Is It A Vegetarian?

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“I always knew that becoming a vegetarian would help prevent cruelty to animals but I was not aware of the environmental consequences of a meat-eating diet.” writes Lillie Ogden, a writer for the popular recipe magazine, Vegetarian Times. The first part of her statement, about “cruelty to animals” is a familiar argument, and generally the one that surrounds the case for adopting a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. However, this exhausted argument is ineffective in actually changing anyone’s eating habits. You can show me as many videos of suffering farm animals as you want, but that argument isn’t going to change the fact that at the end of the day I’m still going to enjoy a juicy, medium-rare steak. The reason being isn’t that I’m not a empathetic person or that I don’t care about animals. It’s just that my empathy generally extends to beings that have sentient thoughts, and cows just don’t make the cut. However, there’s a much stronger case for adopting a vegetarian/vegan diet, or even just limiting the amount of meat, especially beef, one consumes. As Lillie Ogden found out, there’s an environmental consequence -including the depletion of resources as well as polluting our environment- to the consumption of meat should we continue to eat it as frequent as we do now. According to Ogden’s article there are 17 billion livestock in the world right now and their existence causes an excessive use of the earth’s limited water. All through elementary school I can remember being taught how to save water: take shorter showers, don’t leave the faucet running, don’t use the dishwasher unless it’s completely full. However, no one ever told me about the more insidious way we waste water --our food choices. According to the Water Education Foun... ... middle of paper ... ...ion of resources like water, fossil fuels, topsoil, and the amazon. All four of which being limited to begin with. California right now is in a drought and by choosing to eat meat, we’re choosing to waste our water on animals instead of humans. On top of depleting our resources, animal agriculture is greatly contributing to the pollution of this planet. Cows alone producing a more harmful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The argument for eating less meat or adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet is too often about the morality of the animals, and it shouldn’t be. The fact of the matter is the way we consume meat now, and the demand the world has for beef or pork or chicken, is killing us and our planet. The average American diet just isn’t a sustainable one. If we want to pass on the earth to the next generation we need to put down the hot dog, and pick up a carrot.

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