Monday, July 26, 2010

I don't eat meat

I needed a snack. Something salty. Something crunchy. I was standing in the basement of my office building and that's when it happened.... I, a pescatarian, purchased BEEF FLAVORED POTATO CHIPS. Specifically "Baby Back Rib" flavor ruffles. Now, that's just gross. I don't love potatoes, I don't even eat meat (just fish, and I know what you are thinking, no, its not meat, we will get to that). Curiosity got the best of me. I had to know what the hell the chips were about. They tasted like bbq flavor, with liquid smoke flavor and maybe a hint of meat? I don't know for certain. It has been more than five years since I have had a rib. I knew the chip contained no meat, but it tasted like what I remember ribs to taste like. I ate the whole bag and didn't regret it.

People oft ask why I don't eat meat. It started as me cutting out red meat to reduce my fat intake. That worked. Then I decided all mammals must go. And now, nothing but fish. Why? Because the thought of digesting flesh of another animal is disgusting to me. I mean, it walks around, like you and me and then it dies and I eat that? It's like eating human, but just one degree less creepy. Grab your arm. Flex. Now think of a cow walking around. Ick. Killing is not the issue. I have no moral objections to killing an animal for my gain. I have a shoe and purse collection that would make you weep of joy. So, why don't I eat meat? It isn't just one thing. Its a lot of reasons. Detailed below are the various leading reasons why.

It's better for the environment.
I've been saying this for years… and now other people are too: cows emit far worse gases then cars do and more. Seriously. According the the WorldWatch Institute: livestock contributes 18% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, even higher than the GHG emissions from transportation. As part of this figure they produce 37% of methane, which has more than 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. And if that weren't enough to be concerned about, their manure emits nitrous oxide, 65% of world totals. "A University of Chicago study examined the average American diet and found that all the various energy inputs and livestock emissions involved in its production pump an extra 1.5 tons of CO2 into the air over the course of a year, which would be avoided by a vegetarian diet. Thus, the researchers found, cutting out meat would do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than trading in a gas guzzler for a hybrid car."

Women who eat red meat are twice as likely to develop breast cancer
The risk increased with the amount of red meat consumed, with those who ate more than 1 1/2 servings a day of beef, lamb or pork having nearly double the risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer compared with those who ate three or fewer servings per week. A serving is roughly equivalent to a single hamburger or hot dog. Now before you say "EVERYTHING CAUSES CANCER"... let me just say, most things change your cancer chances by a percent or two. This is 35% higher risk. That is HUGE.

Health Reasons
I am no picture of health. I make tons of bad choices (rib flavored ruffles anyone?), but this choice is easy for me. So why not make the good choice here?

Spiritual Beliefs
My religion teaches of "Flesh of beasts and of the fowls of the air... are to be used sparingly. And it is pleasing unto me [God] that they should not be used..." I am in now way close to the whole ideal. I strive for it, I fail continually. I have had a hard time with this one. But, one thing I can do, one thing I don't mind doing is following the meat thing. I am sure it would also be pleasing unto Him if I stopped eating so many Doritos and Snickers, but why not do what I can?

What it all boils down to
I can do whatever I want. Oh, and peanut butter is my favorite food.

*a note on fish: they don't use the muscle the same way as we do. they move their vertebrae, and thus, they move. their "meat" is really just an extension of the fish- like milk is to a cow. like a snake - i guess i would be ok eating a snake, but they don't even taste good. (and yes, i know, i tried them before).

1 comment:

mherzog said...

Here's a good video on meat: