*trigger warning: facts about the meat industry are included. No pictures or calorie numbers are present. Please assess whether this will be okay for you.*
There have been a few changes to my life lately.
First, under the supervision of my nutritionist, I have made the switch to a vegetarian lifestyle. I am so thankful for my recovery and the ability I now have to make choices like this.
Why vegetarian? I’ve thought a lot about it. I’ve mulled it over for years and years and then put it aside when I went into treatment. However, I am now in a place where I can responsibly choose a vegetarian lifestyle and remain grounded in my recovery.
Vegetarianism, for me, is a moral and ethical decision. I do not support the meat industry and the factory farming of animals. I do not support animal cruelty and the immense amount of waste that is brought on by the meat industry.
Here are some crazy facts (and by that I mean really striking) about it:
- In one month of vegetarianism, you can save 8+ animals.
- In one year, 100+ animals.
- 80% of the antibiotics sold are used on livestock
- 6 million animals are killed PER HOUR for food
- 50% of our grain production goes to feeding animals…
- Think about how many we could feed with this grain? It would greatly help with world hunger.
- 91% of Amazon Rainforest destruction is done for animal agriculture
- US livestock produces 116,000 pounds of waste PER SECOND
- Feed stock grown for animals is responsible for 56% of all of the US water consumption
- It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef
- Livestock (and their bi-products) produce 32 billion tons of CO2 per year
But most of all, I just can’t get myself to support an industry that generally mistreats, abuses, and crams animals into small spaces. Nor can I even fathom the idea of de-beaking chickens. It just isn’t right.
Therefore, I am eating vegetarian and supporting what I believe as an animal lover.
This includes buying only from companies that do not test on animals and are free of animal cruelty.
Second, I’m going green. I mean MUCH more green than before. I used to recycle and occasionally bring my own reusable bags to the store, but I want to do way more than that. I’ve done a lot of soul searching around what I believe and one of those is that the environment needs to be protected in anyway possible. This means more than just reduce, reuse, recycle. It means doing everything possible to eliminate some of that contribution in the first place.
So what have I done so far:
- My kitchen is going paperless. I have replaced paper towels with different towels for hands and spills. There is a laundry bin specifically for them in my cleaning closet.
- I started a little compost container. It’s just an air-tight jar, but it’s something and the best I can do with an apartment.
- I am… however… looking into worm composting.
- I am growing my own herbs and have many other plants on my window sills. I am looking to increase these.
- I am buying secondhand whenever possible and trying to donate everything I don’t really need. Because I have way to much “stuff.”
- I am going to start making some of my own cleaning products. This can include laundry detergent, and other household cleaners. If I don’t make it, it is going to be bought from an environmentally responsible company.
- I will be biking and walking when I can and driving only when needed. (It’s a college campus, I don’t NEED to drive unless it is to the grocery store.)
- No straws, sytrofoam, wasteful use of plastic, plastic utensils that I cannot wash and reuse.
- Tupperware and reusable bottles. Everything possible reusable.
I’m pretty happy with it! I am cooking so much more and I just feel better in my life when I know I am doing my best to be sustainable and help animals.