"For each of us there is some mission in life if we but find it. All have some definite thing to do, something for which they have been created; and only the doing of this thing will justify their existence here on earth. If we come into the world and occupy space and time without giving back for this privilege, we have not justified ourselves, and our lives in the end are barren." ~ Hay

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Meatless Monday

I love this old Tibetan adage: “Most people get ill for one of two reasons – overeating or hunger.  We often use forks and spoons to dig our own graves.”

Recently, Oprah had an episode whereby her entire staff went vegan for one month.  This meant no meat, dairy or animal products.  It provided a challenge for many of the participants.  At the outcome, Oprah “suggested” that her employees and her listeners try to eliminate meat every Monday.  I love this idea!  Therefore, I am also recommending to my readers to go meatless on Mondays!
We Americans eat way too much meat!  I have witnessed it firsthand.  Can you guess where in particular?  If you guessed “barbeques,” you would be right!...lol . I’m going to single out men here because I have witnessed men eat enormous amounts of meat at summer barbeques and picnics.  There can be potato salads, pasta salads, green salads, etc., but they only go for the meat.  It’s like they haven’t eaten meat in a month!  What happened to putting ONE hotdog, some beans and a green salad on your plate?  Some of you may be reading this and thinking, "what’s wrong with eating two hamburgers and a hotdog at an outing?"  I’m going to explain to you why it’s wrong for two reasons.  First it is simply not healthy and, second, it has huge negative consequences for our environment. 
Do you remember years ago it was recommended that you eat meat no larger than a deck of cards?  There are reasons for that advice.  It is very hard for our body to digest excess amounts of meats.  Our digestive system needs large amounts of vitamins, microelements and enzymes in order to digest meat.  This is why is it is always recommended to eat a large RAW salad when you eat meat because it will help with the digestive process.  If you are a sedentary person, it takes 24 hours for the digestion of meat to be complete.  If you keep eating meat without allowing for the proper amount of time for digestion, it will putrefy in your stomach.  In addition, consuming large amounts of meat causes constipation and poisoning of the body by lactic, oxalic and uric acids.  This can lead to diseases in the joints, back pain, osteoporosis and immune system disorders.  It is a good idea to give your body a “rest” at least one day a week from eating meat.  It will not only benefit your health, but will help with the environment as well.
I bet you are wondering, why in the world would not eating meat one day a week help with the environment.  I’m going to give you four important reasons.   First, cows have digestive bacteria in their stomach that causes them to belch methane.  Cow flatulence also gives off methane.  This is released into the atmosphere.  Methane is a greenhouse gas which has profound negative effects on the environment and contributes to global warming.  Simply put, if we eat less meat, there will be less cows, less methane, less greenhouse gases.  Second, the United States has over 98 million cows, most of which are in factory farms.  Where do you think all their waste goes?  Over a billion tons of animal waste gets dumped in American waterways.  No wonder why our waters are so polluted and fish unsafe to eat!  Third, more than a third of all raw materials and fossil fuels consumed in the United States are used in animal production.  Do you like paying high rates for oil and gasoline?  Keep loading up your plates with meat!  Lastly, American factory farms are a total disgrace and the animal cruelty is incomprehensible.  If you have nothing to do this weekend, rent the movie Food Inc.  It is certainly an eye-opener on what is happening to the animals in our factory farms.  It is very depressing!
Let’s turn to a more positive discussion.  You have at your fingertips many recipe sites that contain a plethora of vegetarian recipes.  Why not print a new one out each week and make it Monday nights?  It’s a lot of fun trying out new recipes.  You can get the entire family involved in the planning, shopping and preparation of the meal.  Omitting meat one day a week is one of the most effective ways to improve our health and to reduce our personal negative impact on the environment!...:))
I feel like Vanna White. "Would you like to buy a bean?"

**This photo was taken at Wild By Nature in East Setauket.  They have a wonderful assortment of organic vegetarian beans and other healthy items for your recipes!!

Green Living, New York: Penguin, 2005
Tombak, Mikhail, Can We Live 150 Years?, Point Roberts, Washington: Healthy Life Press inc., 2005


Chris said...

Interesting....definitely something to consider!

Diane said...

As I grow older, I've noticed that limiting the amount of meat eaten, and the amount of times per week eaten, really makes a great difference on the way I feel.....for the better without a doubt....and think of all the animals we'd be sparing from inhumane slaughter just for our consumption??? When you think of that it's really disturbing.

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