats one meal a day at work. We've spent 75$ once and the highest we went was 120$ when he was on vacation. The amount we used to spend on eating out put that 120$ to shame!

Comments

  1. Thank you for all the information you provided on this post. It was very informative. I was always under the impression that going veg/vegan would be very expensive weekly, but you seem to have a reasonable budget. I am trying to buy and eat only fresh foods this week.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think Veg/Vegan is awesome if you can stick to it. I've had to go a few times b/c of gallbladder attacks and can't stick to it. Awesome on your grocery budget! Do you guys meal plan and stuff to keep costs down? It makes things so much easier when both of you are on the same eating plan too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm vegan and he's veggie, so it's pretty close. Also, he hasn't bought cheese in awhile, has been using daiya.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I so struggle with this issue. I was reading a book on Veganism and I burst into tears reading about the treatment of the animals. I just cannot stand it, however, I don't know how to feed myself properly as a vegetarian and certainly not as a vegan. But I have cut out beef and pork from my diet. Very interesting post.

    ReplyDelete
  5. darla, thanks for the comment...

    I think it's a lot easier than people assume. I read a lot about nutrition anyhow, so it was probably easier for me than it may be for others, but then again, I'm sure you are just as capable as I am in educating yourself, your a smart lady ;)

    It's very helpful, honestly, to be veggie/vegan as far as my weight loss goes, because I do have some conviction behind not eating things that are unhealthy. Sometimes you can't do it for yourself. (I LOVED chicken wings!) But when you are doing it for reasons bigger than yourself, it becomes far easier to have that discipline.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great blog, guys. Just wanted to add that once you stock your pantry with the GOOD vegan stuff, vegan diets are much cheaper than animal based diets (esp. if you ate organic animal products).
    For more ways to vegan success, check out my Meatout post: http://veganfazool.blogspot.com/2011/03/overcoming-barriers-to-veganism.html

    Happy Meatout! Dawn (Vegan Fazool)

    ReplyDelete

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