I’ve got to hand it to the vegetarian and vegan activists, they know how to create a movement to rally around. Only a small segment of the U.S. population actually follows a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, but these folks have been able to take their ideas and make them mainstream. Universities across the country have adopted the Meatless Monday trend, and it seems like every time I pick up a consumer publication, there’s an article promoting meatless meals like tofu and bean burgers.
In the October 2012 issue of Prevention magazine, Mandy Oaklander writes, “If you’re a Prevention reader – and if you’re reading this, well, then, you are – you know we’ve always been fans of vegetarian eating. Now we’re taking the commitment to healthy eating one step further by making every Monday a meatless one. Check out our reasons for nixing the meat, and see how easy we’re making it for you to join us. Bring on the veggies! It’s easy. With no meat thermometers to check – and no scary feeling you’re about to poison your family with underdone chicken – vegetarian cooking is perfect for worrywarts.”
Sorry, Prevention, but you’ve got it all wrong. Here are my six reasons to include meat in your diet:
It’s healthy. There are 29 lean cuts of beef, according to USDA standards. Beef provides nutrients like zinc, iron, protein and B vitamins, and half of the fat found in beef is monounsaturated, the same heart-healthy fats found in olive oil.
It’s easy. Using recipes from beefitswhatsfordinner.com, beef is an easy addition to a well-balanced meal. Simply fire up the grill or turn on the slow cooker, and you’ve got a healthy, simple meal that stars meat.
It’s environmentally friendly. Cattle graze on land that is too steep, hilly or rocky for farming. Cattle aerate the soil and eat brush, which is good for wildfire management. Check out our Earth Day page to find more reasons why beef production is good for the planet.
It’s affordable. Calorie-for-calorie, beef is more nutrient dense than vegetarian protein options like peanut butter, tofu or beans. You get more nutritional bang for your buck by choosing healthy, lean animal proteins.
It’s kind. Cattlemen care about their livestock; it makes good business sense and it’s the right thing to do. Respectfully harvesting these animals to nourish people is a part of the circle of life, and something that ranchers take very seriously.
It will make you feel sexy. Without protein as the center of my diet, I feel depleted of energy. Sure, vegetables and fruits are great, but without protein power, I’m not strong. And, being strong is sexy! Be inspired by all the Team Beef members who are out leading busy, active lifestyles, competing in triathalons, marathons and more!
What are the reasons you eat meat? Let’s make Meat-In Monday the new trend!