Will You Take a Veg of Allegiance in 2015?

It’s no secret that the meat industry is suffering. Last year, McDonald’s reported that their profit dropped 30%, in part because of an expired meat scandal. But this decline isn’t entirely driven by scandals, it’s driven by a new wave of consciousness. And the stakes have never been higher. MorningStar Farms, a well-known producer of plant-based meats and vegetarian food, is capitalizing on this new wave with their Veg of Allegiance.

What’s a Veg of Allegiance?

Playing on the American Pledge of Allegiance, the Veg of Allegiance is a pledge to eat less meat per week. Participants take a pledge that will go something like this: I #VegAllegiance to go meatless for # meals a week and a short explanation why. One pledge on their site reads: “I #VegAllegiance to go meatless for 15 meals a week to help save water, because I want the ocean to always be there.”

Confronting Meat Eaters With the Truth

Eating meat might be the American way, but going meatless is the earthling way — it’s better for people, animals and the environment. On the Veg of Allegiance page, MorningStar Farms confronts meat eaters with the truth about their dietary choices:

  • Over two-thirds of all agricultural land is used to grow livestock feed. Only eight percent of land is used to grow food for us to eat.
  • Producing meat can create more greenhouse gas emissions than everyday road transportation.
  • Picking plant proteins saves up to 1,500 gallons of water per pound.
  • Meatless meals tend to be lower in cholesterol and saturated fats.
  • A plant-based meal a week for a year saves enough water for you to take a 2-hour shower.

And if you’re surprised by these figures and want to learn more, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret echoes similar facts.

The Veg of Allegiance is Half of the Story

I’m all for the Veg of Allegiance, but I was disappointed by three glaring omissions.

1. Dairy and eggs aren’t earth-friendly either. According to One Green Planet, an average dairy farm with 700 cows uses 3.4 million gallons of water every day and a person who ditches dairy saves 50,033 gallons of water every year. According to The Washington Post, milk and eggs have environmental impacts similar to pork and chicken.

2. Dairy and eggs aren’t healthy either. A report found that milk could be bad for our hearts and bones, says Forbes. And eggs might be just as bad as cigarettes, reports TIME.

3. What about the victims? I found it odd that the Veg of Allegiance doesn’t say a peep about animal cruelty or saving animal lives. I’m assuming that it’s not good marketing; no one wants to think that they’re contributing to animal suffering, but their suffering deserves to be acknowledged. Care2 has told many of their stories: the cows who escape slaughter, the baby cows that are denied their mother’s milk and condemned to become veal, the male chicks ground up alive because they’re useless to the egg industry. It’s frightening to think about these figures from Animal Equality: ”Over 56 billion farmed animals are killed every year by humans. More than 3,000 animals die every second in slaughterhouses around the world.”

It’s An Exciting Time to Go Veg

It’s never been better to take a Veg of Allegiance. Earth Day is right around the corner (April 22, 2015). To the dismay of the meat industry, the Feds caved and said a vegan diet is best for the environment and human health. Veggie food isn’t just salads anymore. We have veganized patties, chicken tenders, bacon, crab cakes, shrimp, etc and the food is legitimately getting better every year. And veganism made its way to mainstream America when Farm Sanctuary’s Gene Baur appeared on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show.

Many of the vegans I know gradually cut back on meat, used a version of vegetarianism and then eased into veganism. I recommend a gradual introduction because it makes the transition less jarring and builds confidence that you can actually live without (insert animal/animal byproduct here). I get it — it’s hard to let go of old ways, but baby steps forward will get you there. Or try what vegan author, Kathy Freston describes as “leaning into” veganism. It’s worth it!

Will you be taking a Veg of Allegiance (or plan on eating less animal products/byproducts) this year? Let us know why or why not in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Net_Efekt

119 comments

Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 months ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S2 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jerome S
Jerome S2 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

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Dorothy M.
Dorothy M1 years ago

Have been vegetarian for 30 years now, the second 1/2 of that time vegan. Best thing I ever did. Now my mind is free of the conflict born of selective compassion. I can hold my pet chicken, love my rabbits and not feel like a traitor! The health benefits have been many, but they were secondary. It is so nice not to lug extra pounds around, not to have runny noses and rarely have colds. The downside is that people who eat animals can get rather nasty because the way vegans live make them think about who the flesh on their plate was taken from. Most people don't want to think about that.

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Crystal G.
Crystal G2 years ago

Don't be a vegetarian 'cause you love animals. But, be one 'cause you HATE PLANTS!

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Carole R.
Carole R2 years ago

Thanks.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Yuliya Grishina
Yuliya G2 years ago

Thank you!

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