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  • Miriam Barendsen

    The thing is that once you choose why you eat vegetarian, you don t want meat on your plate. I found that after a while you start to look at meat as being a dead animal who suffered for the words: taste good. Not in my name, never again!

  • Rodolfo Duriez

    I respect the choices of all people, when it comes to their diet (except perhaps those extremists that choose to eat live animals). Nonetheless the article comes off as apologetic towards meat-eaters, like "Hey...yeah, I eat only veggies sometimes, but I still have my pastrami on the side...so I'm not one of those extreme weird-o vegetarians, or worse Vegans." Of course, the author didn't say this...it's just how it came across to me.

    I was vegan for 5 years, and have been vegetarian for the last two. I eat cheese now, not every day though (I treat it more like a treat to be added lightly than an essential), and I still don't purchase cow's milk, preferring the almond/rice/hemp/coconut varieties. Nonetheless, since I am unimposing when it comes to my dietary choices, I've hardly scared people away. In fact, even though when asked I am unapologetic in my reasoning, I've managed to get a couple friends to consume less meat,and my household to become semi-vegetarians that consume meat mostly when they go out.

    Treat people with respect, and they will respect you and your choices.

  • Lucy Vicious

    For me, it was taking chapter 3 of 'An Omnivore's Dilemma' to heart. Can I personally kill an animal and prepare the meat to serve myself? I can't. So, I stopped eating them.

  • Jen Watson

    After reading Eating Animals and In Defense of Food, I decided to follow the "semi/mostly" vegetarian lifestyle. I have meat once or twice a month, eating it from places I know get their meat from local or non-factory farms. I don't eat piggies (they're too darn cute) or overfished seafood. I feel lucky I live in Durham, NC where this lifestyle is easy, but know it wouldn't be possible in other areas. I want to support farmers ethically raising animals and restaurants buying from these farmers and at the same time engage in dialogue with others to change the perception that to be a vegetarian requires that you never eat meat, that you are grossed out by meat, and/or that you are condemning of meat eaters. I've been a vegetarian for almost 2 years now and feel like my diet is something I will be able to sustain for the rest of my life. If others stop viewing it as a diet consisting of no meat ever again, and instead "okay I'll have meat during special occasions," or even once weekly, I think they'd be less likely to fall off the wagon and revert back to a meaty diet.

    • Eve Aruguete

      I think you might be someone who should make friends with some cows and chickens. they are also cute and cool animals. thank you for eating less animals.

  • Teknomad

    No one else seems to use the argument I use, which I find is quite persuasive. Basically, I look at meat consumption metaphorically in (stock) market terms: its a massive "position" that mankind had taken, and you just can't dump this position back into the market all at once or you'll create a lot of disruption and instability. "Dumping the meat position" is the key part of the metaphor. What I mean by that is that we can't all stop eating meat tomorrow because there are millions of domesticated animals dependent on our care, living in a humongous factory system that requires vast amounts of power and human effort to manage -- shutting that off overnight would cause environmetal breakdown and untold misery for both animals and humans alike. Where will all the cows and pigs and chickens go to live? If we keep them alive in farms but dont eat them, their children would become an ever-increasing burden on humanity. So, what do we do - sterilize them? The ethical questions alone are overwhelming, but the impact on our economy would clearly be devastating.

    No...we have to "unroll the position" carefully, just like you do with a massive stock postion. Sell off a little here and there till the market begins to stabilize, then increase the sell-off...you may have to buy some back along the way to keep the market balanced. I see meat consumption the same way. Vegans are the vanguard...we need them -- they're the first wave of "sell-off". Behind them comes the meat-once-a-week crowd, the folks that the article is talking about (I'm in this group...and I'm a Buddhist). The fact that this trend exists is evidence that my metaphor has some validity! The "long tail" will be populated by die-hard meat eaters who will support a long-lived small-scale meat industry. By then, meat will be a gourmet food item, a fringe market, expensive and exclusive. That situation almost guarantees that the animals will be well-cared for. Eventually, that too will fade away.

    • Eve Aruguete

      I don't think it's an option to "dump the postition" or stop animal consumption all at once. Does anything happen all at once with humans? I don't think you need to fear people will change too quickly, for our own sake (not to mention the animals) it really can't happen quick enough. I help Vegan Outreach out in the streets every two weeks educating the public about factory farming and veganism. Even if I was out there everyday I'd be lucky if meat consumption goes down to 3/4 of what it is now by the time I die (I'm 46). At that rate we most certainly do not have to worry about what will happen to the billions of animals in farms, they will simply breed less as demand slowly goes down (this is what is happening very slowly right now). Which is what you conclude in the second paragraph of your comment. The second paragraph is hopefully our glorious transition to the end of animal/planet/human exploitation.

  • AimeeC

    I like that you pointed out that dairy-loving vegetarians can have a significant environmental impact (not to mention animal impact) as I think so many vegetarians don't know the impact of eating dairy (energy consumption, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, animal misery - not in all cases - there are still family farms who treat dairy animals well and don't take their babies away, but in the vast majority of cases, unfortunately, it's misery). I do agree, however, with TonyaAriaJewell's point that I find that when people ask why I'm vegan, I explain it and don't push my views, I let people know if we all eat a lot less, we can make a real difference; people don't have to do what I do, yet when they understand why I do it, they think about it, and I've had friends go vegan as a result of making the connection that for them, they just weren't living their values. I've had others reduce their consumption. These are very personal decisions, and not easy, and I don't judge, but I'm happy to help a thoughtful conversation to happen. And we also share yummy vegan recipes - with meat eaters who want to know more and enjoy non-meat meals!

  • Tonya

    "The real advantage, though, is that eating less meat opens up conversations about food choices with meat-eaters, while vegetarianism often shuts them down."

    The preceding statement really bothers me. What a way to generalize! I am vegan for ethical reasons; I don't consume animals or animal products because I oppose harming and killing animals. If people can't deal with this reason that's not my problem. I don't push my beliefs on anyone and rarely bring u my veganism, but I candidly answer why I'm vegan. I'm very open to dialogue, but I refuse to sugar-coat why I'm vegan.

    Frankly this article reads like a way to assuage former vegetarian guilt. I respect your path and your choices, but so much of what you wrote seems like a protracted way to make yourself feel better. Maybe my bias is showing here. I hope that's not the case.

    • Issis

      I absolutely agree Tonya. The article was sorry to the extreme ... starting with "No one questions the power of pastrami.". The animal suffering inherent in commercial and even most "family" farms is not a joke. The older I get (I'm 67) the less patience I have with the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" dictates of the animal eaters. The most tasty morsel is not worth the suffering of an animal .... in fact, the realization that transitory culinary pleasures are more often then not the end produce of years of torment for one or more sentient creatures makes the choice completely immoral. When I see someone eating a bland veal patty - often covered with sauce because it is so tasteless, knowing that it was created from slices of a young calf torn from it's mother, undernourished, raised in intolerable conditions, then trucked to slaughter, I want to butcher the "epicure".