Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Ecological Benefits of Vegetarianism

I have played with being a vegetarian several times in my life, and have usually gone back because I just haven't taken the time to eat healthily enough and end up losing weight or getting deficiencies. But after watching a 30 Days episode about animal rights, I decided to go back, and have been consistent now for a while. I do feel healthier, and have discovered quite a few good vegetarian options.

Animal rights aside (since, as Joseph Campbell says, life lives on lives, and vegetarians are just eating something that can't run away), there are powerful ecological reasons to be a vegetarian. This article from The Green Lantern at Slate Magazine mentions a study that determined that the switch from carnivore to vegetarian is the equivalent in terms of environmental impact of trading in a Chevy Suburban for a Toyota Camry. Being a vegan is a bit more ecologically friendly, but I still haven't done that, because protein is more difficult to find without cheese, etc., and soy ice cream just doesn't taste as good. But here's another article about the ecological difference between dairy milk and soy milk, and I've definitely made that switch, since in some ways I like soy milk better.

I've never been a missionary, since I don't believe in converting others, but I do think the information is fairly compelling and worth spreading.

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