Sunday, July 27, 2008
So we just checked out Vegan with a Vengeance from our local public library. We've been vegetarian in this house for a little while. For us, it's primarily an environmental thing. Simply put, growing animals to eat uses resources and adds to global warming. It's just another thing we saw that we could do, just like when we rearranged our lives to make it easy, we were able to give up our car and go car free.
But I've been thinking, what if animal products such as eggs and dairy are nearly as hard on the environment as meat. I've also read that some people consider the "vegetarian" stance to be ethically unsupportable, that the only way to be a real vegetarian is to be a vegan, because by their nature, the production of eggs and dairy leads to the creation and death of animals. Most chickens that stop laying enough go to the stew pot. Milk can only keep coming year round by the making of lots of calves and almost all of the males don't survive long.
I'm not certain. I do know that it would be pretty hard for me to go cold turkey vegan. I'm not overly fond of soy and sometimes don't feel well if I eat too much of it, so that limits how much tofu I can eat. And I'll be honest, after trying it several times, I really do loathe the taste of soy "milk". It's certainly easier to not worry about things like am I getting enough protein and other nutrients when I'm eating dairy and eggs. I love milk and cheese, the taste of them.
For the moment, I'm not going to give them up completely, but I have decided to try and eat far less of them. I'm going to try and always use oil instead of butter when cooking. I'm going to try and learn to drink my iced coffee black. And maybe I'll even learn to live without swiss cheese on my tempeh reuben. And I have to believe that the changes I've made to my diet are helping at least some, even if I do give into an omelet once and a while.
This beautiful photo of vegetables from a market in Helsinki was taken by the flickr user Philocrites. Isn't it just gorgeous? The rest of his photos are beautiful as well.