Why I’m a Vegetarian — Redux

July 8, 2007

Last night I was asked by a vegetarian why I choose to be a vegetarian. That’s always an interesting question. One I don’t really like answering. Too complicated. Like asking me if I believe in God. I mean, woah, there have been entire books written on that, and you want me to answer you in a 30-second sound bite? How is that fair exactly?

But in an effort to get past PETA-ing [ie the sorts emotional, compassion-based reasons that PETA would give], which doesn’t seem to be too effective because people just gloss over emotional appeals with ‘yeah, but they’re just aminals for Crissake!,’ here’s a site with some statistics about the environmental / antibacterial reasons against a red meat-based diet [important to emphasize the red meat part… I don’t think fish / sea food are quite as costly too produce, but then you have worry about overfishing the oceans / lakes, another environmental problem].

Sure, the facts are easy to gloss over too. I understand that. If I really totally stood behind my principles, I would eat only vegan. Not because cow-milking upsets the cow. No, because raising cows for milking is not an economically / environmentally feasible option the way it is currently practiced.

If other options become available, then informed behavioral changes can be made. But until then, fight the Man. Fight the Machine. Don’t eat [especially red] meat.

Let the angry rationalizing begin!

Thinking of helping the planet by buying an eco-friendly car? You could do more by going vegan, say Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin of the University of Chicago.

They compared the amount of fossil fuel needed to cultivate and process various foods, including running agricultural machinery, providing food for livestock and irrigating crops. They also factored in emissions of methane and nitrous oxide produced by cows, sheep and manure treatment.

The typical US diet, about 28 per cent of which comes from animal sources, generates the equivalent of nearly 1.5 tonnes more carbon dioxide per person per year than a vegan diet with the same number of calories, say the researchers, who presented their results at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco last week.

By comparison, the difference in annual emissions between driving a typical saloon car and a hybrid car, which runs off a rechargeable battery and gasoline, is just over 1 tonne. If you don’t want to go vegan, choosing less-processed animal products and poultry instead of red meat can help reduce the greenhouse load.

~ From The New Scientist


One Response to “Why I’m a Vegetarian — Redux”

  1. dave in the back said

    Reality blows sometimes. I’ll have to start buying nuts. It is kinda funny how it really doesn’t make sense to “live” off of meat because of the whole “second order energy source” thing. Although, I’m not claiming that I’ll give up meat completely. It’s like ice cream, gotta reward yourself sometimes.

    If meat sucks so much… why does it taste so good, lol. Stupid poopy crap.

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