(CA) Reasons why we should all be vegetarian
- [Times and Transcript - opinion]
Last Monday Gwynne Dyer wrote an article about the food crisis that
the world is facing.
He chose as the point of conflict the creation of ethanol -- and
rightly so; if food becomes fuel for machines, we are in trouble given
the insatiable need our culture seems to have for fossil fuels. Dyer
quotes information saying that at present 30 per cent of America's
grains go to ethanol and while that number will continue to rise there
is a looming crisis in terms of feeding people.
On Thursday CBC Radio ran an interview on using potatoes to produce
plastics -- or at least, plastic replacement products. Again, same
This is completely true and part of our global environmental problem.
Eliminating ethanol, however, is not the easiest way to solve the food
crisis. Vegetarianism is.
At the same time, it just doesn't make sense anymore to raise animals
for food; if for no other reason, then because the population of the
Earth will soon surpass our ability to raise livestock and we will be
forced to live off grains and plants.
There are two books I urge you to read if you want more information on
what I am about to say: "Diet for a Small Planet" by Frances Moore
Lappé; and "Becoming Vegetarian" by Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis.
Both of these will explain the nutritional science and debunk a lot of
the myths surrounding vegetarianism; as well as giving some pretty
compelling social reasons to choose to eat differently.
Consider this: Food animals are raised, by and large, in an inhumane
manner. 10 billion animals, not including fish, are slaughtered in
North America every year to feed us; and despite what we might like to
think, they are subject to appalling growth, transport and slaughter
practices. Animals do have rights, and they certainly do have
feelings. We would never treat our pets the way we treat our food; and
yet many breeds of livestock are more aware than some of our pets.
Seriously though -- there is an ethical reason to get on board; and
whether we like it or not, the day is coming quite soon when we will
have to admit we simply cannot grow enough food, or collect enough
water, or waste enough fuel transporting the animals we use for food.
It would be easier to start making the changes today -- who knows, you
might even live longer.
n Brett Anningson is a resident of Moncton and a writer who strives
for a deeper perspective of life and society. His column appears in
this space every Monday. He may be reached via e-mail at
brettanningson@..., or visit his blog at
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