Content Warning: consumption of animals, President Orange
I’m going to talk about it again. Even though I said last time I wouldn’t.
But I’m only talking about it because politics are fueling a pretty big lifestyle change for me that’s kind of relevant to this blog’s theme. It’s now been a month since President Orange took the oath of office and started us down a path towards destroying the planet. Yay!
Feel that global warming.
I’m pretty anxious about climate change, and it can be pretty overwhelming sometimes. I don’t have a lot of control over how the environment is affected, but I do have control over my own carbon footprint. I was doing alright before the disaster that is this presidency began, but there was one major improvement to my impact I could make.
Meat consumption has a pretty significant environmental impact, especially with factory farming and the way industrial farming is conducted in the United States. (According to my farmer friend, the north half of the country grows feed for cattle in the south part of the country, leading to increased transportation pollution.) I’ve always taken public transportation, use reusable shopping bags and food containers, so cutting down on my consumption of store-bought meat was the biggest change I could make to do my tiny part in counteracting President Orange’s disaster presidency.
So on January 21, 2017, the process of becoming a “political vegetarian” began.
That sounds like something really annoying, doesn’t it?
I’m actually calling it going “soft vegetarian”, since I’m still planning on eating meat that is ethically sourced (I’m really privileged in that I have a close friend who works on an organic cattle farm!), and there are some situations I don’t have any control over. (I live at home, and my mom took a bit of convincing. It was like that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding for the past month, I swear.)
It’s been challenging so far! I found a habit tracking app and I’ve been using it to keep track of how many days I go without eating meat. (I just made it one whole week!!) I’ve also gone back to using MyFitnessPal to track how much protein I’m getting. That was my biggest concern, especially with how active I’ve been. I haven’t actually equalized yet, so there are some days when I get back from a run and just eat slices of American cheese straight out of the packet because I’m starving and I didn’t plan well enough.
My new mantra is “HOW MUCH PROTEIN IS IN THIS?”
I’m going to try not to be super obnoxious about this. (Though I’m sure it’s more my real life friends who may eventually find this annoying.) I would never judge or try to dictate what other people choose as their best diet, since it’s so individualistic, and I always hated feeling like I was being judged by vegetarians I knew. Obviously, there are a lot of considerations, dietary and economic, that affect one’s ability to choose a vegetarian diet, and it’s not an appropriate solution for everyone.
I will say I think everyone should take a look at what they can do to help our environment. Whether it’s something as simple as sharing truthful and fact-based articles about climate change, participating in Meatless Mondays, or maybe as complicated as installing solar panels on your house, we can all make little changes to preserve the Earth for future generations. I’m proud of myself for making it a month making an effort, and a full week completely meatless! And I don’t even really miss eating it that much.
(Except for the occasional moment when I drift off and start fantasizing about those farm-fresh steaks we’ve got in the freezer.)
’til next time!