Meatless August

Broccoli crepes

Our youngest daughter, Leah, is always on the lookout for ways to eat healthier. A couple of days ago she issued a challenge to the rest of the family to join her in going meatless for the month of August. I’ve been aware of the health risks associated with eating too much meat, especially red meat, and have half-heartedly tried on several occasions to cut down or eliminate meat. Each time I’ve given in after a few days because….. Well because I just love a juicy steak or burger, fried chicken, and bacon. Especially bacon, the divine swine.

But I keep hearing anecdotal evidence that vegetarianism is not only healthier but makes you feel better, too. So with Leah’s challenge as motivation I’ve decided to give it a try. I’ve also decided to put this out here for all seven of my followers to see, hoping that the fear of public failure will kick my butt into following through.

First, some definitions. There are lots of ways of describing what a vegetarian is. For my purposes, it means no meat of any kind, including fish, but it allows eggs and dairy products. This is sometimes called ovo-lacto vegetarianism. One who avoids eggs and dairy is sometimes called a vegan. Vegans avoid any animal product, such as eggs, milk, butter and even honey. Purists may disagree with my definitions but that’s what I’m calling it.

I’m not doing this as any kind of protest against the meat industry. I’m not a religious nut (in a later post I’ll talk about the LDS Word of Wisdom as it applies to meat). I’m not a zealot about the global warming effects of meat consumption. I am interested in ways to improve my health so that I live longer. However I don’t want to take all the pleasure out of life and, as I noted, I love meat! I’m just conducting an experiment.

Veggie sandwich: tomato, lettuce, mushrooms, onion, cilantro, mayo, mustard

So for August I’ll post daily, I hope, about what I ate, how I feel and share some recipes that I found especially good. For today, here are a few website about the health risks associated with meat consumption.

W.H.O reports meat linked to increased cancer risk

CNN says that each daily serving of meat can increase risk of dying

National Institutes for Health refer to studies showing that red meat consumption increases the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

I should note that none of these advocate complete abstinence from meat. I’m just trying to go cold turkey (pun intended).