City Hippy

The diary of our struggle to live a green and fair life.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

NEWS: Meat coma karma

A few years ago I was a vegetarian until one slightly fateful and rather cliched day when I just walked past a fast food joint and caved. I felt bad but not bad enough to get back on the horse.

The alternatives were limited back then and it was tough as I recall.

Well thanks to the meat sweats/comas and various other reasons I have finally taken the plunge again. As of yesterday I am a ovolacto vegetarian to be precise. I have given up meat and fish but will eat animal produce ie milk, cheese and eggs but to be honest even the eggs are starting to get to me. And milk always bothered me....cow juice...yeuch!

There are many reasons why people become vegetarian: religious, ethical, environmental, nutritional and economic. I just want to focus a bit on the ones that have prompted me down this path: the ethical and environmental reasons.

Well the treatment of animals for food is becoming more of a concern to me. Treating cattle as, well, cattle, seems uncivilised to be honest. They are basically bred to die. Not happy about that cheapening of life; bovine, poultry or otherwise.

I am also bothered about animal testing which is why my use of needless cosmetics is at a minimum and when I do have to venture into the cosmetic world I buy almost exclusively from ethical sources like Lush and so on.

Around 4 kilos of grain are required to produce 1 kilo of pork, and 8 kilos are needed for a kilo of beef. American Association for the Advancement of Science

The math is ludicrous. If all the grain used for animals were fed to people then hundreds of millions of people would not starve. Simple.

PLUS to make meat we need to either: lock animals in sheds all day giving them 'medicated' grain to munch OR we put them out to pasture. The former is plain evil and the wave of free-range produce suggests that most people support that view. The latter results in grazing animals removing the soil's natural protection, grasses. When the grasses are gone the topsoil blows or washes away. When that happens the soil degrades and acidifies until nothing can grow in it. Desertification eventually occurs and drought and famine is next.

So two days in and I am loving it. The choice is is so easy...and cheaper...and better for my health.

Someone I know asked me what I am doing about belts and shoes and other animal leather products and I told them I had already bought vegan shoes in the past and that they are great. It is so easy to be vegetarian these days.



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