How many land animals do you think are killed for their meat every year in the UK?
I’ll tell you… it’s 1.2 billion. And that’s in the UK alone.
There is a huge number of factory farms here too, in order to keep up with ‘demand’. Animals are kept in horrible, cramped conditions with nowhere to go and nothing to do. Unable to express their natural behaviours, these sentient beings are suffering in the millions. Not to mention, factory farming is also killing the planet, accounting for 15% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
But, despite all of these sad truths, there are ways that we as individuals can make a real difference. This is the reason that I decided to stop eating meat for a week as part of #NoMeatMay.
I have tried and struggled in the past to adopt a fully vegetarian and vegan diet, but honestly, with all the new and exciting vegan options on the shelves in supermarkets and filling menus in restaurants, I knew it wouldn’t be nearly as hard this time. And I am pleased to report, I was right!
As someone who loves food, I thoroughly enjoyed scrolling through TikTok looking for exciting new recipes to try (there is no end!). I came across delicious looking lentil curries, creamy garlic pastas, and mouth-watering flatbreads.
Long gone are the days of boring meat-free meals. Vegetarian and vegan communities are booming, and they are making exciting recipes more and more accessible.
One thing I did think I would struggle with is eating out. I was at a hen party at the weekend and was sure this would be my downfall. Instead, it gave me the opportunity to have the most delicious vegan pizza I’ve ever had!
Did I have to think carefully about my decisions? Yes, but there were options a-plenty. Obviously not all restaurants are the same (luckily I had a look at the menu before arriving at the restaurant because who doesn’t?!) so preparation and consideration are key.
So, what have I learnt?
If we put a bit more thought into what we eat, a whole new, exciting world opens up and we can lower our carbon footprint and help reduce the demand for factory farmed animals.
Every single person can make a difference by having a meat-free day every week or a meat-free week every month, and I for one am going to pledge to do just that! It’s a no-brainer, right?!