Over the years, those who’ve adopted meat-free lives have marked the occasion by, among other things, bonding at live events, sharing pics of people and animals in warm embraces, and generally, re-emphasising the value of saying a big N-O to meat.
Regrettably, with COVID-19 still raging, there’ll likely be little physical hugging this year. Still, social distancing protocols shouldn’t hinder us from honouring the vegans and vegetarians in our lives.
We’ll just have to make less physical — yet still meaningful — gestures.
Since our inception, QNET has been championing a meat-free and sustainable lifestyle. So we know a thing or two about these meaningful gestures. Here are five ways you can join us and contribute to the meat-free cause:
Make a diet change
It may not be easy to give it up, but you should know the evidence shows meat isn’t essential to the human diet.
Furthermore, consuming it does the Earth no favours. As an industry, large-scale meat production contributes to the destruction of forest reserves and increases greenhouse gases such as methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide.
So if you truly want to show the vegans and vegetarians in your life how much they mean to you, think about starting with your diet.
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Make no mistake. Deciding to remove meat from your diet would be amazing!
But you could also look at going organic.
In farming, organic relates to the growing of plants in a natural, sustainable way. That means no synthetic fertilisers and toxic pesticides.
True, organic fruit and vegetables can cost a fair bit more. But that’s because production methods are more labour intensive and guarantee plants and animals aren’t adversely affected.
Surely, that’s a small price to pay for ensuring a healthier planet (and a healthier self!), right?
Do away with plastics
What’s plastic got to do with this? Well, as it turns out, a lot!
One of the main aims of a meat-free diet is to protect animals. Now, plastic litter doesn’t break down naturally, resulting in a mammoth waste problem and increasing threats to wildlife.
Every year more and more animals are reported to be hurt by plastic waste, with marine life especially vulnerable.
It’s easy, however, to do your part. Stop littering and choose organic, recyclable packaging whenever possible. For example, you could start by deciding only to use reusable totes instead of single-use plastic bags when shopping for groceries.
Stop feeding birds!
On the subject of harm to animals, here’s something that needs to be said — when you see signs in public areas telling you not to feed the birds, don’t feed the birds!
You may think you’re being kind by sharing your sandwich with the ducks in the park. Unfortunately, the carbohydrates in bread can contribute to a disorder called “angel wing” that results in wing joint damage and makes birds unable to fly.
If you want to make a difference to our feathered friends, a donation to an animal welfare or a bird conservation group might be a better option.
Ditch bottled water
Bottled water is convenient, but besides the obvious plastic packaging problem, have you ever wondered how the water’s sourced?
According to studies, while some commercially available bottled water is obtained from public supplies, there’s also H2O sourced from natural springs.
Here’s the problem — many natural springs can’t support the amount of water being sourced for commercial means and eventually dry up, negatively affecting natural ecosystems.
Your vegan and vegetarian friends will love you. Just remind them not to hug you… yet.
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