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Meatout 2014: Will You Pledge WIth Us? It's Really Not Hard, and It's Yummy!

Thursday, March 20, 2014
By Samantha Januszeski

What To Do When The "Vegan" Comes to Dinner? Don't Fret, Join Them! 

While at work the other day, a co-worker turned to me and began lamenting her upcoming dinner party. One gluten-free guest, two vegetarians, and a sometimes-vegan would be in attendance. What is a girl who normally cooks rich, Italian foods to do? As someone who went to a liberal arts, vegan-populated university, I was able to quickly spout off a few recipes, and help her realize that cooking and eating a plant-based diet is not nearly as difficult as one might assume. In fact, cooking such a meal would be not only relatively simple for the cook herself, but would also save thousands of animal lives, and help limit greenhouse gas emissions.

The pledge proposed by the world’s largest annual grassroots diet education campaign, Meatout, asks that we all give a plant-based, vegan diet a try for at least one day a year, March 20, in order to benefit our health, as well as our environment. Though it seems complicated, as did the dinner party filled with diet-restricted guests, eating a plant-based meal is usually fast, surprisingly satisfactory, and relatively inexpensive. Furthermore, it helps our health and our environment in more ways than one.

First off, by eating plant-based foods, we avoid animal fats that build up in our system and take long periods of time (and extensive amounts of energy) to digest. We get more of the nutrients that our bodies crave, and usually take in significantly more fiber than we do by eating the typical meat-and-potatoes dish.

Secondly, according to the Meatout, we can save 8,000 animal lives by eating vegan for just one day! Imagine how much we can do in a year to save the 10 billion land animals that get killed per year (in America alone), if we make the effort to eat vegan more than once a year. By lowering the demand for meat, the supply would drop as well, and we would be able to start cutting down on animal cruelty, as well as limit the number of animals killed per year.

Lastly, it is important to remember that in the process of improving our health and saving lives, we can also help limit the amount of emissions released during the process of creating animal products. Raising, feeding, killing, and processing land animals significantly increases our greenhouse gas emissions, and takes up much of the land that could be used to raise more crops for feeding humans. Though the issue of animal products and its effect on the environment is getting increasingly more complex, we can begin to tackle some of the problems at its core by limiting our consumption of animal products, and eating in a more sustainable, healthy way.

Green Rainbow Revolution is Taking the Pledge. Will You?

Here at GRR, we encourage you to take Meatout up on their challenge, and give eating vegan a try, at least for a day. Do it for your health, the animals, the environment, or all of the above; but just give it a shot and see how you feel! Maybe you’ll be a little more energetic, a bit more thoughtful, or just more aware of your surroundings and your effect on them. And, if you'd like to get animal product out of other areas of your life, as well, you can easily shop for vegan products on GRR's website. Below, you’ll find the Meatout site (for more info), and some recipes that are vegan and, in my experience, quite satisfying. Bon appétit!

GRReat Vegan Recipes!

Green Kitchen Stories: Portobello and Grilled Peach Burger
The Pioneer Woman: Spaghetti Squash with Kale
101 Cookbooks: Heather's Quinoa

Learn More About Meat, Health, and the Environment

Environmental Working Group: Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change + Health
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: Vegetarian and Vegan Diets

Samantha Januszeski is Green Rainbow Revolution's stellar B2B Sales and Marketing Intern for "green schools." She has B.A. in literature and philosophy, has conducted an ethnographical study of raw foodists, and taught kindergarten students. She is excited to be with GRR and share her work, research, and experiences with you. 

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Hariett Fowell commented on 27-Aug-2014 10:15 PM
You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I'll try to get the hang of it!
Anonymous commented on 07-Oct-2014 07:16 AM
Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It's always exciting to read content from other authors and practice a little something from other sites.
Anonymous commented on 13-Oct-2014 02:02 PM
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Steve Flemming commented on 13-May-2015 08:20 PM
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