Whether you’re an omnivore who’s on the fence about a lifestyle change, or a die-hard herbivore trying to convince friends and family to give cruelty-free cuisine a go, Meatout 2015 on March 20th is a great place to start.
Since 1985, FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement) has been hosting the annual initiative. Basically, it’s a call for people to pledge to go meat-free for 24 hours, in turn conserving resources, saving lives and helping to champion a plant-based way of life.
“We encourage the public to give it a try, with the hope that they will see how easy (and delicious!) it can be to eat a compassionate, plant-based diet,” says Andrea Jacobson, Campaigns Manager for FARM.
According to FARM’s numbers, going vegan for one day spares 148 square feet of rainforest and 3,700 gallons of water. Going vegan for 5 to 6 days a week spares 160 animals a year, 42,350 square feet of rainforest and 1,058,200 gallons of water. Woah.
Go vegan all the way, and those numbers continue to grow.
“We hear all too often that people are open to a vegan diet, but just have no idea where to begin. They might know the ‘why,’ but they need the ‘how,'” adds Jacobson. FARM’s Meatout website provides all the answers and resources people need to start the journey.
Over the years, supporters of the annual pledge have included groups like PETA, Compassion Over Killing, Rainforest Action Network and the Center for Biological Diversity; meatless food manufacturers like Tofurky and Beyond Meat; celebrities like Ed Begley Jr., Elaine Hendrix and Russell Simmons; and various mayors and governors across the U.S. Because who wouldn’t support ditching animal products for a day (besides the meat and dairy industries, that is)?
And if you’re looking to get a loved one to join you, there’s some strategy involved.
“As far as convincing omnivore friends and family is concerned, that’s a toughie!” Jacobson adds. “The strategy I think works best is just saying ‘hey, it’s just one day. You can do anything for one day.’ Most people, if they are close to you, will be interested in supporting you and giving it a try for a day. Be patient with their questions and concerns, and support their exploration of plant-based eating.”
The folks at FARM also have an amazing guide designed to help people navigate meatless eating. From recipes to fast food options, it offers a wealth of useful information on how and what to eat. There are also events scheduled all over the country, including runs, tabling opportunities, seminars and more.
“Next week we’ll be announcing our Meatout Giveaway. All pledgers need to do is tag pictures of their Meatout Meals with #meatout2015 and they’ll be entered to win a bunch of *great* prizes from vegan and veg-friendly businesses. Everybody likes free stuff, right?” adds Jacobson.
Committing to 24 hours without animal ingredients is an excellent way to start a vegan journey. As with any major change, living a compassionate lifestyle happens one day at a time. Take the Meatout 2015 pledge here.