Why not eat meat-free for a week?

IT'S Meat Free Week this week (March 23-29), and if you're an avid reader, you may remember I wrote about trying out the meatless project last year (and didn't go so well).

Well, its one year later, and since my Meat Free Week 2014 experience - where I craved bacon cheeseburgers and ended up folding and chowing down on a steak with two days to go - I've actually transitioned to a vegan lifestyle.

I know, who saw that one coming?

As a vegan, I think the concept behind Meat Free Week is great, and I would love to lots of people try it out (It's only for a week guys!).

Meat Free Week is a global campaign to get people thinking about how much meat you eat, and the impact it has on your health, animals and the environment.

It also raises money for charities that support the cause (See the Meat Free Week website for more info on that).

There are so many reasons to cut back on your meat intake, or go meat-free, or (gasp) cut out animal products altogether.

Firstly, for your health.

Eating too much meat increases your risk of disease. It's associated with conditions including bowel cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and obesity.

With an average consumption of 111.5kg per person a year, Australia is ranked in the top three biggest meat-eating countries in the world (per capita), behind the USA and Luxembourg.

Secondly, for the environment.

Worldwide, livestock and meat production have been identified as major contributors to climate change.

Agriculture uses 70% of the planet's fresh water (For example, it takes 4800 litres of water to produce 1kg of pork).

Thirdly, for the animals.

Factory farming raises animals for meat (and other products such as eggs and milk) as if they're machinery - producing the most meat in the shortest time for the lowest cost.

It causes suffering to more than 500 million animals in Australia alone every year.

In Australia in just 90 days we slaughtered 166,000 calves, 2.3 million cows, 2.5 million sheep, 147 million chooks, 1.2 million pigs, and 5.6 million lambs.

Find out more about Meat Free Week at meatfreeweek.org

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