Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The dude abides

It's biking season and I've been thinking more about bikes than veggieism recently. But, I did see a few good stories today I thought I'd mention:
Everyone knows about Paul McCartney being vegetarian and a strong veggie advocate, but hey - even Chinese politicans are getting into the act right now, at least for Earth Day.
If you had any doubt that your veggie diet was healthier than that of your omnivore friends, here is another research study to back up your "it's healthier!" argument - vegan diet helps prevent prostate cancer.

And here, from Wired Magazine, is a great piece titled Food Riots Begin: Will You Go Vegetarian?

The writer, an omnivore, kind of explores how various things had made him more and more sympathetic and receptive to vegetarianism, and now, with the worldwide food shortages, he finally feels ready to accept, without reservation, the logic of the veggie argument:

As I grew older and my palate more sophisticated, I learned to appreciate the joys of vegetables and grains and fruits. I ate more of these, and after reading Michael Pollan's This Steer's Life tried to make sure that the animals I consumed lived and died as decently as possible. But going non-meat was a non-starter. Even when environmentalists pointed to the extraordinary greenhouse gas burden of global livestock, I put it out of mind.

I'm not sure if I can sustain that willful blindness anymore.

It's a really good piece, at least for us veggies. Here's hoping more and more people learn about veggie secrets like Quinoa and serve their friends salads like this more often.

P.S. - My partner and I are getting married this autumn, and are planning to have a vegan wedding. Wish us luck!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

My protest against the conduct of the world

Here's another passage I like from that New York Times article that I mentioned below:

Talking about how the rise in oil prices creates a corresponding rise in food prices, and the effect this will have on the level of meat consumption, the author writes "If price spikes don't change eating habits, perhaps the combination of deforestation, pollution, climate change, starvation, heart disease and animal cruelty will gradually encourage the simple daily act of eating more plants and fewer animals."

In a way, that quote makes me want to scream. You know how we all go through our daily lives saying to our meat-eating friends "Hey, I'm not judging you, this is just right for me" - well, a sentence like the one above that so plainly and simply makes the vegetarian argument kind of makes me want to explode and say to people "What the f$%^&*K would it take to convince you that eating meat is messed up!!!???"

Grrr.... okay... calm down...

Anyway, that quote made me think of my post about trying NOT to explain to some old friends why Annalise and I went vegan, and it makes me think of this Isaac Singer quote, which I have on my Facebook account:

"To be a vegetarian is to disagree-to disagree with the course of things today. Starvation, world hunger, cruelty, waste, wars-we must make a statement against these things. Vegetarianism is my statement. And I think it's a strong one."

And it also made me think about The Omnivore's Dilemma, that Michael Pollan book that I went on about so much last summer.

In that book, Pollan talks about how powerful the vegetarian argument is, and since he spent a lot of time on factory farms in writing the book, Pollan speaks of how it is quite simply impossible to argue that millions of animals do nothing but suffer en route to our dinner plate. When faced with this terrible fact, what do North Americans do? We either look away - or we stop eating meat.

Most people just look away. They know how terrible the situation is, and refuse to make the connection between the 20 million animals going through the factory farms, and the fact that this requires them to make a life decision.

As much as I usually try to ignore what other people do, the looking away just blows my mind.