We have a responsibility to maintain and sustain our planet, not just for our own sake, but for the MANY that come after us. With Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd (although I think every day should be Earth day), I wanted to do something special because I love our planet, and it breaks my heart how much we’ve destroyed her in such a short amount of time since we have been here.
As Gandhi says, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed". It provides us with all of the essentials for living and then some and we take and take, but how are we giving back to her?! I think a lot of people today only think about themselves. We’ve lost touch of HUMANITY- the human race; human beings collectively. And let’s not forget Earth’s HUGE role in humanity, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her existence. We’re selfish (generally speaking) and we take without thinking of the consequences our actions will have on future generations to come- Even when that generation may involve our own family members. It is estimated that approximately half of the species alive on Earth today may become extinct within the next 75 years. That’s heartbreaking and not all that far away.
I want to CHALLENGE you to go meatless for a week in honor of Earth Day. No, this isn’t me trying to push vegan-ism on you, I in fact eat fish and eggs, so I’m not even in the position to preach going vegan on you. This is me trying to promote something good for our planet in hopes that it will make you realize that you don’t need meat at EVERY meal or even EVERY day. As a (soon-to-be) Holistic Nutritionist I recognize the benefits of consuming QUALITY (organic + grass-fed) meat in moderation (even though I don’t eat meat myself), but generally people consume far too much meat than is good for them, and often it is coming from conventional farm animals that are fed food full of GMO’s and pesticides, who are pumped with antibiotics, who are treated inhumanly and are killed with high levels of cortisol in their bodies (which is then passed onto you by eating this meat).
If after a week of not eating meat, you want to go back to your ways that’s fine. But for one week give meat-free eating a try, there are many health benefits associated with eating a more plant-based diet- Not only for you, but OUR PLANET too. For this one week I’m encouraging you to skip the meat and contribute to the greater good- Doing what is best for our planet. If you are skeptical or think what I’m saying is total baloney, I encourage you to watch the documentary Cowspriacy to gain a new perspective on the effects animal agriculture is having on our planet, or…
Check out some of these facts from the Cowspriacy documentary:
Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.
Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565 gigatonnes CO2e limit by 2030, all from raising animals.
Agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption.
Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.
2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef.
5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes. 55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.
A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.
We could see fishless oceans by 2048.
Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction.
Up to 137 plant, animal and insect species are lost every day due to rainforest destruction.
After these facts are you IN? If so…
Here is how to go meatless for a week (Whether this means you eat vegetarian or vegan for the week is totally up to you! The important thing is to focus on not eating meat from cows, pigs, poultry and so on, if you want to exclude eggs and fish by all means GO FOR IT, let’s show the Planet some extra TLC):
1) Plan your meals out this weekend and make a grocery list. Get your groceries on Sunday and prepare any meals you can ahead of time.
Here are some meat-free meal ideas:
Chia seed pudding topped with nuts and berries
Peanut butter acai bowl with plant-based protein powder or hemp seeds
Overnight oats with cashew butter, flax seeds, and your favorite fruit
Veggie sandwich on sprouted bread with lots of veggies and avocado
Green salad with vegetables, hummus, quinoa, and a veggie burger patty
Veggie sushi roll (with brown rice, avocado, cucumber, and any other vegetables)
Veggie tacos: Use butternut squash and black beans for the filling
Brown rice, steamed vegetables, blackened tempeh, tahini sauce, and avocado
Veggie bowl: Quinoa, steamed vegetables and kale, black beans, and guacamole or hummus
Carrot sticks with hummus and Mary’s Gone Crackers
Sprouted bread with avocado and tempeh “bacon”
Apples with cinnamon and cashew butter
2) Keep your meals focused around plant foods- Fresh produce, whole grains, legumes, nuts/seeds, healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil and avocado, and lots of greens.
3) If you are worried about not getting enough protein, keep these plant-friendly protein sources in mind: Hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, an organic vegan protein powder, legumes combined with brown rice or another grain, bee pollen, tempeh, nut butter, chia seeds, spirulina, and flax seeds.
4) Get additional meat-free recipe inspiration online: Pinterest, Meatless Monday, and Buzzfeed
5) Tag @fitbrittnutrition and #FBNearthday in your meat-free Instagram posts and inspire your friends to play along. I will also be re-posting account photos throughout the week.
Additionally, all week I’ll be posting inspiring meat-free recipes, along with giveaways, and little things you can do to take care of our planet, Mother Earth. Happy EARTH day (or week) you stellar humans. Let’s do our part to take care of our one and only planet, like she does us<3.