No matter how you dice it, meat is naturally a high carbon item. Even the pasture-fed beef bought from Farmer Joe down the road has a higher carbon footprint than plant produce. Simply put, they are higher on the food chain and it takes many more gallons of water, pounds of feed, etc to "grow" the animal and then takes more energy and resources to "harvest" them.
The other great thing about meatless (besides the hip new recipes) is the high protein and fiber content but typically much lower price tag.
Case in point, our first honorary recipe: Black Bean Burgers; a frugal feast for the family that can hold their own in the taste category compared to the little cakes in small plate dining.