When you say no to meat, you say yes to so much more.
Today, we’re going to talk a little more about veganism and other animal product-free eating plans. If you follow WTAF religiously (which you should!), you’ve probably seen more vegan and vegetarian recipes creeping up on the site. Although I wouldn’t say my blog is a strictly vegan blog, I DO like incorporating vegan, vegetarian, and other healthy recipes into this site as a way to facilitate conversation and show my readers there are MANY ways to eat right. Ultimately it depends on your body type, lifestyle habits, and simply what makes you feel your best!
But let’s go back to that original statement I just made. This isn’t to say that everyone should instantly stop eating meat, dairy, and other animal products right this second. I just think when you abstain from eating meat, you potentially open the door to so many other possibilities and benefits for your health, for the economy, and especially for the planet.
When You Say No to Meat, You Say Yes To:
- Organic farming
- Sustainable farming
- Local farming
- Decreased chance of contracting dangerous bacteria and food-born illnesses like E-coli O157:H7
- Fewer pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals used to grow animal feed
- Less dependence on Monsanto and other GMO corn and soy products
- Humane treatment of animals
- Human treatment of factory workers and farmers
- Improved heart health
- Decreased risk of cancer
- Increased antioxidant consumption
- Less exposure to toxic chemicals that could harm your health
- More money in your pocket
- Changes in policies that make the food industry ACCOUNTABLE for its actions and behavior
- And more!
In some ways, saying no to meat is saying YES to the little guy! Like one of my favorite food bloggers says, your dollar is your vote. And when you choose to buy organic apples and broccoli instead of pesticide, GMO-ridden beef, you’re using your money to as a tool to tell these oversized food companies what kinds of products you want.
Your Dollar DOES Matter
This is old news, but I’m sure many of you have heard about Walmart and its efforts to remove hormones from its dairy products. Mind you, Walmart isn’t doing this because they suddenly felt some moral or humanitarian need to change their products—they did so because enough people complained and made their voices heard!
This is why it’s so important to understand that EVERY penny counts. I had a conversation with a really good friend the other day who basically thought my efforts to change food policy and give people healthy recipe alternatives were a waste of time. Sure, part of me was hurt that she didn’t support my company and held pretty archaic views on food policy in this country, arguing that it all comes down to “personal responsibility.” (I didn’t even get into how that’s the classic excuse food companies use to dodge responsibility.)
The thing is, when food companies are manipulating foods with chemicals, additives, and other unnatural methods so they taste amazing and make you crave more and more, is that really a fair fight? Can you blame the elementary school child who reaches for the bag of chips instead of the banana? I can’t. In my eyes, that kid doesn’t know he or she is being manipulated. And even if he or she did, chances are his mom might not have a ton of money to spend on unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. With the way the food industry is organized, fast/processed food is designed and subsidized to be cheap and affordable, not healthy.
Ultimately, Americans deserve to know where their food is coming from and what is being done to it. In my opinion, the meat and dairy industries have done the best job at hiding their inhumane and disgusting practices and the best job at keeping information from their consumers.
Today’s recipe is a vegan, raw, and high-fiber salad that’s perfect for spring and summer! If you ARE a vegetarian or vegan, feel free to eat it on its own or over a bed of leafy greens. Personally, my family loved this dish with grilled salmon and steamed veggies. Do what works for you!