I am by no means a health fanatic, I work out here and there, enjoy my fair share of beers, and like occasionally going out for dinner. For a long time I never even considered the environmental impact of the things I was eating.
From a young age my parents would tell my siblings and I to recycle, to shut the lights out when we leave a room, and to not run the water when brushing our teeth. All in an effort to reduce our families carbon footprint. But they, like most people didn’t actually know what they were talking about. We still ate large portions of meat at every meal, drank and used milk in our cereal, and ate so much processed food that I wonder how my heart hasn't given way yet. Not to disparage my parents in any way, we did eat lots of fruit and whole grains, but no where near the amount we probably should have, and don’t get me started on my non-existent vegetable intake.
In my late teens I started caring a lot more about my environmental, I started being more conscious about the things I bought, started taking the bus and carpooling more in lieu of driving on my own (not that my 2011 Ford was that bad on gas), I even started using refillable beer jugs! But none of this would compare to the decision I made to stop eating beef. I got my first real job at 17 working at a Steakhouse in downtown Winnipeg. I was a bus boy making minimum wage and maybe $20 a week in tips, but I loved it. The atmosphere , the people, and the 40% discount, made every late night more than bearable. This became my first foray into the world of beef. Before then I would have burgers from time to time, and maybe a steak from time to time, but after discovering restaurant quality beef, I was hooked. I began eating at work quite a lot, after my 18th birthday I’d often enjoy a beer and burger (or depending how much I’d made in tips, a nice 12oz sirloin) while sitting up at the barter after work. Naturally it didn't take long for my waist line to take expand and my energy levels to slowly but surely decline. I would find myself taking naps before work, sleeping in much later, and avoiding any strenuous activity before long shifts. Being a somewhat inquisitive teen I started watching documentaries and talking around to what could be causing my new found affliction, knowing deep down full well what it was. In my searching I came to learn the obvious, that that much beef was slowing my metabolism and slowly but surely clogging my circulatory track with plaque. But the more confounding information I came across centred around the environmental impact that the things I was eating had on the world around me. The beef industry was using massive amount of water, grain, and land, all while producing more green house gas emissions than all the cars on North American roads. How had a lived my entire life not knowing these things. It took me less than a week of digging to decide that I would have to cut any and all cow out of my life as soon as I could.