Dispatches from the 6th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition
via Environmental footprint of vegetarian diets 30% lower, say researchers. (click link to read article)
In tenth grade biology class I had one of those moments of perfect consciousness wherein my mind zoomed waaaaaaaaaay out and what I “saw” was the big picture as far as animal agriculture goes. I realized that by eating lower on the food chain, we as a species could solve world hunger and bring about massive global environmental changes.
It took me many years to reach the point where I feel that for the most part, my ideals and my actions have synced up and as a result I strongly advocate for people “doing better” rather than aiming for “being perfect”. I wear the same leather and wool items I’ve been wearing for 13 years, but I no longer buy new ones. I do this because, I think it’s more disrespectful to the animals to waste and pollute through excess consumption, than I think it is to continue using things until they cease to function. For me this does not include “luxury items”, I won’t wear fur, or fancy “fashion items” which are made from animals, but I sure as hell will wear my leather trimmed winter boots until I need to buy new vegan ones.
My diet is “mostly vegan” meaning that if I’m at my moms and she makes a meal for me and accidentally didn’t notice that the veggie burgers she bought have casein in them or something, I will eat them, but I will also teach her how to read labels better for next time. Sometimes I think that being a little flexible and showing people that you CHOOSE to make ethical choices for yourself is a more valuable lesson than pooh poohing their efforts is.
By showing my mom HOW to do things I’ve really helped her to get both her dangerously high cholesterol back to a healthy level, as well as stabilizing her blood sugar. Had I yelled at her or acted disgusted by the casein in the burgers and refused to eat “family dinner” that night, I’d likely have put her off of the idea of continuing to explore vegan options. She now eats probably 90% vegetarian and 60% vegan meals on her own.
So yeah, I do my best and encourage others to work toward theirs too, rather than condemning myself and others for being imperfect. This middle path seems to be creating miracles in my world.