“Wow, I must be a little out of it- do non-veg 'regular' people really eat meat every day for dinner these days? Going without meat just one meal a week seems a little like nothing, though I suppose it's a start. I guess I have too many veggie-loving, healthy friends! I'm the only vegetarian in my cohort (16 years and I've never regretted it) but none of them eat meat every day! What they heck would someone need to eat that much meat for anyway? To sit at a desk all day, or walk the kid in the park? A couple times a week, enjoying really great meat seems to be something people can live with- you CAN have some meat and still have a lower impact and a normal lifestyle. For health reasons alone, even if you care nothing for the environment, try cutting half your meat out- save money and you'll feel great (be sure to replace with fresh or freshly frozen veggies).”
Leens on Jul 28, 2009 at 18:18:06
“I had a similar response. I'm not vegetarian but never eat meat every day of the week!”
“I think that, after reading this piece and most of the comments, a real theme that emerges is "what is it to be a Conservative these days?" I think that many people who think they are liberals actually have plenty of historically 'conservative' views and vice-versa. It behooves the dominant parties, BOTH the Democrats and the Republicans, to keep us disliking eachother and making snap judgements about somebody based on their political stance. It is easier to control us when we are divided, and that is what the people in power will continue to do unless we all realize how much we have in common. Here are a few things that I have seen people from all over the spectrum come together in thought over, and that's because they're HUMAN concerns:
-healthy, local food that respects the farmer and the eater (really, nobody wants to eat processed crap that's been grown by miserable people who are being cheated)
-concern for both the inherent value of the environment and natural resources which feed, water and sustain us (in Repubs it tends to be through the prism of Christianity- I've known a quite a few Conservatives who are just as in awe over an amazing sunset or a dolphin's jump as I am- but for completely different reasons. Mine are personally spiritual, theirs is through an organized religion- likely it feels the same from the inside.)
-wanting to leave behind a healthy and sustainable world for your kids”
“I've heard a lot of arguments for locally-raised, organically raised meat, and from an environmental perspective, maybe they could be a sustainable option- IF we had about 1/4 of the population that we have now. From the reports that I have read, and the math as I understand it shows that to produce organic, free-range beef for every American who eats it, and eating as much volume of the stuff as we do now, would be impossible. There's just not enough land. I grew up down the road from a small, responsibly-managed family farm in the Hudson Valley- cows raised organically need A LOT of space! As it is right now, the world that we live in is finite; if everyone in the world consumed as much as Americans, we would need 6-10 more planet Earths (basically we are using the resources of the future, now. Which screws the people in the future). So I think that unless we put serious thought into population control, healthy meat will not be available (or affordable) to everyone. The earth CAN sustain more people in a sustainable way if we choose to be vegetarian, or mostly so. So, it's either healthy meat available to those who care and can afford it and factory-produced meat for everyone else (detrimental to our health and the environment), OR healthier mostly-veg diets for all, so we can survive and thrive into the future. I know what my choice is.”
Vickster on Mar 21, 2009 at 22:35:53
“You overlook the fact that most regions can only produce fruits and vegetables for a few months every year. There are also regions that can't support any large-scale vegetable production. This is why most produce consumed in this country is grown in California, Florida and now Mexico. Believe me, there's no way we could feed everyone if we all became vegans or vegetarians, especially since California and Mexico are arid regions.
Also, there is plenty of land to raise grass-fed cattle, goats and sheep. Just visit Nebraska, Iowa or most other Midwestern states. All those cornfields that are used to feed livestock in the CAFOs could be converted to pastures instead.
It seems to me that our entire agricultural system is unsustainable because most people insist on eating what they want when they want it regardless of where they live; i.e., salads in February or ribs on the Fourth of July. As for me, I try to eat a local, seasonal diet, meaning one that consists mostly of vegetables, goat cheese (I raise dairy goats), eggs and fish (freshwater as a rule, since I live in Michigan) in the summer, while my winter diet consists of dried beans, the veggies in my freezer from my summer garden, goat cheese (of course), eggs and lots of meat.”
“Waylon, thanks for commenting and letting us know about your veggieness! That is awesome. I really wanted to mention vegan Ironman Brendan Brazier (http://www.brendanbrazier.com/) in the post and forgot- he is with you in maintaining an animal-friendly diet and is also a serious athlete. It CAN be done, as you have pointed out. I've been reading up on protein a lot as I've been working out six days a week (so good for stress!!), which is much harder than ever before. I've never had a problem getting enough protein in all my years as a veggie, but do want to keep tabs on it as I work out more (I do eat eggs though- and even after about 8 a week, average, my cholesterol is quite low and my doctor told me I had 'negative heart disease risk' which was nice to hear, though I'm not sure what precisely that means- she was happy to tell me about it though and sadly, says she has never told any of her other patients that, so that was interesting). Apparently some nutritionists are finding that there is actually a high percentage of absorbable protein in vegetables, which is really interesting. I want to learn more about that :)”