My New Thing

21 12 2008

My new thing is to eat a vegetarian lunch 4 days a week.

I read an article promoting vegetarianism, and the author said if everyone ate a vegetarian diet just one day a week, it would have a huge impact on carbon emissions. I figure I already eat a vegetarian breakfast 90% of the time (cereal and soy milk), so another 4 meals per week puts me well ahead of the one day per week model.
That article, plus gas prices, got me thinking that a partial boycott is as good or better than a total boycott. Why have gas prices plummeted since the summer? Because everyone traded in their cars for bicycles? No, everyone just drove a lot less. It’s much easier to reduce than to eliminate altogether. Meaning more people are apt to participate in a reduction, making critical mass much more attainable.

For meat-is-murder vegetarians, there’s little point in just reducing. A little murder still makes you a murderer. If you’ve been following my blog since the mySpace days, you know I don’t object to meat on principle. Are subsistence hunter/gatherers in the Amazon murderers? No. (Plus, unless you’re a vegan, you’re still somewhere on the murder continuum. And if you’re a vegan, chances are you believe the trees have feelings too. So who’s to say the soybeans don’t suffer? And how do you stop killing insects and germs? The logic is untenable unless you take yourself out of the system altogether. Please don’t do that. Anyway I digress.) What I object to is living things forced to stand in one spot inside a cell block their whole lives, being fed and drugged and bred and slaughtered with the soul purpose of maximizing mass.

The majority of people are never going to give up their steaks and pork chops. But maybe we can reduce the demand enough to get animals back into the pastures, instead of trying to mass-produce them like car parts. So I’m going to reduce my animal consumption and look for local, humane sources.

I went looking for a term for this, and apparently all that’s out there is “partial vegetarian” and “semivegetarian.” I am definitely not either of those. If I go to your house, or if we go out to eat, please consider me a card-carrying carnivore. What should I call my new thing? I like “humane-itarian,” but there’s no way that’s not confusing.

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