Meat-Free Made Easy: 3 Reasons to Eat Less Meat and How to Make the Shift

As our population grows and environmental concerns become increasingly pressing, the way we approach our diet is more important than ever. One impactful change we can all make is to reduce our meat intake. 


Before you dismiss the idea as too drastic, hear me out! You don’t have to give up meat altogether. Big changes are challenging to implement and sustain. However, even small changes, like slowly reducing your meat intake, can have a significant impact on your health and the environment. 


Let me share with you three reasons why it is worth considering reducing your meat intake.

3 Reasons Why Meat is Harmful

The Environmental Impact of Eating Meat

The environmental impact of meat production is staggering. Raising animals is resource intensive and has far-reaching consequences. Farming has caused polluted waterways, deforestation, and a loss of biodiversity. Factory farms contribute to this problem by creating lots of pollution from the animals’ waste, which is concentrated in small areas. This often leaks into water systems and pollutes the land making it unusable for crops or raising animals. 


Consider this: it takes a whopping 1847 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, compared to 304 gallons for the same amount of tofu. Much of this water is used to grow crops to feed the animals. Only 6% of all the soybean crops grown worldwide are for human consumption, the rest is for animal feed.

On top of all this, it is estimated that 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the meat industry! Large increases in greenhouse gases have warmed the climate and contributed to large losses of biodiversity, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events(1).

Poor Animal Welfare

The sad truth is that ethical animal farming practices are becoming increasingly rare. Approximately 99% of meat produced in America comes from factory farms(2). These facilities prioritise profit over animal welfare and subject animals to inhumane conditions.

Factory farms are horrific places for animals to be raised. Welfare standards are almost non-existent, as evidenced by exposes like this one, which sheds light on the cruel practices of major fast food chains. 


Animals are confined inside with no natural light in very cramped conditions. Conditions are often so foul, farmers must wear biosecurity suits due to disease and waste. These are just some of the nasty practices that happen on factory farms!

Poor Health from Eating Meat

While meat is a dietary staple in Western culture that doesn’t mean it is the healthiest choice for us. Eating lots of meat, specifically red & processed meat, has been shown to increase your risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, and lead to high cholesterol(3). Swapping meat out for plant based protein is an easy way to improve your health. 


A common worry when deciding to eat less meat is that you won’t get enough protein. However, studies have shown two things(4).


    1. We all consume more protein than we actually need, about twice the amount that is recommended for us. 

    2. People who follow a plant-based diet do get enough protein to stay healthy.

Instead of eating lamb with your Sunday roast, try some vegan meat alternatives or make something like a healthy nut roast. A plant-based dinner can seem overwhelming if you don’t usually cook that way, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you aren’t ready to dive straight in and go fully vegan, start with small simple swaps, such as aiming to make at least one side dish plant-based.

Tips on Eating Less Meat

Whether you want to reduce your meat intake for your health, for the planet, or for the animals, reducing how much meat you eat is a great thing to do. If you are struggling to get started, try out these simple tips to guide you towards eating less meat. 

🌱 Meat-Free Mondays: a simple way to eat less meat is to start with one meat free day a week. A popular one is Monday, but do what works best for you. Involve the whole family in choosing your meals and trying out new recipes. 


✏️ Meal plan: it can seem difficult to suddenly change your diet, but by meal planning the week ahead you can add in delicious plant-based meals and you will researched the recipes up front 


🥒 Add more plant-based foods to your meaty meals: With more plant-based foods on your plate, there will be less room for meat. 


🌱 Buy a plant-based cookbook: treat yourself to a cookbook and work through the recipes. Involving the family makes this a fun activity and feels less like you are removing a food.


🍛 Head to a vegan restaurant: instead of going to the same old restaurants, search out your local vegan restaurants and cafes. This is a great way to try new foods and you might even be inspired to try making it at home. 


⭐️ Make meat a side dish: if you make meat the side dish you are using a smaller portion and get the opportunity to incorporate lots of healthy plant-based meals.

In Conclusion

There are many benefits to eating less meat. By reducing meat intake and embracing a more plant-based diet you can make a positive impact on your health, the environment, and improve the lives of animals. 

If you aren’t ready to cut meat from your diet, focus on reducing your intake and if possible buying local, organic, and ethically farmed meat. 


If you think you are ready to start a plant-based diet, check out our post on starting your plant-based journey.


  3. González, N., Marquès, M., Nadal, M. and Domingo, J.L., 2020. Meat consumption: Which are the current global risks? A review of recent (2010–2020) evidences. Food Research International, 137, p.109341
  4. Mariotti F, Gardner CD. Dietary Protein and Amino Acids in Vegetarian Diets-A Review. Nutrients. 2019 Nov 4;11(11):2661. doi: 10.3390/nu11112661. PMID: 31690027; PMCID: PMC6893534.

We have two wonderful books for children which aim to help them on their journey to understand animal welfare and farming – 100% of our proceeds go towards animal rights organizations (yes, we do this for love, not money!)


The second in a trilogy of beautifully illustrated children’s books, this story about the compelling journey of a young chicken named Cluck, told by a sage parrot.