**This text has been translated automatically and contains French/Quebec references.**
I spoke to you in my last article about ecotarism : a diet purely based on ecological choices.
We can no longer deny it, the planet needs us to stop consuming so much meat because obviously, it will not be able to supply all humans infinitely.
The more the livestock industry grows, the more land it needs, the more trees it cuts (including the Amazon), the more greenhouse gases it produces… we are heading towards an ecological abyss.
In short, I wanted to change my diet for the planet, hence my title of “ecotarian”. And as this kind of change is one of habit and behavior, I share with you some tips and resources to help you achieve a goal of one to seven days without meat per week (to match your motivation; where the “less meat” challenge for a no-pressure challenge where the “less” is the amount you want)!
AN APP FOR A MEAT-FREE CHALLENGE
First of all, I like to “gamify” things. So when I saw this app where you can challenge your family or friends in a meat-free challenge, with leaderboards and interesting environmental facts (although I don't know how scientifically proven they really are?), I I found it super interesting!
An app full of positivity with a touch of competition! No recipes, just environmental awareness regarding our current choices.
Otherwise, there are tons of veggie recipe apps!
Indeed, trying new recipes is really an excellent starting point to accomplish our goal. And a good way to slowly reach our goal is:
The “novelty veggie” dinner
We have one dinner a week where we test a new vegetarian recipe. We replace one evening of meat and it's just ONE meal, ideally in the middle of the week. We taste new and wild things and we evaluate them.
Whether it's tofu croquettes (fingers), pvt tacos, green lentil shepherd's pie (my 5 year old loves it and wants it every day in his thermos), general tao tofu, faux-mage fondue , a “meatless” bread (ok, that’s maybe a little extreme, I’m having trouble finding a good recipe myself)… in short, we’re having fun!
Afterwards, we see if the family likes it or not. The worst that can happen is that no one likes it. Hence the middle of the week… so you might have leftovers from the day before as a backup!?
And if everyone likes it, we keep our recipe carefully (somewhere) and we bring it back in a future week…
Without really realizing it, we then had two more veggie evenings: One evening with a veggie recipe that we like & one evening with a new veggie recipe.
Quietly, we will have many fewer meat days, because we will love what we eat without meat! Family tested and approved.
I know that the application above tracks our meat-free days, but the idea of having a more precise overall picture and doing the gesture every day and having a visual table to become aware of the accomplished fact can help many . So we can make a meat “eating” schedule .
It's an annual calendar that I saw in my community of seamstresses where we normally color in the days we did sewing.
We can use the same calendar to color in the days we ate meat.
You can even be specific in the colors, for example: Beef/red meat (red), pork/bacon (orange), chicken/turkey (yellow), fish/seafood (pink) and veggie (green ). (And if you ate beef AND chicken on the same day, mark the darker one; the one with the largest ecological footprint)
We can go with two colors too: green (vegetable) + red (meat)
It gives us a superb portrait at the end of the year! Enough to want to fill our months with green and reduce the red of our year.
There are lots of things that can help us. I didn’t mention the one where “my boyfriend or girlfriend is vegetarian”! But it’s also a great tip for eating less meat! 😆 Especially if he or she is the one doing the cooking most of the time.
I would end with this question about monitoring meat “eating”. I'm curious about your perception:
If, for example, a family buys a small organic chicken every two weeks, cooks it, spreads it over 3 complete meals, even 5 (!) if they use the bone broth to make other meals, is that are all “meat” days?
Same thing if someone hunts a moose. He takes it to the butcher who gives him lots of frozen pieces. Are all these meals “with meat”? Even if they come from one and the same animal... so its ecological impact has been measured once. What is your opinion on this?