One of the highest-impact lifestyle changes a person can make in the name of environmentalism is to go veggie. It takes – as this blog’s image illustrates – 698 and ½ gallons of water to make a hamburger, and a whoppering 616 of those can be attributed to production of the beef itself. Let’s not even talk about how much CO2 it took to put that patty on your plate, or how many doses of antibiotics were injected into the cow between birth and… well.
But for the past few years, Treehugger.com founder Graham Hill – model eco-citizen that he (truly) is –has been telling us we don’t have to give up meat wholesale. We can, he says, get all the glory and almost all the climate change brownie points that vegetarians enjoy, and still spring for a sustainably raised roast chicken or grassfed burger on Saturday night, still have bacon with our eggs at Sunday brunch. Is it true? Can we really have our ham and eat it too?
It seems we can. The Vegetarian Star – an online newsletter for celebrity vegetarian gossip and news, which, if you can believe it, really does exist – has praised Hill for becoming a “flexitarian.” It seems many vegetarians and vegans may actually be far more open-minded and accepting of sometimes-carnivores than they can often seem. I, for example, have a friend who had been vegetarian since birth, and yet who continues to associate with me even when I order chicken. And I have a sneaking suspicion that said friend appreciates any efforts I make to move towards vegetarianism, though he knows I have no plans to ever become a full on veggie.
From The Weekday Vegetarian blog:
“We focus much of the blame of global warming on our driving habits and on gas guzzling SUVs, when in fact according the 2006 United Nations report on global warming, our voracious appetite for meat and dairy is actually causing more harm to the environment than our cars.”
The blog posts recipes and photos of completed dishes to make weekdayism look mouth-watering. It’s enough to make you want to tattoo their slogan, which they happen to have borrowed from Michael Pollan, on your bicep: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly vegetables.”
Paul McCartney, by the way, agrees that there’s honor in moderation – he’s a great one for meat-free Mondays. But of course, it’s not the gimmick you choose that matters – meat-free Monday, weekday vegetarian, no-turkey-on-Tuesdays, whatever – it’s the realization that vegetarianism isn’t a yes or no thing, anymore. After all, how many people do you know who went cold turkey and lasted only a few months, a year? Why not try baby steps, instead?