After another winter of severe snowstorms and floods, I look forward to March 20, first day of spring, balmy weather, and blooming flowers. Hundreds of communities welcome spring with an observance of Great American Meatout, asking neighbors to explore a healthy, compassionate diet of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains. Indeed, 56 percent of respondents to a GlobalMeatNews poll said that they were or are reducing meat intake. U.S. per capita red meat consumption has dropped by more than 16 percent since 1999.
Mainstream publications like Parade, Better Homes and Gardens, and Eating Well are touting vegan recipes. Even the financial investment community is betting on plant-based meat start-ups, like Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods, while warning clients about the upcoming "death of meat."
The reasons are ample. Last year, the World Health Organization found cancer to be associated with consumption of processed meats. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommended reduced meat consumption. The media keeps exposing atrocities perpetrated on factory farms. And, animal agriculture remains chief contributor to climate change and water scarcity and pollution.
Each of us should celebrate our own advent of spring by checking out plant-based foods at our supermarkets and vegan recipes on the internet.
— Brent Regan Brattleboro