Let me get one thing straight: I’m a big fan of meat. What would Thanksgiving be without a perfectly roasted turkey? What would Christmas be without that glistening hunk of ham? There could be no clambake without those meticulously picked clams; no oyster bar without fresh, smooth oysters and no end of summer barbecue complete without that juicy, smoky burger. So let me say it again: I love meat. Can you tell?
So, to all the meat fanatics out there, I’m on your side. But right now, we have to make a tough decision.
Meat production and animal waste release a huge quantity of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. Not only are our pigs, cows and chickens some of the largest sources of carbon dioxide, but they are the largest sources of methane and nitrous oxide, the latter of which is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In our demand for meat all day, every day, we’re asking for more than our earth can provide, contaminating our air and depleting much of our drinking water. It’s simply unsustainable.
By cutting out meat consumption one day per week, we can take direct action against climate change while also improving our health. The average American consumes twice as much meat as the average person worldwide and eats much more than the daily recommended amount. Would it really be that hard to give up just a little?
I know that the thought of Meatless Mondays isn’t exactly appealing at first. But this is about our future. Climate change is not just some far-removed threat — it’s happening right now, and we can’t sit back because we’re scared of something unfamiliar and new. This is the time to save our earth and improve our own health. This is the time to make a change.
For those of you who are still skeptical, here’s a delicious, easy-to-make vegetarian recipe to try at home. I mean, who needs meat anyway?
1 apple, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup of zucchini
1 cup of cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 large egg
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
Salt and pepper
1. Heat about half of your olive oil in a large pan on the stove, and make sure the pan is large enough to hold a lot of veggies! Once it’s hot, add the garlic and onion. Let them simmer for a few minutes until the onion is clear and fully cooked through.
2. Add the mushrooms, zucchini and about 1 tablespoon of water. Cook until the vegetables are soft.Once done, take off the stove and put to the side.
3. While the mushrooms are cooking, crack your egg into a small bowl and mix with salt and pepper. Then, in a small pan, add your remaining olive oil and scramble your egg.
4. Bring your mushroom pan back to the stove and then mix the eggs, soy sauce and apple in. Cook until everything is heated, but don’t let the apple get too soft! You still want to keep that sweet crunch.
Don’t like one of these veggies? Switch it out for another! Other possible add-ins: snap peas, green onions, tofu, peppers or broccoli. If looking for some different flavors, you can replace the soy sauce with apple cider vinegar or spice your dish up with some cayenne or chiles.
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Contact Agnes Zhu at [email protected].