I am a vegetarian and have been for about ten years. First it was because I met a cow at a town fair and it had a "Beef: It's What's for Dinner" poster on its stall.
Later I did research into animal cruelty, then into the health consequences of eating animals and then into the environmental impacts of mass meat production. I no longer find it morally wrong to eat animals. I think that the mass production and consumption of meat is irresponsible and that being vegetarian is a very simple way to be environmentally positive.
This Saturday at brunch when a friend cooked up some delicious huevos rancheros and offered me a slice of bacon thought, I accepted. The meat was from a pasture-raised pig from a New York local, organic farm who travelled less than one hour to a small, humane slaughter house. The bacon itself was pretty good, less greasy and fatty than bacon I remember from childhood. And it costs about four times as much per pound.
This sounds like an outrageous cost for bacon. But like the sign on a vintage shop near my apartment thing states: "Good things aren't cheap and cheap things aren't good". As food prices have gone down because we have more unhealthy, unsustainable, convenient options. Americans in the 1950s spent about 30% of their income on food which is now down to about 9.47% of their income on food: 5.55% at home and 3.93% away from home. This is this is different for different income brackets. Between tough economic times and a consumer culture that always believes more and new is better, it is easy to see how this happened.
We are now fatter and overall less healthy as a nation. Our environment is far more polluted by-products of animal production and animal feed production. (Did you know?: It takes 16 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of meat!) It might make sense that we eat less meat, but meat that is better for us and the environment and for the animal. What do you think?