First off, full disclosure: I’ve been a vegetarian for 13 years.
Yes, I am one of THEM.
Nonetheless, I consider myself less ‘tree hugger’ and more ‘selfish environmentalist’. I avoid meat for a very simple reason: I cannot trust the quality of meat at the price level I’ll end up buying it at.
If I was a billionaire, and could fly in an organic Kobe steak any time I had hunger pangs, then perhaps I would still be eating meat. But as the last few years of hormones, E.Coli, Mad Cow, recalls and much more has show me, the average consumer gets a very different type of meat when they sit down to dinner.
There’s more to it than bad quality, however. I just finished watching a show called Planeat which discussed the need to eat better, and (surprise) eat meals with little or no animal content. In it, they showed studies that large long-term consumption of animal products was detrimental to health, in particular regarding cholesterol and heart disease, and that just avoiding meat, dairy, eggs, etc. for a month or two can make dramatic differences.
It was sort of an introduction to another video I watched earlier on, Forks Over Knives
which goes into the same topics in much more scientific detail (it also references at least two of the same scientists). In that movie, they discussed more about how increased animal consumption for food is linked to higher levels of diabetes and heart disease.
I won’t belabor the point here, except to mention that if you have mediocre health, you owe it to yourself to get as many health-related and food-related viewpoints as you can stomach (pun intended!) Buy or check out the two DVDs from your local library (but not just right now in Victoria – I’ve got them both!) and give them a view. You may not make the jump to vegetarian or vegan living, but you might try it for a little while, and perhaps improve your health a bit.
…On the other hand, you might get something in the videos that will jumpstart a healthier lifestyle for you – and that IS a matter of life or death!