Imagine a juicy, hot steak cooked to medium-rare. Think of the captivating smell and the perfect flavour of this tender cut. Now stop and ask yourself, would that grilled chunk make me happy in the long run?

Turns out it would not. An average Canadian consumes 137 pounds of meat per year, which requires about 2192 pounds of grain to be produced. In addition, it greatly contributes to pollution, land use and global warming. So here are the facts and 5 reasons why eating less meat will make you happier.

1) Your Vegetarian Friends Might Outlive You 

Angelica Tso

Harvard School of Public Health found a link between red meat consumption and a lower lifespan. Red meat contains a higher amount of saturated fat, which increases the risk of plaque buildup, heart diseases, diabetes and obesity. In addition, cured meats like salami increase the levels of toxin in our body (nitrosamines), which can lead to cancer of the stomach.

2) Livestock Has a Huge Impact on The Planet

Angelica Tso

Livestock requires much more land, food, water and energy than any other food we eat. For example, producing 1/4 pound hamburger requires, 53 gallons of drinking water, irrigating feed crops, 75 square feet for grazing and growing feed crops.

3) Green House Gas Emissions

Angelica Tso

What is the number one cause of global warming? People who don’t recycle? Airplanes or too many cars? The answer is no. The United Nations has concluded that the number one cause of global warming is that juicy steak on your plate.

Animals raised for meat, milk and eggs create an enormous amount of green house gas emissions. Livestock requires an incredible amount of food, which produces waste. This waste gives off methane gases, which contribute to ozone depletion by trapping heat in the atmosphere. Global Warming does not benefit the human race in any way, as it decreases the cereal grain production and causes glaciers to melt.

4) Animal Cruelty

Angelica Tso

We tend to be so kind and caring towards pets, while totally mistreating other animals. Why do we do that? Paul Shapiro, Vice president of Farm Animal Protection at the Humane Society of the United States, says that livestock is often treated with unbelievable cruelty, and he quotes, “From locking animals in tiny cages, to slicing parts of their bodies off without any pain relief, to genetically selecting them to grow so obese and so fast that many become lame, it’s by far the biggest cause of animal suffering in the world.”

5) Your Blood Vessels Harden

Angelica Tso

Carnitine, a compound in red meat has been found to cause atherosclerosis, the hardening or clogging of the arteries. This condition puts your blood flow at risk and often results in heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease.

Angelica Tso

Giving up meat completely might be very hard. However, reducing your consumption is totally possible. As you can see, eating meat will not make you happier. If you are looking for a source of happiness, turn to desserts instead. At least, less green house gasses are produced in their preparation.