Honestly, I’m kind of a dick. Why?
Well, I’m an environmental science major, who eats meat. If you didn’t know, the production of meat has a huge impact on the earth. Livestock production creates A FUCK TON of methane, a greenhouse gas much more potent in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Pollution happens in every step of the process of getting those beautiful chicken breasts on my cutting board. From the massive amount of land used to grow the food for these animals, to the endless trucks used to transport them, much goes into bringing meat to markets.
“The problem is we look at the product, not the entire process.” ~Someone Smart
I’m not a complete asshole though. Meat is something I eat in small quantities. In the United States, it seems that a steak is the star of the show. A rack of ribs, burgers and hot dogs, grilled chicken, and so on, are the main courses, with no exceptions in most cases. According to my sister, some people (aka Yogscast) even believe that here in America we have carousels of cows that come out in restaurants so we can pick the meat right there. It’s not even that far-fetched if we are being honest with ourselves. Like I’ve said though, I’m odd. When I eat meat, it does not take up the majority of my plate. Unlike most Americans, I eat meat like a side dish. There a few reasons for this, other than the environmental impact. Eating meat in smaller portions and less frequently is good for your bank account and your lifespan.
Take a walk around the grocery store with no intent to purchase anything (make sure you aren’t hungry when you go). Look at the prices of meat, both organic and inorganic. You don’t have to write them down, but just remember the amount of money your favorite cut of beef is, or the price of a package of sausage. Then, walk around the produce section. How much of a difference in price is it? IT’S A LOT EVERYBODY. Buying fresh fruits and vegetables in larger quantities than meat is cheaper. I’m a starving college student on the brink of poverty. OKAY, I’M JUST JOKING. I’m so privileged I will never be able to understand why I’m so lucky. Every penny counts though, so if you want to save money, fill your grocery cart with fresh veggies and fruits. I’m not saying you have to become a vegetarian; it’s a difficult transition to make. I’m politely advising you though that Netflix isn’t going to pay for itself. If you want to watch Orange is the New Black, get your shit together, save your money, and buy produce instead of meat.
I will never be in favor of eating for a waistline. Food is an experience that should be enjoyed, not massacred in the name of my dress size. That’s not to say the food that I eat isn’t healthy; most of the time that’s all I have. The end goal though is health and longevity, not thinness. To attain my want to live as long as my great grandparents, I don’t eat a lot of meat. LARGE consumption of meat is usually linked to higher blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. Americans have the highest rates of obesity and heart disease in the world, likely due to many other factors. In the United States, I believe one of the bigger culprits, besides sugar, to our ill health is over-consumption of meat. Don’t believe me, or want more proof, because I’m only a student!