Wednesday, 25 April 2012

V for Vegetarian

I wanted to see if becoming vegetarian could be one of the most important and effective actions I can take to ease the strain on the Earth's limited resources, protect the planet from pollution, prevent global warming, and save countless species from extinction... 

I am not a vegetarian though I did attempt to be one for a while in my 20’s, but I am pondering this quote:

‘if everyone skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than a half-million cars off our roads. ‘  [from Become an Eco-vegetarian]

edamame - a vegetarian staple
But then there is the fact that it is argued that the average rich world vegetarian may not consume much less of the planet's resources than the average moderate omnivore: a report for the Worldwide Fund for Nature (download pdf) on the impact of food production pointed out that highly processed vegetarian meat substitutes or foods made of imported soya might actually use more arable land and resources than their beef or dairy equivalents. Deforestation in the developing world to grow cheap soya for human and animal feed is a major issue in climate change. 

However some would say that the way we breed animals for food is a threat to the planet, that it pollutes our environment while consuming huge amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides and drugs.

So are vegetarians more eco than meat eaters? 


  1. Never been sure why not eating meat every now and then is such a difficult thing. Having baked potatoes with baked beans for dinner tonight, but I don't bother calling it vegetarian. Do it more because it's cheaper than for any moral/environmental reasons.
    thanks for sharing

  2. My thought - which may be controversial, so I'll brace myself - is that if we all went vegetarian, sheep and pigs and cows would become extinct because there would be no reason for them any more. Or, at a push, we'd end up with wild sheep!

  3. My Aunt and cousin became vegetarian about 6 months go for health purposes. I eat a diet that is highly vegetarian fare, but I still eat some meats. I believe there is a healthy way to eat meat with veggies and fruit - where the meat is proportionally just right. Great post.