Even if you’re a massive meat-lover, there’s a good chance you’ve considered going vegetarian before. It’s hard not to look at plant-based Instagrammers with their glowing skin and seemingly boundless energy and not want what they’re having. Plus, there’s the undeniable fact that ditching meat reduces your environmental impact. However, if you’re someone who is used to basing all of their meals around chicken, beef or any other type of meat, the thought of forgoing it all together can seem overwhelming. But the thing is, it doesn’t have to be so all or nothing. You can always give going vego a go for a month or two, to see if it suits you. After all, even a month of reduced meat consumption is going to be better for you and the environment. Who knows, you may even love how it makes you feel so much that you end up making it a lifestyle, or at least having one vegetarian day per week.
Read on for 5 reasons you should consider going meat-free for a month (and beyond!)
Reduce your carbon footprint
Considering it takes more than nine times the fossil fuel to produce one calorie of meat than it does for one calorie of plant protein, it’s hardly surprising that going vego for even just a month can drastically reduce your contribution towards greenhouse gases. Research shows that if you were to avoid meat for just a month, it would prevent approximately 108 kg of harmful CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.
Let’s face it, high-quality meat is expensive here in Australia. Research from supermarket chain Aldi shows the average Australian household cooks four-and-half meat meals each week, spending around $46. By replacing this with plant-based foods, you could easily slash that in half.
Here’s one stat that’s pretty hard to ignore: by ditching meat for just one month, you could save around 31 animals. Not only are you helping to spare their lives, but you’re reducing your contribution towards cruel factory farming practices.
Improve your health and longevity
There’s endless research to suggest that going meat-free has some serious health benefits. Studies in America and Europe have raised the possibility that low meat intake is associated with greater longevity. Meanwhile, recent research from the UK has shown that while five portions of fruit and veggies each day is good for you, 10 is much better and could prevent up to 7.8 million premature deaths each year. Plus, following a vegetarian diet has been found to reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But if that information isn’t stirring enough, check out the Netflix doco What The Health (warning: it may put you off meat forever!).
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Here’s one nice little side effect. Provided you switch meat with clean, plant-based foods (rather than calorie-packed meat substitutes or processed carbs), going vegetarian for a month could see you shed a couple of kg. Research shows that vegetarians lose weight twice as fast as meat eaters. There’s a good reason Queen Bey herself goes vegan when she’s preparing for a tour!
If you’re thinking about giving a meat-free month a go, there’s no better time to do it than now. No Meat May is an Australian initiative challenging people to give meat the chop for the month of May. Now in its sixth year, No Meat May encourages curious carnivores to ditch meat, or all animal products (including dairy and eggs), from their diets for 31 days After signing up on the website, No Meat May participants can access mouth-watering plant-based recipes and nutritional guidance, and attend a range of special events at the No meat May “HQ” in Sydney’s Mascot–including a conservation photography exhibition and vegetarian cooking classes. For more information, or to join the revolution, visit nomeatmay.net.