Have You Tried Flexitarianism?
A lot of people wish they could be vegetarian, but no matter how much they try they just can’t make it happen. The reasons for this vary wildly.
For some people, they can’t go vegetarian because of their kids. Kids are notoriously fussy eaters, and they’re not interested in mummy or daddy’s weight goals for the year.
For others, they can’t seem to find the right ways of balancing their nutrition once they start slashing at their diet. So during weeks they’re not eating meat, they feel far less healthy and can’t maintain it.
There are a lot more issues for why someone who wants to be a vegetarian just can’t make it happen, and the answer isn’t more judgement.
The answer for those of us that can’t manage could be flexitarianism, it’s not the giving up move that some people claim it to be.
The benefits of being a vegetarian
There are a lot of benefits for giving up meat that vegetarians experience every day. Possibly the biggest benefit is what I like to call the
What this means is that there’s a lot of meat out there that’s increasingly coming from questionable sources. Pumped with antibiotics and growth hormones, animals are treated horribly during their lifetime and this abuse carries over into their meat.
Producers want more meat per animal, and they’ll pull any nasty move they need to when trying to get their animal bigger.
We’re eating everything the animal ate and was injected with, and this is terrible for both our health and our growing resistance to antibiotics.
This is without mentioning the moral implications of being complicit with the cruel treatment of animals.
After buying meat, it needs to be handled with some care. Every container it’s kept in, and every utensil it’s carried with needs to have been sterilised. It also needs to always be kept within a certain temperature range to stop it growing bacteria.
I think we all know this doesn’t happen. Suppliers, delivery drivers and restaurants are all guilty of letting meat be exposed to unsafe temperatures and unclean storage conditions.
A friend of mine who inspects restaurants for safety and sanity hasn’t touched meat since the first day he started his job.
He’s detailed stories to me that included beef being kept in buckets on the ground, warm and exposed to the air.
He can’t even see someone eating meat without feeling sick.
I think we all got a shock when the World Health Organisation told us that processed meats were being classified as Group 1 carcinogens. This means that meats including ham, salami, bacon and hotdogs were identified and strongly linked to cancer.
Red meat such as lamb and beef were given only a slightly better rating as only probable causes of cancer.
Hearing that was devastating for millions of families who enjoy meat for literally every meal, every day.
The news meant nothing for millions of others who touted stories of grandparents who lived into their 90’s eating a pound of sausages a day.
“My nana ate nothing but bacon and smoked 20 cigarettes a day and she lived to be 115!”
We all know that guy.
We also know that being a vegetarian is a good idea, and we’ve seen the evidence. But like most people, I’d rather cut down on meat then cut it out.
Don’t cut meat out if you don’t want to, just cut down. Life is for living after all, and a good steak rivals a good orgasm.
Meatless Mondays can become a tradition in your house. Introduce some healthy pea protein in place of a steak on Monday nights.
If that’s too much of a stretch, buy some Impossible Burgers and keep them in the freezer. Swap them out for regular burgers some days of the week and see if your family notices.
You shouldn’t have to suffer to stay alive, but we should all be making compromises.
If you’re a vegetarian who wants to introduce more protein into your diet, why not look into crickets?
Crickets are an enormous source of protein and have been added to snacks and made into flour. Eating insects is one of the ways that we’re exploring a future of more sustainable animal protein sources.
Production of crickets is far easier on the planet, and no one has invented a way of injecting them with tiny shots of antibiotics.. yet.
The only hurdle is the one in your mind that bugs you whenever you start contemplate eating a cookie that was made with flour that was itself made with bugs.
OMG it’s crawling back up my throat, it wasn’t dead! … Wait… That’s just a burp, I’ve got gas.
So instead of judging each other’s diets, let’s just find sustainable steps forward together before the world completely burns down.
Our plate is the very first step we can take in making a difference for ourselves, for animals, and for the planet.
At the expense of crickets.