No matter how hard you resist, sooner or later you will succumb to the lettuce lifestyle. I’ve been talking the talk of vegetarianism for a few years now but the walking of the walk has been quite debatable. Don’t worry I’m not going to try to brainwash you into binning your steaks. This is merely a pond onto which I will scatter a few thought crumbs.
Don’t get too smug, veggies
To all the veggie preachers out there, practice what you preach. There is a smug vibe that’s projected by veggies which is often flawed. Sure, this orange is organic but how far has it come to get here? Maybe more miles than non-organic, all the while pumping plenty of ugly carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Many unseen sacrifices are made to bring food to your table so bear in mind you ain’t no spotless genie.
Also some advice for you quorn lovers; don’t be preachers, be salesmen. By being too fundamentalist you’re just going to scare people off. Ease them into the broccoli bath, don’t throw them in! The transition isn’t easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Don’t get too aggy, carnivores
“But hey wait a second…he’s wearing a leather watch!”
Most vegetarians/pescatarians will know the feeling of being harassed by someone for eating fish but not meat, or for occasionally eating meat on the weekend. No one is squeaky clean, but that’s missing the point. Any reduction in meat is better for the environment and the animals. No matter what your strategy, as long as you’re aboard the veggie wagon in some shape or form then you’re certainly doing your bit.
It’s not as hard as you think
“Yeah I’d definitely do it, I just love meat too much.” Said every human ever. There are heaps of alternatives begging to be tried. There’s a smorgasbord of veggie consumables in supermarkets now so there’s no excuse for not trying something new. Give it a whirl next time you’re perusing.
It’s not all kosher in the land of labelling
Carbon labels or even welfare labels (such as a red sticker for factory farming) would help people realise the huge amount of energy used in meat production and could steer many into the direction of fewer emissions and fewer tearful cows.
However, labels can be expensive and sometimes it’s only the large companies that can afford the accreditation which squeezes out the small-scale farmers. Also, it’s very difficult to get a label that has enough information on it but is easily recognisable. For example, even with existing ones, which average Joe knows the true definition of “free-range”?
A couple of factoids
A theory for why Americans are so susceptible to food fads is that since they are a nation of immigrants, there’s never been a stable food culture. This leads to a constant changing of what they perceive is right to eat and unfortunately, many eating disorders are a result.
Through being corn-fed (common in factory farming), meat has become a commodity rather than luxury. Only since the 1950s have cows been given solely corn so before this era, meat was much more of a weekend treat which is arguably what it should be now.
Beef is by far the most polluting meat. So if you reduce a few steaks, you can keep chomping popcorn chicken and still have a happy(ish) conscience.