I have a feeling I’m on a slow slide to vegetarianism. It almost feels inevitable to me as a bleeding-heart liberal who weeps for global poverty and worries about the environment. The more I read, the more I feel that maybe, though I love it, meat is incompatible with many of my most deeply held beliefs.
Now, before anyone flips out, I’m not a PETA obsessive. I do care about the cruelty involved in meat production, and would prefer that all meat come from animals who are raised without cruelty, with basic dignity, who are fed the kinds of things they were born to eat, and who are killed in as respectful a manner as possible. I’m not morally opposed to eating meat based on ideas of animal rights. Though I love animals, I do believe that we’re omnivores, that some animals are made for eating, though I support anyone’s choices and reasons for becoming a vegetarian. I buy organic, free-range, cage-free, local eggs at $5 a carton, and as much as possible I try to do the same with the meat I eat, though I can’t always afford free-range chicken and grass-fed beef. I’m just beginning to feel that I’m still not doing enough.
Today’s musings are fueled by a piece I read in my latest issue of National Geographic Magazine, to which my parents give me a subscription each year for Christmas, as I’ve loved flipping through it for as long as I can remember. The piece, called “The End of Plenty” by Joel K. Bourne, Jr., is about the global food crisis. Basically, even before the current economic crisis, we (the world) were consuming more food than farmers had been producing, and we’ve been doing that for over a decade. This has caused massive increases in global food prices, the price of rice doubling in the past two years, for example. This spike in prices hits the world’s poorest of the poor hardest, as they typically spend 50-70% of their incomes just on food alone. Continue reading “we are what we eat: thoughts on eating and believing”