Have you changed your meat consumption over the last decade?

  • Increased consumption
  • Stayed the same
  • Slightly reduced consumption (eg. 10-30%)
  • Significantly reduced consumption (eg. >30%)
  • Stopped eating meat
  • Started eating meat (was raised vegetarian/vegan)
  • Have always been vegetarian/vegan
  • Other

0 voters

I’ve noticed a significant rise in pretty decent meat alternatives over the last few years (eg. beyond meat, impossible burger, etc.) as well as an increase in decent vegetarian and vegan restaurant options where I live, and have found that I have started to reduce my meat consumption as a result. I also contracted ciguatera a couple years ago and found that certain meats (pork, in partcular) triggered my symptoms so I think that also resulted in me exploring more vegetarian options. Growing up, I was one of those people who had to eat meat at every meal except for breakfast and wouldn’t be caught dead going to a vegan restaurant, so I’m kind of surprised at how I’ve changed over the years, but I probably eat meat 3-4 days per week now instead of every day. Even for portion size, I find I can be satisfied by a 4oz portion when I used to regularly go for 16oz steaks.

Has anyone else on the Dope found they’ve been reducing their meat consumption as well? Meatless Mondays? Gone full vegetarian/vegan? What are people’s primary motives for eating less meat - ethical, environmental, economical?

I’d be happy to go w/o eating meat for the rest of my life. My wife still buys meat - usu salmon, at least once a week. Maybe beef, pork, or chicken another time every 2 weeks.

I prefer beans and lentils. They fill me up, make me feel better. I don’t think we need as much animal protein as Americans eat, and factory farming if environmentally horrible. I like the taste of pork, but have a hard time eating something that smart which is raised so brutally. And even if we eat chickens, do we have to torture them?

I’ve been ovo-lacto vegetarian for 19 years and two months now. Reasons: health and ethics.

I’ve realized I’m terrible at cooking it, and I don’t really like eating it, so I rarely buy it at home. Lunch meat is ok and doesn’t require cooking but it’s too salty (or crappy when not salty) and I end up not finishing it so I don’t buy it much.

I do eat it once a week at mom’s, and probably 50% of my restaurant food includes meat. Usually I get meat when eating out when I realize I haven’t had enough protein in my week.

I could do without meat for sure. I’d like to say I’d stop for ethical reasons but I’m just too damn lazy to be that good of a human.

I have found vegetarian meals to be less filling as I’ve gotten older. I can also afford better meat so I’m eating more than I used to. We had a vegetarian pasta for dinner on Sunday and even my wife commented that it would have been better and more filling with some chicken in it.

I’ve slightly reduced meat intake. Only minimally for vague “health reasons” but not really. I just mostly wanted some variety and I like vegetables, also to knock some of the rust off the old cooking skills, and a desire to try some new things after so many years being shackled to a culinary … Hun? Visi-Goth? Other Barbarian? Cretin? Someone vehemently willfully ignorant of good eating and good(er) eating habits

We eat meat the same as we have forever, no more nor less.

I’ve always been “flexitarian” - meaning I am not vegetarian or vegan, but I try to eat low on the animal product scale. That’s been true for my entire adult life.

Last year we went vegan (well, 98% of the time; tiny amount of meat, no dairy). This year, we’ve fallen off the wagon a bit, but still significantly less meat and dairy than previous years. All said, I’d rather go back to how I was last year (I had so much more energy in the evenings without meat and dairy in my system), but it’s a hard thing to break when Reuben sandwiches exist in this world.

I voted 30+% reduction.

I have cut way back on meat, mainly for health reasons but also appreciating the ethical and environmental benefits. I was raised in a house where every dinner HAD to have meat, and a lot of it. Both my parents grew up in homes where meat was a luxury, so meat dinner was a sign of success for them.

I have also cut back on dairy and switched to almond milk. Overall I feel much better with less meat and dairy while staying active as ever.

These threads always seem to skew towards the bias in the original post. That being said, my meat consumption has changed. I came down with gout a few years ago, so the only beef I eat now is the occasional treat of two jalapeno cheese sliders from White Castle. I used to do one Checker’s/Rally’s dollar cheeseburger once a week or so, but the pandemic changed the menu- no dollar items any more.

Basically, I eat chicken instead of red meat, and my gout doesn’t seem to mind. I have learned to make fresh chicken pepperoni and Italian sausage to use on pizza and as substitute hot dogs. Chicken works great in tacos and in pasta dishes, so I don’t really miss beef and pork.

You forgot “health”.

I’ve cut back on meat and increased vegetables primarily because current science indicates that is a healthier way to eat.

Increased variety of meats, and the number of meals where it’s on the plate. But I’ve reduced portion sizes for all foods as I’ve gotten older.

I chose “increased” since it was closest. I’m not sure whether the pounds-per-year has changed very much though.

Stopped eating meat about 2 years ago after I mistakenly watched 4 seconds of a video that appeared on my Twitter feed.

Ten years ago my consumption was low because meat was expensive and I wasn’t making much. But I never increased it.

I’m more concerned about environmental issues than I am health or animal treatment. YMMV.

No change in the amount of meat I eat, although the quality has improved significantly. I eat less beef than in the past, but more pork, lamb, and turkey.

I also eat my meat more rare than prior to sous vide.

I’ve decreased it a little since the plague began because my eating habits at home are the same - around one meal a day that has meat and maybe another that has a little meat, but I am not going out to eat or getting boxed chicken from Publix as much as I was anymore. But I’m still not losing weight probably because I’m slightly less active working from home than meandering around the office.

For ethical reasons, I would love to stop eating meat. For reasons that have everything to do with loving meat, I have not. I’ve tried going vegan and vegetarian for short periods - up to three weeks at a stretch - but while the soul is willing, the body is weak. Also, and I can’t entirely swear it isn’t just a mental thing, I feel better physically when I have sufficient meat protein in my diet. That said, I have tried to moderate my intake from daily to 4 out of 7 days per week. I’ve cut out chicken almost entirely because there is something about grocery store chicken in the past couple of years that really puts me off. It has no taste and the texture has become really spongy and odd. I’ve always enjoyed pork and turkey, so little change there I’m down to once or twice a month on my beef consumption. Usually in the form of grass fed burgers or dirty rice with grass fed beef. Conservatively, I’m at 10%-30% reduction of meat products in my diet.

When cooking at home, we used to target 4 ounces of meat per serving. More recently, it’s three ounces or less. In some cases, much less. We have a spaghetti sauce recipe that puts less than an ounce of ground beef and pork sausage on each plate. Sunday breakfast includes about an ounce of sausage each. We don’t eat much beef or pork at home; it’s mostly chicken. Sometimes we make lunch salads, for which we share a 5-ounce can of tuna.

Exceptions in the other direction include cooking on the grill, where serving size may be a good bit more than four ounces - and when we cook fish (often wild-caught salmon), we aim for eight ounces each (incl. skin).

Cost isn’t an issue. Health is - less meat is better - and I suppose it’s a nice perk that this is putting less burden on the environment.

I eat about the same amount of meat as I used to, but for considerably longer than a decade I’ve been careful about where most of it comes from. I just took my first trip since early March that took me more than 12 miles from home (to an only slightly riskier area, and with precautions) partly in order to get some humanely raised pork (beef and chicken I can get from my neighbors).

– if you feel better eating beans and lentils, then by all means eat beans and lentils in any case. Different people do better on different diets, there is no one ‘healthy diet’ that suits everybody perfectly. But it’s not a flat out either or, either factory raised meat or no meat at all.

Years ago, I knew somebody who said that he was tempted to go to an animal rights march carrying a sign that read ‘Humanely raised meat tastes better’, but he was afraid of being clobbered by both sides. It’s true, though. If the animals have had room enough to move around freely and get some exercise, the meat will have better flavor and texture (though it may also be a bit tougher.) Diet also affects flavor of the meat. And I’ve been told by a livestock farmer that that weird texture may also indicate a bad death – too many stress chemicals in the system affect the state of the muscles at slaughter.

The environmental issue gets complicated, because livestock can live well on pasture fields that aren’t suited to row crop production, because a healthy pasture supports a lot of different species and a monocropped soybean field doesn’t, because including livestock in a crop rotation helps keep fields healthy. And chunks of the Amazon and other places get cleared for crops as well as for livestock. However, most of the meat people are buying in the stores is indeed raised in a damaging fashion; in large part because it’s much cheaper to do it that way, at least for values of “cheaper” that don’t include any of that damage.