I have been eating meat for the past 6 months. After 5 Christmases of eating veg-sausages I crumbled in front of Christmas turkey. Now I eat meat on a pretty much daily basis.
So why have I gone from one extreme to the other? The reason could be because I was caught up with everybody else in thinking about vegetarianism as a binary – vegetarian/meat eater. I know a few vegetarians and loads of meat eaters – but no-one who is in between. In fact the average Brit eats the equivalent of a lamb chop and a chicken breast every day.
In an inspirational TED talk, Graham Hill asks, quite simply, that we become weekend meat eaters. It makes complete sense – we are idiots for eating meat every day. Look at the facts:
- Eating less meat would be better for the environment
- 100 million more people could be fed if Americans cut down their meat intake by 10%.
- The humans that work in American abbatoirs work in some of the worst conditions in the manufacturing industry. Poor uneducated workers are exploited and child labour is often reported.
- People love their pets but we treat bred animals horrifically – submitting them to tortuous conditions. Look here if you have the stomach for it.
I’m sure our vast meat consumption is profitable to the businesses involved – and that is probably why we are conditioned not to think about what we eat too much. Yet hardly anyone would actually kill an animal – and if they did they would see things from a completely different perspective.
Personally – I’ve always had a niggling feeling that the way a society treats its animals feeds up to the way a society treats their citizens. I also found that becoming a vegetarian makes you think about things differently – you sort of become a bit more concious of the world around you. The other major benefit of becoming a vegetarian was that, since I couldn’t really on meaty ready meals, I learnt to cook with vegetables, herbs and spices. And I can testify that there are a LOT of tasty vegetarian meals that are far better than the meat dishes I’ve recently been devouring.
It really isn’t that hard to become vegetarian – trust me! I don’t get why people seem so quick to assume they would fail. So why not start treating meat as a treat –
It’ll be great if this meme spreads through the net and we see a noticeable decrease in meat consumption. After all, it’s not just Paul McCartney that praises a meat free diet. Plato, Aristotle, Socrates up to Darwin and Einstein – philosophers across time have approved the idea of vegetarianism (let’s forget that Hitler was a vegetarian). As Einstein said – “If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind”
So yeah – I’m gonna eat meat on weekends from now on and aim to stop altogether. And this blog post is my little addition to (hopefully) help make the meme spread.