I have become a vegetarian [nominally]. This decision took about a half a year from first thoughts about it to actually doing something about it. So first I’ll explain my reasons and then the process.
Firstly, I’m not that fussed about the conditions in which animals are kept or treated. If you want mass production to feed the human race then you have to accept that it’ll be done at the cheapest. While the conditions would probably affect me if I was to see them, it is poor regulation and market forces that has made all this possible. You don’t become vegetarian to stop poor treatment of animals, you become a politician or farmer.
I don’t have any issues with eating meat because animals might have souls or are sentient. Once it’s dead it’s dead and the remains may as well be eaten or used for the common good.
My reasons are split roughly between health reasons, feeding the world and environmental reasons. Cutting out mammal meat is a good thing to do for health reasons. Now, there’s no real reason to go in to details but at one point I had high cholesterol and although I thought my diet was largely healthy looking at advice certainly made me think about giving up meat. That was March time this year and giving up meat germinated in my mind.
It seems largely strange to me that I can go to the supermarket and buy pretty much any amount of food and whatever type of food that I want. I can even buy some to purposefully throw away. And yet, too many people in this world go without food, or are severely ill from not enough food. This is fucking disgusting. We can produce enough food to feed the current population of this planet but we don’t have a global distribution system. Except, we can globally move food around to get to my supermarket but we don’t care about those poor fuckers dying or malnourished.
If we transferred the food we grow to feed animals to feeding humans we could easily support everyone on this planet with plenty spare. We use field space for animal feed. That just seems crazy to me. Also, the field space used for tobacco is a disgrace.
The production of animals for food has a huge CO2 impact. We use / produce more CO2 for meat production than we do for just growing vegetables and corn. It would be very easy to argue that it’s immoral to continue to do this given the effect that CO2 has on our delicate planet. Now my argument is seeming a little vague because as I said earlier if I wanted to change the world I should become a politician or a farmer. I guess I like to think I’m doing my little bit. Anthropogenic Global Climate Change is going to fuck this planet over. I have zero confidence politicians will do anything about it until it is way too late.
Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars – The Guardian
Potential contributions of food consumption patterns to climate change – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Going vegetarian halves CO2 emissions from your food – New Scientist
The age-and-sex-adjusted mean GHG emissions in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents per day (kgCO2e/day) were 7.19 for high meat-eaters ( > = 100 g/d), 5.63 for medium meat-eaters (50-99 g/d), 4.67 for low meat-eaters ( < 50 g/d), 3.91 for fish-eaters, 3.81 for vegetarians and 2.89 for vegans. – Dietary greenhouse gas emissions
So, my reasons are colonic health and greenhouse gases. I have called this Nominally because while I have given up meat, if there is no other alternative I would eat some. I also had to eat all the meat in my freezer after I made the decision. That took about six weeks of occasional meals. My decision was made after returning from the M’era Luna festival in the middle of August.
I have had two moments where I just forgot! One day I went to the cinema after a run and my plan was to have a hot dog in the auditorium. I was queuing when it dawned on my I was vegetarian and I couldn’t have a hot dog. Well, my reader, bollocks to that. I ate two. The next “slip” was a week ago when a work friend brought in a pork pie to school and I just cut some and ate it. It took about five hours before I realised that I had eaten meat, when I kinda don’t. Oh well.
I don’t expect friends or people to make extra effort for me. If I go somewhere and there’s no alternative then I’ll eat meat. I’m not that fussed. It’s more a thing just for me.
One further, minor reason, would be that when going to music festivals it is best to spend as little time as possible in the portaloo. They tend to be smelly, dirty and quite horrific. A vegetarian diet over the course of the weekend contributes to reducing time spent in the cubicle. Eating meat extends the sitting time required.