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  • Writer's pictureOverturnTheTables

One less meat dish at Christmas

Prawns, ham, chicken and cheese. These are some of the foods I have fond memories of as a kid at Christmas time. I hated prawns though... not a fan of the eye-balls. And I'm still a big cheese lover.

But this year, I would be content if there was absolutely no meat or cheese on the table. What would happen if we were to eat one less meat dish?

Well it is hard to quantify the amount of carbon that each meat dish would create. Considering there are carbon emissions produced to create the food it requires, while the animal is growing, as it is being transported, as it is being prepared etc etc. Not to mention that basically every meat comes in some form of plastic packaging. If the whole animal isn't used some ends up in landfill and producing methane. There are lots of issues with eating lots of meat.

One of my favourite pieces of academic literature on this issue is this book:

I learnt a few things from this book that have informed most of my meat eating for a long time.

  1. Eat more veal. Mostly baby bulls become veal because we need more cows than bulls. So many baby bulls get discarded.

  2. Eat less cheese. Cheese is incredibly wasteful. There are lots of by-products from its production, and from its packaging.

  3. Eat less pork. Most pigs are factory farmed and it is hard to find pigs that aren't factory farmed.

  4. Eat only pastured chickens. Free-range is fine, but pastured is better though much more expensive and hard to come by.

  5. Eat grass-fed beef only, no beef at all is better. This is sometimes quite difficult during a drought. Grain fed beef require forests to be pulled down to be able to grow the food that they eat, and also they aren't evolutionarily speaking meant to eat grain.

  6. Lamb is generally a pretty ethical meat to eat because they have to eat grass.

  7. Don't eat fish or other sea animals. I didn't learn this from 'On Eating Meat' specifically because he doesn't have much to do with fish. But any documentary about plastic that you may have seen will have told you that fish end up with microplastics in them, which is not good if we ingest as well.

Evans also doesn't mention anything about Turkeys, but I think it would be much the same as chicken.

James and I are having our first ever Christmas night at our place. Everyone is going to be full from lunch during the day, so we are planning on just having some snacks that won't include any meats or cheeses. When attending Christmas lunch, I am lucky that James' family will be serving a range of vegan options, as well as salads. So they will be my first preference this year.

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