The decision to end my consumption of meat was not quick or impulsive (unlike most of my decisions). It is something that I have been working towards for almost four years, with periods of great success and periods of complete and utter failure.
A key learning it that the worst way (for me) to cut down on animal product consumption is by making a sudden switch to a fully vegan diet. I have tried this approach multiple times, lasted a couple of months, and then gone on a mad weekend meat binge (not a euphemism).
About a year ago, I decided to try a different tactic; I ate a plant-based diet Monday – Friday. More recently (72 days ago to be precise) I stopped eating meat completely, although I am still currently eating fish twice per week.
As mentioned in previous posts, my reasons behind this lifestyle change are NOT health based – I don’t believe that veganism or vegetarianism are necessarily healthier lifestyle choices, nor should they be used as a weight management tool. I have many issues with ‘documentaries’ such as What the Health and Cowspiracy (don’t even get me started on The Game Changers) as I do not support proselytizing by pseudo-Science and spreading ridiculous misinformation.
To put it bluntly, we are destroying our planet. There is a clear link between food and the climate emergency, and we are all aware of this; the consumption of meat is one of the most environmentally damaging actions that we carry out. That, alongside the fact that I simply enjoy eating a plant-based diet and it makes me feel GOOD (plus plant-based food was already making up 90% of my diet) are compelling enough reasons to commit and make the change.
I want to re-emphasise my initial point; from an ecological and ethical standpoint, it’s clear that a plant-based diet is the way forward. My issue is the pseudo-science behind the so-called nutritional and health benefits of following a plant-based diet (for example, The Game Changers conveniently omits the fact that the majority of vegan athletes supplement heavily with protein powders), and an unhealthy obsession with the all or nothing approach.
Food is an extremely multi-faceted and complex topic, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Whilst I can’t see myself eating meat again, I would never shame anyone for doing so. You can care deeply about humanity, the environment etc. without devoting all your time and energy towards pursuing the perfect plant-based diet.