Sunday, February 14, 2010

To start, a manifesto

It's possible some will be scared by the title of this blog. Food is very, very personal. I've been a vegetarian for just over 12 years, and have, for the most part, abstained from lecturing others or going off on big rants about the evils of meat. I've always believed that people make their food choices for a number of reasons, some financial, some cultural and some - let's face it - just based on pure laziness. It is a highly sensitive and personal cocktail of factors. I was always of the opinion that being vegetarian worked for me (I have never struggled to contain meat cravings, and feel incredibly healthy) but it really wasn't my business what anyone else ate.

Recently, I changed my mind.

The reason is actually environmental. Over the last few years, I have watched as NBC trotted out its green peacock and every hotel and motel on earth started touting its earth-friendliness in self-congratulatory in-room literature. As nearly everyone I knew began replacing traditional bulbs with CFLs, diligently recycling, buying hybrid vehicles and otherwise changing their lives out of respect for our dear and beautiful planet a completely different trend was raging. Meat is EVERYWHERE. It is in everything. And it is cheap.

Here's the problem. Meat is soooo bad for the planet, and it's bad for us too. There are a number of excellent articles that document the environmental impact of eating meat and of the United States' industrial meat-production system ("Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler," from the NY Times is a great example). But for some reason, people are highly threatened by any suggestion they should eat less meat or that their food choices could make a much, much bigger impact on their personal carbon footprint than all the CFLs their home will ever need.

So I've changed my mind. It is my place to set the record straight. We certainly don't seem to be moving in the right direction - meat consumption goes up every year, in our country and in others. So I'm here to tell you you CAN cut back and feel great, that exploring vegetarian cooking is exciting and fun, and that if you decide to embrace a lower level of meat consumption (or even to give it up entirely, but I'm not a completely cock-eyed optimist) you will be doing something incredible for the planet, for animals and for your own health.

This blog will be a combination of recipes, article links, my opinions on food and food issues, book recommendations and advice. Please, let me know what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Amy - I think you are spot-on here. The link between meat consumption and pollution/climate change is illustrated in almost every book I have read about vegetarianism. If we all stopped eating steak and pork we could drive Hummers guilt-free. There are so many reasons NOT to eat meat but the impact of factory farming on the planet is #1 for me.