I’d been nagging my husband to eat less meat for years and I completely understand his resistance, I like meat too and do still eat it every now and again, but he’s grown up on pasties and is used to having meat at every meal and it has proved to be a pretty difficult habit for him to kick. I’d tried to get him to do meat free Mondays or at least eat meatless lunches, but (he’d sneak ham and scotch eggs!) nothing really stuck.
The catalyst that made him try harder was actually showing him Before The Flood, the documentary made by Leonardo DiCaprio in 2016, he quite likes Leo as an actor so that part was pretty easy, added to that the contributions by major world leaders and of course Elon Musk (he is an engineer after all) captivated him further. I don’t think he’d mind me saying that he was actually really shocked at the sheer amount of land and water it takes to rear livestock, or the amount of carbon (and methane) it kicks out.
This time a year ago I’d just about convinced him of the merits of chick pea curry, but he’d turn his nose up at veggie soups or salads (well as main dishes anyway). After seeing the movie now he happily eats most of the veggie food I stick in front of him (he’s not the best cook so I do 90% of it – he cleans up). And when it comes to meat we have agreed moderation is key, and when we eat it, it’s mostly free-range chicken or Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable fish.
He also now happily rinses and sorts all of the recycling, he’s just bought me some reusable pods for my cherished coffee machine after proof reading my post about them a few weeks ago. Thanks (mostly) to Blue Planet II he swears at the supermarket because of the sheer amount of plastic packaging. We’ve also just got a smart meter installed so it will be interesting to see his reaction to switching off (he’s pretty good anyway) when he can see utility usage in real time too. Just goes to show the effect some celebrity endorsement and being faced with the cold hard facts (and a little nagging) can have.
Now I’d never deny him (or anyone) a steak or a burger if he really wants one, and I am not about to become a die hard vegan by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d like to think he now appreciates the merits of eating less meat and (hopefully) enjoys my veggie cooking.
I also recognise that farming has great economic and of course cultural significance, and I wouldn’t boycott meat or dairy production altogether anyway (cheese is THE best). Perhaps a return to smaller scale is the way forward, which of course will produce less. If we all ate less then carbon emissions would certainly be reduced. One thing is for certain the efficiencies and welfare standards need to be balanced in a way that is acceptable from a moral and environmental as well as an economic standpoint.
And on that note I’m off to make some falafel.