Why Try Meatless Monday in 2016?
Speak with any vegetarian or vegan. He or she will probably be able to speak for hours about reasons to avoid animal protein, especially meat. These reasons should include health, conservation, frugality, and animal welfare. However, banning bacon from your diet might not be something you care to do right now. Of course, the Frugal Pig doesn’t enjoy bacon, but we’re also pretty sensible to the fact that lifelong diets are not things that can always be changed overnight.
However, we hope we can convince readers to try a Meatless Monday or Tofu Tuesday at least once. We’re sure that it will become a new family tradition, and it might lead to a reduction in meat consumption on other days of the week too. So let’s consider some reasons to eat more beans!
Reasons to Enjoy Meatless Monday or Tofu Tuesday
I. Get Healthier
According to Meatless Monday, an advocacy movement, reducing meat consumption can reduce the risk of many serious diseases. Consuming more plant-based protein sources can ensure adequate consumption of several nutrients that meat really doesn’t supply. In addition, plenty of studies have demonstrated that people who replace meat with legumes and other sources of plant protein reduce their risk of diabetes, obesity, and even cancer. In addition, research has clearly suggested that consumption of more servings of fruits and vegetables each day is strongly tied to longer lives. We don’t want to suggest that your bacon is killing you, but your bacon might be killing you!
II. Reduce Your Grocery Budget
It doesn’t take great math skills to figure out that a pound of beans costs a lot less than a pound of beef. Beans, grains, and other healthy plant protein sources cost less to put on the table because they require fewer resources to produce. You can also store dried grains and legumes for a long time, so these staples can help you prep for emergencies. Put the savings in your piggy bank or splurge on the fancy seasonings.
III. Save the Earth
Consuming less meat is an environmentally friendly move too. There are three main ways that meat puts a strain on the environment:
- Reduce water use: Raising meat requires a lot more water than producing plant sources of protein. A pound of beef requires over 1,800 gallons of water, but a pound of produce requires less than 40. If everybody in the US became a vegetarian, water use would decrease by over 50 percent.
- Decrease greenhouse gas emissions: A kilogram of beef emits about 30 kilograms of greenhouse gas. On the other hand, a pound of most vegetable food sources produces less than one.
- Decrease fuel consumption: It’s safe to say that producing a pound of animal protein consumes over ten times as much fuel as producing a pound of vegetable protein.
IV. Factory Farming of Animals is Nasty
Forget about your image of cows and chickens enjoying a nice life in a sunny pasture. That isn’t the reality of modern factory farming at all. Besides cruelty to animals, other considerations are the spread of diseases, high levels of antibiotics, and damage to the environment from waste and chemicals. It might be true that factory farming is the only way to produce meat cheaply, so the only solution is to consume less meat.
Why Not Try Abstaining From Animal Protein for One Day Next Week?
One of our suggested 2016 frugal new year’s resolutions is to try reducing consumption of animal protein, particularly meat. Once you discover some fantastic vegetarian or vegan recipes, you might even find that reducing meat consumption actually exposes you to a more varied, flavorful, and exciting diet. You might enjoy Meatless Monday because it’s fun, but you can also feel good about it because it is environmentally friendly, healthy, and cheap.