It's time to try a meat-free diet

1 October 2018

The first of October 2018 is World Vegetarian Day (WVD) and also the annual kick-off to Vegetarian Awareness Month, where people are encouraged to take part, discuss and spread the word of vegetarianism. There’s plenty of resources available to help you get the message out, and if it’s something that you’ve not considered before, there are plenty of reasons to make the change.

It’s better for the planet

The environmental benefit of a meat-free diet can clearly be seen when you consider the impact that meat production has on the planet. To put it simply, it takes more land and water to produce meat, and the production of it creates much larger amounts of greenhouse gasses than plant-based agriculture. For example, when compared to staples like potatoes, wheat and rice, beef (per calorie) requires 160 times more land and produces 11 times more greenhouse gases.

It seems like a bad choice to continue with such destructive food production, particularly when it doesn’t use resources wisely. As Professor Mark Sutton, at the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, said: “The US and Europe alike are using so much of their land in highly inefficient livestock farming systems, while so much good quality cropland is being used to grow animal feeds rather than human food.”

The ideal way to help tackle climate change is to reduce meat consumption, or not eat it at all. A study by scientists at the Oxford Martin School found that a widespread adoption of a vegetarian diet would bring emissions down by 63% by 2050.

It’s better for your health

More and more people are choosing a meat-free diet for health and performance reasons. Some of the world’s leading footballers, including Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, don’t eat meat during the playing season. And the Tennessee Titans NFL team now has as many as ten team members eating meat free.

There’s also research that suggests a balanced vegetarian diet contributes to lower incidences of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and type two diabetes. Altogether, there’s a number of positive reasons to go meat free – and if you like to have a date in your diary to start something new, then pencil in 1 October 2018.

To help get you started, we’ve got some delicious recipes to try that are simple to make and super yummy too. Check out the videos below for some great inspiration. 

Bircher muesli – a fantastically healthy breakfast that’s really quick to make too

Jackfruit pancakes – it’s a great alternative to meat and a rich source of protein

Superfood salad – an awesome protein power salad that was a huge hit in our office

Chickpea no-tuna sandwich – quite simply, a delicious lunch

Whatever change you’re able to make will make a difference. But if a meat-free diet’s not for you, you can still help to tackle climate change simply by switching to green energy.

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