Saturday, April 26, 2008

My foray into vegetarianism

Yesterday, April 25, 2008 I became a vegetarian.

Only for a month though. Are you kidding, this is PRIME grilling season. I couldn’t last any longer.

I’ve actually been thinking about doing so for quite a while. I’ve noticed myself eating less and less healthy over the past couple years and doing less and less exercise. To top it off, I don’t have near the time or motivation that I used to, so trying to fix these problems has been next to impossible.

I understand myself though and realize that the only way I’m actually going to do something difficult these days is if I build it way up and then force myself to be accountable by writing a blog about it.

Now I don’t actually think that eating meat is wrong, but I do think the US eats more than its fair share.

I found some statistics at, and they’re a little disturbing.

Each year, the average American consumes nearly twice his/her weight in meat…

• 195 pounds (about 88.4 kg) per person of red meat + poultry + fish (boneless, trimmed-weight equivalent);

• 57 pounds per person more than in the 1950s;

Consequences on human health:

• a global epidemic of lifestyle diseases (such as heart attacks, strokes and cancers)

• increasing pressures on land and water resources (water pollution, global warming, etc.)

Consequences on the environment:

• In the United States, over 90% of all agricultural land is devoted to livestock agriculture in some form. Most water consumption goes to livestock agriculture;

• the waste generated by livestock is 130 times that produced by humans, livestock wastes are implicated in waterway pollution, toxic algal blooms and massive fishkills;

• the US uses twice the energy per capita on food production than the less developed countries use per capita for all purposes. Meat production typically uses 5, 20, or even 100 times the land, water, and energy that plant food production does.

Personally, I don’t really buy a lot of the hype these days that our environment is doomed. If you read in the history books, there have been many periods when weather conditions have been extremely harsh and unpredictable and the earth has always adjusted.

On the other hand, I do feel that we as Americans are extremely wasteful and should be much more considerate. We act like a greedy pig that devours anything and everything it gets in its path. We feel we somehow deserve it. If someone tries to take it away or tell us otherwise we complain as if there were no tomorrow. We are consumers to the utter most. We take away far more than we give back, and personally I'm doing my best to reverse this trend in myself.

Maybe this is why I’m going to be a vegetarian for a month. Maybe I just want a challenge. Maybe I want to inspire someone else to live a healthier lifestyle by proving it’s not really that difficult. Maybe it’ll just be a story to tell in the future.

Whatever the case, I’m going to be getting a lot more familiar with the plant kingdom in the next 30 days.

I’ll keep you updated.

1 comment:

flipflopgirl said...

For the record, he only lasted a week and a half without eating meat. :)