Have you seen What the Health?
The documentary was good, but it has been getting a bit of heat as “vegan propaganda” and after watching it I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what to think.
If you haven’t seen it, they basically claim that eating animal protein will kill you. Whether it be from heart disease, diabetes, or cancer… if you eat meat, you’re fucked.
It’s obviously an overstatement. There are plenty of very healthy and happy people in the world who eat animal protein.
But one thing is for sure. People, and American’s especially, eat WAY TOO MUCH MEAT. It’s almost comical how romanticized animal protein has become in poplar culture.
That is an Carl’s Jr. ad ^^^. And good for their marketing team, they have successfully sexualized a sub-par, overcooked cheeseburger with shitty pickles (Sorry Carl’s Jr.).
But I want you to do me a favor. Think about the most renowned restaurants in any big city. How many of them are steakhouses, where you can get a 12, 16, even a 24 oz Porterhouse steak?
Yeah it tastes good… (Well used to taste good, I don’t participate in beef eating anymore)
But why the heck do you need a plate of 24oz of beef? Can’t you have a third of it and then maybe eat it with some broccoli, or spinach, and some potatoes to get your fill?
As American’s we have it all wrong. We are protein obsessed and we think that animal protein is necessary because they taste good.
Well vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, they all are amazing too. You’ve just been eating them wrong.
Even before I was interested in sustainability and when I too was animal protein obsessed (eating that double cheeseburger, or a 20oz steak), my favorite restaurant was a Vegetarian restaurant called Vedge. And it’s because Vedge was able to do things to produce and non-animal products that I never knew possible.
So let me get to my point about being a wannabe vegan that can’t give up animal protein.
I like eating animals. Chicken, pigs, fish, lambs etc. They taste good, they supply us with nutrients, they are a key part of a healthy and regenerative farming ecosystem. I just don’t think we need to eat as much.
For 3 reasons:
- Health – while What the Health was a bit extreme, eating massive amounts of animal protein is linked to many medical conditions that are avoidable with a more balanced diet.
- Animal welfare – Factory farming and the protein industry is fucked up and I’m going to just leave it at that.
- Our ecosystem – like I mentioned in my post about beef, we are going to be 9.7 billion people in the world. We cannot sustainably produce enough animal protein to feed that many people.
#3 is the big one for me.
The world know’s it. That is why traditional meat giants like Tyson are investing in more sustainable options like Beyond Meat, and Sonic is now blending mushrooms in their burgers to reduce the amount of beef they need to sell.
Businesses are on a path to reduce the reliance of animal protein on the consumer diet because a major shift is coming.
So be a part of the solution, be a part of the change.
I’m not saying stop eating animals. Just eat less of them.
For some, that could mean making 1 or 2 meals a week vegetarian or vegan (meatless Monday’s is a popular trend). For others, take that chicken breast, cut it in half and make it your “side” dish. The grains or vegetables then become your main dish (great way to save money – veggies are cheaper than meat).
Personally, I am doing both. Today, about 1/2 of my meals feature 0 animal protein while in the others, I am reducing the amount on my plate and substituting it with food from the earth. Quinoa, sweet potatoes, black beans, and others are great filling sources of nutrients that can be paired with just about any vegetable to fill you up.
I’ll be sharing recipes on this blog soon, but for now if you want some tips or ideas about how to eat for our planet, or just in healthier proportions email me: Bigalsweenies@gmail.com.
See ya next time!