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Are you ready to stop eating meat to save the planet?

Are you ready to stop eating meat to save the planet?

As the climate crisis escalates in our county, and more recently in Hawaii, a question arises: When are we going to act?

Many of us feel helpless. Three-quarters of Quebec’s youth are concerned about the environment, according to L├ęger. Taking concrete action to reduce pollution seems complicated, even insurmountable. However, a solution to environmental anxiety can be found there, in fact.

Numerous studies show that it allows us to take back control of our narrative, which leads to a decrease in the anxiety we feel. The results are more promising for teamwork.


Given that a third of global emissions come from agriculture, and meat is the main polluter, a preference for plant-based foods could have a global impact.

Of course, switching to a vegan diet doesn’t have to happen overnight. More concretely, beef has ten times more contamination than chicken per gram of protein, and even 25 times more than tofu. Even in cases where farming is said to be “greener,” tofu remains twenty times less polluting than beef. Although a vegan diet can reduce pollution from your diet by 75%, in an effort to encourage wider adoption, we encourage flexibility.

This diet does not aim to completely eliminate animal products, but rather to significantly reduce the consumption of meat, especially red meat, which has a ridiculously high environmental impact, especially due to deforestation. One simple way is to gradually incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, saving animal products for special occasions.

Ecological footprint of food

This approach ensures a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and animal suffering, without depriving us of traditional dishes like Super Bowl chicken wings – although vegetarian options are now becoming more delicious.

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Every meal counts: By replacing meat-based meals with plant-based alternatives three days a week, you can reduce the environmental impact of your diet by 30%.

Moreover, we must encourage the return of initiatives such as “Meat Monday”. A word of advice: wine goes well with vegetarian meals.

In addition to the impact on the environment, a diet rich in plants has many advantages for your health: in particular, it reduces the risk of several cancers as well as the risk of heart disease.

In short, changing our habits doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s an opportunity to explore a new world that’s healthy, sustainable and full of flavour…and wine.

Photo provided by Jerome Lariviere

Jerome Lariviere PhD student in economics at McGill University

Photo provided by Hugo Cordo

Hugo Cordo, PhD student in Economics at the University of Toronto