I’ve been mulling adopting a loose vegetarianism. I’d still consume dairy products and eggs, and possibly some seafood, but I’m mulling trying to eliminate much/most of the meat from my diet.
There are several disadvantages. One is, I like meat. I had a pepperoni pizza for dinner today. It might be hard to give it up.
Two is, I don’t wish to create awkward social situations. Restaurants should be fine, but if someone is inviting me over for dinner, I don’t want to have to inform them of dietary restrictions. I also would want to take care to avoid the appearance of any sort of “holier-than-thou” attitude.
However, there are several advantages as well. A major reason is health. While one can of course eat a healthful diet incorporating meat, it is certainly easier if the meat is eliminated. While I’m in pretty good shape right now, I’d expect eliminating meat to promote even better health. As it is, my diet is naturally largely vegetarian, for health and cultural reasons. Those veggie burgers in the cafeteria are a lot more healthful than even the turkey burgers!
A second reason is animal rights. I realize that it is part of the natural order of things for predators, including humans, to consume animals. But I am also aware of many aspects of our biological and cultural heritage we no longer follow—through culture and civilization we transcend many of our evolutionary characteristics. Given today’s technology as well as the increasing availability and diversity of vegetarian food, it becomes hard for me to justify the continued consumption of animals.
A third reason is the environment. The meat industry generates more greenhouse-gas emissions than the transportation industry; switching to vegetarianism would cut carbon dioxide more than switching to a hybrid car (see TIME article). If I’m serious in my efforts to combat global warming, then I must at least consider this.
If I do this, it wouldn’t be absolute. I don’t mind, of course, if there is beef flavoring in my french fries, and if someone has invited me over for a dinner with a meat dish, that’d be all right.
But I haven’t decided yet. Do you guys have any comments?