Sunday, September 30, 2012

To Veggie or not to Veggie?

Given that I know what I know, why am I not a vegetarian?

In our society much of the meat available is basically from factory farms. You can even buy "organic" salmon from some of the most offensive and harmful open net fish farms out there.

The factory based farming of meat feels morally wrong. The animals are treated so horrifically, fed inappropriate diets, and injected drugs to keep them "healthy".

Worse yet is the environmental damage (no offence to the cow). Cow farts are worse then car farts as far as global warming and ozone depletion goes. Also, farming meat requires 100x more water then veggies, part of this of course is that you're feeding the cattle calories from corn primarily.

Apparently the average american eats 3.5 lbs of meat a week (I heard that on a Ted talk). And sadly, we're often pitched a binary solution. Either you are a vegitarian (which comes with it's own stereotype) or you're a meat eater, and part of "the problem".

The reality is that I'm not a vegetarian, I am a "less meat-atarian". I rarely cook meat at home. I occasionally eat fish (sushi) or have a steak from a restaurant. I eat eggs. My diet is not the most sustainable way to eat meat, but I do think that my footprint is certainly less than the average.

I know the worst culprits are red meat and processed meats. I stay away from ground beef, including beef burgers. I choose more sustainable fish when I do cook at home. SP occasionally cooks a turkey on a special occasion.

I look for better options. It may not be the best answer, but I'd say that I'm only eating meat once a week these days, and mostly in small portions. And just think, if all of us ate half the meat we used to, then half of us would be vegetarians?

This post was inspired by the Ted Talks "Chew on This". And there are lots of sources of information online to show how to choose better products like sustainable seafood.


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