Missed Veganuary? 5 reasons to have a Meatfree March

Missed Veganuary? 5 reasons to have a Meatfree March

Ever felt a twinge of conscience before ordering the beef? Paused momentarily before reaching for the chicken breasts on the shelf? Experienced a pang of discomfort on happening upon photos of animals in factory farms? Maybe it’s time to explore cutting out the meat?

Meatfree March is just the ticket if you’re wondering if a different diet might be right for you. No need to commit! Test out vegetarianism for a few days, a week or the rest of the month. There are plenty of good reasons to go for it…

Vegetarian food pyramid

1. Time to focus on eating healthily

Most vegetarian food has significant health benefits: bags of essential vitamins, minerals and fibre to keep us ticking over. Replace meat with a balanced daily dose of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy and heart-healthy grains and pulses for a few weeks and see how you feel.

(Sure, we could spend our Meatfree March eating fries, chocolate spread sandwiches and salt-and-vinegar crisps. We’d technically complete the assignment but likely feel dreadful!)

2. Save money on groceries

Unless you’re gonna go nuts on expensive meat substitutes (we advise not, fake bacon and the like just make us miss the real thing!), getting in vegetarian groceries is generally a lot cheaper than standard meaty fare. Stock up on sweet potatoes, butternut squash, chickpeas, red lentils and tinned beans for loads of options for filling meatfree meals on a budget.

3. Add to your ‘go-to’ recipes

Not everyone who tries Meatfree March will want to carry on with a veggie diet once it’s over. That’s fine. Yet we hope you’ll discover several meatfree meals that are easy and tasty enough to add to your usual repertoire of recipes.

How about a spicy tarka dhal? Herby aubergine no-meatballs? Cheesy pasta primavera, anyone?

4. Live your love of animals

For those of us with an affinity with four-legged ones, feathered critters or water-dwellers, vegetarianism can solve a lot of the ‘cognitive dissonance’ issues nature lovers experience when we justify the meat and seafood on our plates.

Holding two opposing beliefs – in this case, ‘living creatures are precious’ with ‘living creatures can be intensively farmed and killed to feed me’ - doesn’t really stand up to much self-scrutiny, so why not experiment with living your love of animals this month?

5. If we all ate less meat, the world would be a happier place

Macca himself, Sir Paul McCartney, said it straight, “If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you could do. It’s staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty.”

The fact is, our Earth can provide more than enough resources for everyone to live a life free from hunger… but not if we continue to consume meat at the same rate that we do now.

By getting more of what we need from vegetarian food and so reducing the demand for meat, we can help to protect important wildlife habitats from destruction to grow animal feed, protect fresh water sources from over-exploitation by factory farming processes and protect the atmosphere from climate-changing cattle burps (no joke!).

And, if you’ve read this far but can’t quite bring yourself to commit to a whole month of vegetarianism, why not trial a single Meatfree Monday instead?

Have you been cutting down on your meat intake? Or will you start by experimenting with a vegetarian diet this March? Share your thoughts on ethical eating with Greenredeem on Facebook or Twitter.

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