Making the transition into a fully vegetarian diet may not seem realistic because you can’t bear the thought of never eating a juicy steak again, but there is a strong argument for why you should limit your consumption of meat. This approach has resulted in a lifestyle referred to as being a “weekday vegetarian” and the concept is really simple because, as the name suggests, you will eliminate meat from your diet during the week.

TreeHugger founder Graham Hill spoke about being a weekday vegetarian during a TED Talk in 2010, and eight years later the idea has become an increasingly popular one. But what are the benefits of eliminating meat during the week?

The first would be the consideration for animal welfare and the environment, and being a weekday vegetarian means you are reducing your consumption of animal meat by 70 percent, The Odyssey reports. Hill also addressed this point, explaining (via Honey Coach), “I knew that the 10 billion animals we raise each year for meat are raised in factory farm conditions that we hypocritically wouldn’t consider for our own cats, dogs or other pets.”

As a society, we eat too much meat. According to the Huffington Post, “The world has doubled its per capitameat consumption since 1961, and is expected to double it again by 2050.” With this in mind, you can also imagine the effect that the meat industry has on the environment, and in addition to climate change and habitat destruction, the industry contributes significantly to emissions and greenhouse gases. Not to even mention the waste, as just a single pound of beef requires 1,500 gallons of water.

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It’s better for your health, and according to The Odyssey, a study published in the British Medical Journal“found that vegetarians outlive meat eaters by six years.” Those who follow a plant-based diet are reportedly less likely than meat-eaters to suffer from conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, as well as obesity.

Plus, eating meat is expensive, so you can be thankful that your grocery bill will significantly decrease after limiting the consumption of meat. But perhaps one of the most appealing things about being a weekday vegetarian is although it takes commitment, it doesn’t require complete elimination, making it a lifestyle choice that’s much easier to adapt to. It’s a compromise, aimed at helping individuals cut back on their meat consumption, but also making them aware of the ethical impact of this decision.

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