Eco-Saturday: Meat-Eaters Go from Red to Green
Did you know that the average American consumed about 222 pounds of meat in 2007? That's 78 pounds more per person than in 1950.
But even some hardcore carnivores are realizing that too much meat can be bad for their health and bad for the environment. Lately we've been hearing more about "part-time vegetarians" and the growing popularly of Meatless Mondays.
Check out these five high-profile folks who are jumping on the meatless bandwagon:
1. Graham Hill, founder of sustainability website Treehugger, is the first to admit that he should be a vegetarian. After all, he makes his living telling people how to become more "green" and says he's aware that eating a hamburger a day can reduce his life span. But he loves meat. In this TED conference video, Hill explains his compromise: He's a weekday vegetarian. Hill gives up meat five days a week and orders steak every weekend. Best of all, Hill says, if he slips up now and then, it's not that big of a deal. He's still cutting his meat intake by as much as 70 percent.
2. Mario Batalli is a restaurant owner and Food Network chef known for his rich Italian meat sauces and undying love for prosciutto and pancetta, none of which really scream aspiring vegetarian. However, the chef has embraced Meatless Mondays with gusto. He now features vegetarian fare on Mondays at his 14 restaurants from Nevada to New York.
3. Paul McCartney is such a fan of the American Meatless Monday movement that he launched a Meat Free Monday for the UK, too. An environmental activist, the formal Beatle and his daughters, Stella and Mary, helped create the campaign's website, which includes recipes, educational information and a video of McCartney performing a song about Meat Free Monday.
4. Nicolette Hahn Neiman is an unlikely convert to the Meatless Mondays trend. She's a meat-lover and a rancher who raises grass-fed beef cattle and heritage turkeys in Northern California. Despite making her living from livestock, Neiman says that Americans eat too much meat and that they should raise the quality of meat consumed while reducing the quantity.
5. Bill Clinton was known throughout his presidency for his voracious appetite for meat. His love for McDonald's was incorporated into this Saturday Night Live sketch. Recently, the former president has followed in daughter Chelsea's vegan footsteps. He has gone almost vegan in hopes of becoming healthier (he had a quadruple heart bypass in 2004) and has reported losing 24 pounds since starting the diet. "I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruit," says Clinton in a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer. "I drink a protein supplement every morning--no dairy--I drink almond milk mixed in with fruit and a protein powder so I get the protein for the day."
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