Host a Wild Night With Friends
Why is it important for Americans to get involved? First of all, Americans eat more meat per capita than nearly anyone, anywhere else on the planet, and the decisions we make often drive global trends and markets. If we’re going to change the world and save wildlife, we need to start at home, and start now. Check out these ideas on how you can have fun with friends and help protect our planet at the same time.
You could spend a lot of money heading to the theaters, or you could stay in with good friends, good snacks and a great movie about the impact of meat production. You can learn about the impact of meat production by watching one of many entertaining documentaries on the issue. Host a screening for a club, have a few friends over in your dorm room or use a common area for a larger group. Make sure to have lots of meatless snacks on hand. Most traditional movie night snacks (like pretzels, popcorn, chips and veggie pizza) are already meat-free, but you can also explore recipes on our Choose Wild Pinterest board of easy, Earth-friendly snacks.
Start the show with “Meatstinction”— a short, fun film from the Center for Biological Diversity that’s under a minute long.
Top 10 Wildlife & Foodie Films
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length documentary that explores the most destructive industry on the planet today – animal agriculture – and how raising livestock is a leading cause of deforestation, water consumption, climate change, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion and ocean dead zones.
Forks Over Knives examines the claim that many degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by replacing animal-based and processed foods with plant-based diets.
Vegucated is “part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy.” The film follows three meat eaters in New York who go meat-free for six weeks. An entertaining documentary, Vegucated is the story of people who learn they can “change the world one bite at a time.”
Fast Food Nation is a feature film based on the controversial book by the same name; a “no-holds-barred” investigation of the fast food industry.
Pig Business investigates the reality of the pork industry and the way factory farms threaten human health through the dangerous overuse of antibiotics and by polluting the environment and abusing animals.
Food, Inc. is an expose of America’s food industry, how it’s primarily controlled by only a handful of multinational corporations, and how the global food supply faces a crisis of a lack of biodiversity that can be addressed with changes in both consumption and production.
OR7—The Journey follows the journey of a lone gray wolf from Oregon to California and illustrates the plight of wolves in North America, including how their survival as a species has constantly been in jeopardy as a result of the meat industry.
Silencing the Thunder is a 30-minute-long, award-winning documentary that reveals the threats to America’s most iconic animals, wild bison, from the borderland clash between Yellowstone National Park and cattle ranchers outside the park.
Global Wolf studies the global history of wolves and follows wolf researchers as they try to save a species once hunted to the edge of extinction, primarily to protect livestock.
Meat the Truth tackles the issue of intensive livestock production and how animal agriculture generates more greenhouse gas emissions worldwide than all cars, buses, trains, boats and planes together.
Extra Credit: Don’t forget to check out The Hidden Cost of Hamburgers, a short and shareable animated film that shows the impact the beef industry has on the environment, from the thousands of gallons of water and many acres of land it takes to produce one pound of beef, to the 500 million tons of manure created each year by American cows raised and slaughtered for beef.
Coming Attractions: Racing Extinction, which uncovers the world’s most dangerous black markets and tells the untold story of mass extinction.
If you’ve been doing your homework on this site, you probably know a lot about meat and wildlife — but are you ready to test that knowledge against what your friends know? Host a game of wildlife trivia, Jeopardy or Taboo. Use the following facts to inspire your questions. (With all that brainpower going toward the game, you won’t want to forget to provide meat-free snacks.)
10 Surprising Meat and Wildlife Facts
1. 50 percent of water used in the United States goes toward meat production.
2. Meat production threatens 175 endangered species that live on public lands.
3. Animal agriculture is responsible for at least 14.5 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than road, rail, air and marine transportation combined.
4. Americans eat more meat per capita than almost any other country: 203 pounds per person per year.
5. If everyone in the world ate as much meat as the average American, global meat consumption would increase by 320 percent.
6. In the United States alone, 10 billion land animals are raised and slaughtered for food each year.
7. If all Americans were to eliminate meat from their diets just one night per week, the effect would be like taking 30 to 40 million cars off the road for an entire year.
8. For the average American, reducing their meat and dairy consumption by one-half is the equivalent of driving 4000 fewer miles and saving 511,000 gallons of water per year.
9. Wildlife Services, a taxpayer-funded killing program, shoots, traps and poisons millions of animals every year at the behest of the livestock industry.
10. 80 percent of all agricultural land in the United States is used for raising livestock and growing feed crops. That’s almost half of the landmass of the lower 48 states, and it increasingly deprives wildlife of their native habitats.
Host a Meatless Meal:
You’re interested in taking extinction off your plate by eating less meat, but what does that actually look like? Luckily, the possibilities are endlessly delicious. Exploring the world of meat-free cuisine is even more fun when you invite friends. Host a meat-free dinner or potluck for your dorm, club or friends.
Give your dinner a theme, like a meatless BBQ or international meat-free cuisine. If you want to add some good-natured rivalry, make it a sustainable cooking competition in the style of Chopped or Iron Chef. No matter what you do with your meat-free dinner party, the goal is to fill up on an extinction-free meal and add to your arsenal of meatless recipes. For inspiration see our Cheap & Easy Recipe Guide or check out our Wildlife-Friendly Recipe Cards.
- Want an Earth-friendly brunch after a big night out? Waffles, a tofu scramble, acai bowl, fresh fruit, soy yogurt, soyrizo and veggies, or protein smoothies will be a big hit. Looking for wildlife-friendly comfort foods? Try sourdough toast and jam, bagels with plant-based cream cheese or even just a bowl of cereal with almond milk.
- For Taco Tuesday, try Thai Tempeh Tacos or Grilled Portobello Tacos. Great sides are grilled veggies (bell peppers, zucchini, squash), chips & salsa, guacamole, Spanish rice, corn and beans. Like the Mexican theme? Try bean quesadillas, veggie enchiladas, green chile tamales or burritos, veggie style.
- Thai food is always a popular choice for friends. Try a veggie curry, peanut noodle bowl, thai veggie burgers, red curry soup, veggie spring rolls, thai corn fritters or veggie pad thai.
- Meatless Mediterranean is light, low-cal and great for warm days. Try veggie falafels, hummus, pita, jackfruit gyros, grilled veggies, tabbouleh or couscous.
- Host a pizza party and you’ll have a sure winner on your hands. It’s easy to make any pizza vegetarian these days. Be creative, change up the sauce, and choose fun toppings like artichoke, garlic, olive, onion, pineapple, peppers, spinach and more for healthy alternatives. Take your party to the next level of wildlife protection by cutting out the cheese, too, and try these creative pizza concepts.
- Chili cookoffs are a quintessential part of campus life. Host a meatless chili cookoff for your club or before a big game and see whose planet-saving chili can pack the most punch. Don’t forget the cornbread.
- Cheeseless Mac ’n Cheese. Need we say more? Mac ’n Cheese is easy to make meatless and wildlife-friendly. But did you know there are tons of scrumptious recipes without the cheese? How? Check out these amazing recipes. Want even more flavor? Add some coconut bacon (it’s meat-free) to this classic comfort food.