Giving up Meat for Cancer Research (and the Environment)

Giving up Meat for Cancer Research (and the Environment)

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This November, the Conscious Green Team are taking part in the Cancer Research UK Veg Pledge challenge. We’re going vegetarian or vegan for the entire month of November and asking our friends, family and colleagues to sponsor us to support life-saving research.

We all have a responsibility to our planet, as individuals and as businesses. At Conscious, we’re pretty serious about doing our bit for the environment. As a team, we’ve always tried to minimise our carbon footprint, for example, by cycling to work or using our branded reusable coffee cups whenever we need a mid-morning pick-me-up. We even have a dedicated Green Team to raise awareness and encourage positive changes.

We also care deeply about raising money for good causes and our charity of the year, Cancer Research UK is one that’s close to many of our hearts.

So, doing the Veg Pledge is really a no-brainer and we’d love your support.


Veg Pledge – giving up meat for Cancer Research

There are many reasons we want to get involved with the Veg Pledge for Cancer Research UK. Here are a few:

  • Learn some new recipes
  • Save money (not buying meat/fish!)
  • Boost our intake of healthy high-fibre foods (lots of grains and pulses)
  • For the challenge! Can we go without cheese for a month?!
  • Raise money for life-saving research

So many of us within the Conscious team have been personally touched by cancer, so we’re doing everything we can to support Cancer Research UK’s incredible work.


Why should we eat less meat?

We’re all a bit pre-occupied at the moment, and understandably so. But while 2020 will be remembered as the year of coronavirus, it should also be remembered as the year of the global wildfires, the year of the record temperatures, the year that global carbon dioxide concentrations rose to their highest ever levels, and so on.

Bryony recently wrote this blog post about Coronavirus and the Climate, noting that while there were some environmental ‘positives’ to the whole world going into lockdown, other issues have worsened. The benefits of fewer cars on the road and planes in the sky also appear to have dissipated; lockdown had a negligible long-term impact on greenhouse gas emissions, it has been reported.[1]

If we can, we need to do more.

Overconsumption of meat and animal products has long been linked to issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, inefficient land use, water shortages, ocean acidification, deforestation and more.

Scientists warn that, as global population continues to grow, we will need to make major lifestyle changes to ensure that food production and consumption is sustainable and to keep global warming under 1.5-2°C – the Paris Agreement goal and the point at which climate disasters such as extreme heat, drought, floods and human poverty get significantly worse.[2]

Research shows that, globally, the average person needs to reduce pork consumption by 90%, beef consumption by 75%, and egg consumption by 50%. In turn, we will need to triple our consumption of beans and pulses and quadruple our consumption of nuts and seeds.[3]


What can businesses do to help?

Let’s talk about the big CR. No, not Cancer Research just yet – Corporate Responsibility.

So we all need to eat less meat. That’s all well and good, but diet is an individual choice so what can businesses actually do about it?

Obviously you cannot police what your employees eat (unless they’re microwaving fish in the office, then you have our blessing). However, you can provide an environment that caters – literally and figuratively – to employees who want to reduce or eliminate their animal product intake.

One of the great things about working at Conscious is that we all feel ‘seen’ as individuals, and our personal choices are validated within the wider team. In days gone by when we all worked in the office, we would often host potluck lunches, always ensuring that there were plentiful vegetarian and vegan options available, even if the people bringing the food were not necessarily vegetarians or vegans themselves. We were also starting to experiment with sustainable vegetarian and vegan-focused catering for our team-wide lunchtime meetings.

Since we’ve mostly been working from home this year, David has (several times) posted us all a few sweet treats, taking care to ensure the vegans of the team receive vegan treats.

While these may seem like small actions, they make all the difference and help to foster a culture of support and encouragement for people trying their best to make positive, eco-friendly choices.


Interested in supporting us?

At the moment we have five individuals taking part in the Cancer Research UK Veg Pledge – Alice, Angela, Bryony, Joanna and Laura. Our goal is to raise at least £100 this month to fund life-saving cancer research.

If you’d like to donate, please visit our fundraising page and make sure to let us know that you’re supporting the Veg Pledge! You can also follow us on Instagram where we’ll be sharing some of our best vegetarian and vegan creations over the coming month.