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7 Reasons To Eat Less Meat (Even If You're Not Ready To Go Vegan)

Assya Barrette
Written by
Wendie Trubow, M.D., MBA
Medical review by
Wendie Trubow, M.D., MBA
Functional Medicine Gynecologist
Wendie Trubow is a functional medicine gynecologist with almost 10 years of training in the field. She received her M.D. from Tufts University.
Last updated on February 4, 2020

Whether you’re thinking of going vegan, vegetarian or just cutting down your meat intake, there are plenty of great reasons to reduce your consumption.

Eating more veggies, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, and seeds instead of meat can have huge implications for your health, and the planet’s health as well.

Need some motivation? Here are 8 good reasons to consider:

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1. You can protect your heart health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Switching patients to a plant-based diet has been shown to not only treat heart disease, but reverse its progression. Research has also shown that eating meat is linked to obesity, which leads to metabolic and cardiovascular disorders in most cases. If you're interested in eating for heart health, check out this cardiologist's guide to plant-based eating.

2. You'll save money.

Vegetarian and vegan meals tend to be less expensive than meat, especially since items like rice, lentils, quinoa, or oats can be bought in bulk and have long shelf-lives. Canned beans are also an affordable and healthy option. Looking for some inspiration? Try this complete 1-day plan of cleansing and warming vegan meals.

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3. You'll reduce greenhouse gases.

Animal agriculture is estimated to produce more greenhouse gases than the whole of the transportation industry combined. Lowering or eliminating your meat intake can have huge implications on climate change.

4. You'll contribute to the reduction of animal cruelty.

Millions of cattle and poultry are killed each year for meat, with a huge number of these being raised in factory farms. If you are eating meat, be sure you're choosing pasture-raised, grass-fed, and ethically sourced animal products.

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5. You'll help save the Amazon from destruction.

The Amazon is being destroyed to grow feed crops for cattle and make space for grazing. The situation is severe — the majority of Amazon deforestation can be contributed to animal agriculture. Switching to a no-meat or less-meat diet can help save the Amazon, the earth’s lungs.

6. You'll discover more delicious recipes.

With more plant-based diets, and even plant-based "meats" on the rise, there's no reason meatless meals should be dull. There are tons of vegan, vegetarian, or pescetarian cookbooks to inspire your weekly menu. Reducing the meat in your life allows you to expand your food horizons and discover exciting new main dishes.

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7. You'll be making a choice already embraced by religions around the world.

Whether you’re non-religious, spiritual, or a devout follower, many world religions endorse a meatless diet in some form. For example, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism all encourage followers to adopt a plant-based diet.

Reducing or eliminating your meat intake has so many benefits. You could feel better physically, mentally, while also helping the planet.

If you're still on the journey of decreasing or eliminating meat from your diet, start taking baby steps today. Meatless Mondays or only eating meat with dinner are two great places to start.

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Assya Barrette
Assya Barrette

Assya Barrette is an engineer and sustainability blogger at GreenHighFive who helps people learn how to live more environmentally sustainable lives.

Get her free report on how to live more sustainably here.