Launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, Meat Free Monday is a not-for-profit campaign which aims to raise awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of eating meat, and to encourage people to help slow climate change, preserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one meat free day each week.
My blog is plant based and I choose to live meat free every day of the week, for health and environmental reasons and because I love animals and don't want to eat them!
Meat Free Monday is a great concept, you can find out more about it here
Most people are unaware of the many health and environmental issues which can arise from eating too many animal products as well as the amount of suffering of the poor animals so let me enlighten you!
When meat becomes a regular part of your meal there is simply less room on your plate for all the vegetables and wholegrains which have way more benefits for your health!
Red meats and processed meats like pies and sausages are linked with an increased risk of colon and bowel cancer. All animal productS are acidic and can lead to inflammation and increase your risk of many chronic diseases including all types of cancer.
Eating lots of meat puts a huge strain on the digestive system, it can take up to 72 hours for meat to be fully digested, compared to plants and veggies which go through the digestive system much faster.
Research performed by Oxford University found that 45,000 lives a year (and £1.2 billion in NHS costs) would be saved in the UK by people reducing their meat intake: 31,000 from heart disease, 9,000 from cancer, and 5,000 from stroke.
The meat and dairy industries use huge amounts of energy and create massive amounts of waste, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, all greenhouse gases (GHG) which is the major cause of climate change.
Here are some interesting facts on the differences in inputs and outputs for beef as opposed to veggies!
Beef uses around 8000 litres of water and produces a total of 30 kg of greenhouse gas (GHG) per kg of food,
while carrots, potatoes and rice use around 170 litres of water and produce 0.42, 0.45 and 1.3 kg GHG per kg of food, respectively.
Thats a MASSIVE difference!!
To put it another way, it takes way more energy inputs to produce, for example, a burger than the energy you get from eating it and it creates huge amounts of waste. Its a totally inefficient energy system and its not sustainable! Here's a thought!!
If the world was vegetarian there would be enough food for everyone!
So if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, improve your health and stop animal suffering then please consider at least reducing your meat intake, starting with Meat Free Monday and hopefully extending to other days as well.
Now for the good stuff.........LENTILS!
I love lentils, they are a wonderful substitute for meat and come in a huge variety of colours, textures and tastes from orange split lentils to green, brown, black and Puy.
The great thing about all lentils is they literally support every system in your body. They are packed full of fibre, protein, B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium and potassium, among others. Now thats a pretty impressive list! With their low glycaemic index and complex carbohydrate content, they can prevent energy slumps by keeping blood sugar levels balanced. The fibre supports digestive health, will regulate your bowels and lower your cholesterol and they will give you an energy boost and combat fatigue by replenishing your iron and B vitamin stores!
If you combine lentils with a wholegrain, like wholemeal or spelt pasta or brown rice then the protein has all the amino acids your body needs!
So in comparison to meat, I'd say that lentils win by a mile and no animals are harmed to provide your dinner! Lentils are also way cheaper than meat, another excellent reason to switch!
On that note here is one of my favourite recipes that should appeal to everyone, adults and kids alike!
Its basically a bolognese with red lentils instead of mince! This is a great dish for kids and can be blended into a smooth sauce to hide all the veggies! The red lentils cook quickly, don't need pre soaking and are easy on the digestion! You can use gluten free pasta or serve the sauce with a baked potato for a gluten free option. So here is the recipe. Enjoy!
Ingredients Serves 4-6
....your health in your hands.....
A healthy lifestyle blog with green living tips, plant-based recipes and natural health magic.