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Two crosses? X-rated? Possibly … This may be a big one for some, potentially unpopular, but you can do it in your own way and to your own degree. Think about placing a cross each over both your meat and dairy consumption. Maybe not completely, but perhaps just a little more often than usual. If you eat meat and dairy every day why not see if you can have one day per week where you cross them both out of your routine.

Why Cut Down on Meat & Dairy?

Here are five good reasons:

1. Human Health

When you stop to think about it milk is a strange product for adult humans to consume. 🤨

The mammarian secretion (lactate) of a completely different animal? 🐄

For adolescents human milk is of course vital for growth. Milk is for babies by definition. 👶

But is the hormonal stew of another species that is designed to bulk up baby calves going to be the best thing for human consumption? 🤔💭

What the dairy industry haven’t wanted people to know is that the vast majority of the world’s adults can’t digest and process milk anyway, so they don’t receive any of the supposed benefits.

Studies indicate that too much milk can lead to some real problems, with the promotion of cancer cells being a direct link: Prostate, breast and colorectal cancers increased massively in line with the promotion and uptake in milk consumption in Japan after the second world war.

It was actually the powerful meat industry in the USA that first began falsely marketing milk as some kind of health promoter. They had so much excess of it from pumping out calves for meat that they needed to get rid of the milk to make further profits.

When looking in to all of the milk products the adverse affects on human health are seen less in yoghurt consumption than milk itself but more-so, and possibly worst of all in cheese. 🥛🧀

In terms of meat, regular consumption can lead to increased risks of developing heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia and other serious illnesses. There is so much documentation on this that I’ll leave your critical mind to search for further information.

2. Planetary Impact

Plant protein food can provide many of our vital nutrients using just a tiny amount of the land currently used to produce meat and dairy. If we were to make a shift to such foods, a lot of our remaining land could instead support beautiful ecosystems that absorb carbon. Reduced meat production would also be beneficial for water quality and quantity, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity.

The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health brought together 37 world-leading scientists from across the globe to answer the question, “Can we feed a future population of 10 billion people a healthy diet within planetary boundaries?” The unsurprising answer is yes, but it’s only possible if we get on board with transforming our eating habits.

3. Animal Cruelty

This is a horrible subject and the deeper you delve the more you’ll find cruelty in the various areas of manufacture of meat, fish and dairy.

From keeping cows impregnated for the majority of their lives whilst taking away and slaughtering their young just so they can continue producing milk (cows, like humans, only produce milk when they have offspring), to the incredibly confined spaces that even the poorly labelled ‘free-range’ chickens are kept in, and a lot more in between.

There is so much research and reading all over the place so to keep this succinct I’ll link just to one page which outlines some of the issues of animal cruelty.

4. Biodiversity Regeneration

According to the BBC, livestock farming is a major contributor to biodiversity loss: 85% of the farmland in the UK is used to grow crops to feed animals or for the animals themselves.

Emissions from burps, slurry, fertilisers etc. on this land also add to climate change. An interesting thought experiment was run to see the difference a change in school meals might make. This experiment wasn’t for a complete shift to meat-free meals but a change for just three days per week. Have a listen and see how potential schemes like this could help us meet our sustainability commitments.

5. Money Saving

A switch to more vegan and vegetarian diets could save the average family a third in their grocery shopping, saving a family of four around £3000 per year according to senior researchers at Oxford University. A lot of plant-based alternatives are already cheaper than meat, and the more people uptake on their use the cheaper they will keep on becoming.

How To Cut Down?

Here’s an easy starter: Try substituting a few meals a week with allplants. -Choose from a delicious menu of meals, treats, breakfasts, and sides delivered to your door to enjoy from frozen in as little as 6 minutes. I’ve got a substantial discount code you can use to try allplants out.

With meat and dairy accounting for almost 15% of our total global emissions Ethical Consumer say that reducing their consumption is the most significant action consumers can take when it comes to climate breakdown.

They list 10 realistic tips to cutting down meat and dairy, so rather than re-hash that information here, just head on over to their site and see if you can work through the list.

Myth Busts and Facts

(From There’s No Planet B)

We don’t need meat for protein. The world’s farm animals destroy nearly 75% of the protein they eat, most of which comes from human-edible crops. We would actually have a far greater supply of protein if we didn’t feed these crops to farm animals.

We don’t need animals for iron, zinc or vitamin A. They are actually net destroyers of the supply of iron and zinc. Vitamin A is easy and cheap to add to our food through fortification, a standard process which currently exists in the UK.

Two thirds of antibiotics are given to animals, some of which makes it back to us via meat & dairy. The ever-increasing danger of antibiotic resistance is therefore enhanced greatly by their use.

75% of farmed animals in the UK are factory farmed. Obviously we only ever see the ones in fields, but most never see those fields. A natural response may be to ensure you only buy organic meat and dairy from local farms. However, for every meat and dairy consumer to do this we’d need multiple planets worth of land to be able to support it. It’s simply not sustainable.

95% of chickens in the UK are factory farmed.

Soya beans for human consumption don’t cause deforestation. Gram for gram a soya bean has more of almost every human essential nutrient than beef or lamb. The mass production of soya beans to feed animals is the problem. Far more is grown to feed animals and yet we only get one tenth of the weight back from the soya bean as meat when it’s fed to a cow or sheep. Human consumption counts for just 20% of the world’s soy production.

Further Resources

Most of our food consumption patterns aren’t those of a healthy flexitarian diet and are not ambitious enough to bring food systems within planetary boundaries, including limiting global warming. Read “Diets for a Better Future” which demonstrates the leading role people like us in a G20 country can and must take to realise the exponential changes required for a healthy and sustainable world.

How meat and dairy ads stole our empathy” by AdFree Cities explains how the intensive animal farming industry works with advertisers to sell misleading and deceptive stories about meat, eggs and dairy, keeping us in a state of ignorance about the food we consume.

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