American's obsession with meat began a long time ago—so long ago that meat is an iconic food standard in our society.
It's even a central part of our traditions. What's Thanksgiving without a little turkey? Just like the sky is blue and the grass is green, in America, eating meet simply the way the world turns. Yet, as time goes on, more and more people are moving away from meat—particularly because they have some beef about eating beef.
While it's true that veganism and vegetarianism alike have grown exponentially as trends and lifestyles, there's also truth to the fact that the carnivores of the world are still alive and well. However, the ultimate truth is even carnivores can be environmentalists. If you're curious about how, here's a beginner's guide on how to become a more sustainable meat eater.
Know the Role Animals Play
Certainly, the fact of the matter can be agreed upon: humans are slowly but surely destroying the natural world that surrounds us and living in the direly unsustainable ways. It's hard not to feel those quiet but familiar pangs of grief as climate change steadily increases its impacts.
Nevertheless, it's unjust to put a direct kill-shot on meat consumption when so many other practices are let off the hook quite easily. And even if everyone stopped eating meat, that wouldn't make up for the fact that fossil fuel companies are spewing unbelievable amounts of carbon into the air.
Those who argue point-blank against meat consumption for sustainability purposes fail to see the complete picture. Animals and livestock in particular play an important role in agriculture that no other living being can fill. Still, for those looking to fight climate change with their eating habits, what's essential is not the erasure of meat consumption but a change in the way it's consumed.
Less Is More
Sustainable consumption isn't necessarily about completely cutting animal products out of one's diet. Rather, subtle changes need to be made.
In general, people simply need to be smarter about meat—meaning they need to make wise choices about how much they choose to chow down. Consuming less meat weekly will make a difference, even if you cut it out just once a week. For example, a meatless Monday dinner can significantly reduce the amount of meat you eat. This is one way we can decrease our so-called foodprint: with moderation.
Purchase Pasture-Raised Meat
If you're wondering what else you can do to become a more sustainable meat eater, pay close attention to the type of meat you purchase. Sustainability is about more than just the consumption of less meat. To be sustainable as a meat eater means to be knowledgeable about food production. Look into purchasing meat outside of supermarkets or butcher shops that sell industrial-raised meat.
Consider grass-fed beef or the ultra-popular gourmet beef known as wagyu. Buying meat that's raised with intention and all-natural tender loving care may come at a higher price, but it will change the way you value and appreciate your food. This is a pragmatic solution.that will help you increase your sustainability efforts as the years go on.