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Ben’s meat free blog

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27 March, 2015 - 14:16 -- World Land Trust
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Ben Hammond.

As a regular eater of meat, Meat Free Week seemed a daunting challenge. So when I tentatively agreed to take part I wasn’t sure if I could make it through to the end of the week without falling off the wagon.

Coming from a family of avid meat eaters, I grew up with a constant supply of meat-based meals. But now that I am midway through Meat Free Week I have started to question the ingrained idea that meat should be everywhere all of the time, and I am finding out more about the benefits of eating less meat.

A great advantage of a week without meat is that food costs are significantly reduced. I believe that it is important to buy sustainably sourced, high-quality meat. It’s a bit more expensive, but tastes better and is often more filling. But unfortunately it’s not a financially viable option for me every day.

So the alternative is replacing meat with a vegetarian option. This has given me the chance to try different foods that I wouldn’t even have considered before. And it works out cheaper.

“Midway through Meat Free Week I have started to question the ingrained idea that meat should be everywhere all of the time.”
(Ben Hammond)

I like to stay fit, so going without meat eliminates some high fat foods and allows me to more easily maintain a low calorie diet when necessary. Non-meat meals can be a great source of vitamins and nutrients, which I hadn’t really thought about before.

I am embarrassed to say that I have more or less overlooked fruit and vegetables when cooking in the past, and I’m enjoying experimenting for the first time with meat free dishes. The first few days of Meat Free Week passed quite smoothly - although eating my tomato pasta while the rest of the family gorges on a tantalising shepherd’s pie was a tough ordeal.

Despite gentle teasing and mild disbelief that I would ever go a prolonged period without eating meat, the response from my family has been a mixture of support and mild nonchalance - much less of a fuss than I anticipated.

While I won’t be completely cutting out meat anytime soon, I can definitely see the benefits of reducing my meat intake and ensuring that I only eat high quality, ethically and sustainably sourced meat. And now that I’ve come this far I'm determined to make it to the end of the week without eating meat - and with only minimal grumbling.

Meat Free Week logo

Ben Hammond is WLT’s Editorial Assistant

More information

Meat Free Week encourages people to consider all aspects of meat production and the health, welfare and environmental implications of meat consumption.

WLT staff have their own Meat Free Week fundraising team, and have already raised more than £500. You can support Meat Free Week by sponsoring the WLT staff team.

Sponsor WLT staff team for Meat Free Week

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