Some say you can’t beat the meat for nutrition. I disagree. To quote Rutger Hauer’s character in Blade Runner: It’s not only irrational, it’s unsportsmanlike!
I haven’t been much of a meat eater for a long time, but I think I’m going to finally commit to a rule that will make me more or less vegetarian: I won’t eat it unless I kill it myself. When you take an objective look at eating meat, there’s virtually no rational reason to do it. Even if you don’t care about the brutality of “harvesting” it, it doesn’t offer nutrients that can’t be found elsewhere, it’s arguably unhealthy, it has multiple negative impacts on the environment including deforestation and habitat destruction, excessive water consumption, pollution and greenhouse gas production, and on top of all that, it contributes to starvation worldwide. Not a very good scorecard. I’m even finding it hard to justify eating fish; as I joked with a friend the other day: Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll be starving in 50 years. So why have I suddenly decided on the change in diet? It’s not really so sudden. I’ve avoided corn-centric food and gone light on meat proteins since the 80′s, because of Diet for a New America, but recently I watched three films in a one-week period that drove it all home:
Earthlings, a 2003 documentary written and directed by Shaun Monson and narrated by Joaquin Phoenix. Although a bit monotonous and suffering from an almost amateurish voiceover job (Phoenix has a great voice but extremely uneven delivery), the film’s narrative is deeply thoughtful and the slaughterhouse images throughout the film speak volumes on their own.
Food, Inc., Which in their words “lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA” putting “profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment”.
Death on a Factory Farm, HBO’s 2006 documentary that takes a harrowing look at animal cruelty in an Ohio factory hog farm, as chronicled through undercover footage taken by “Pete,” an animal-rights investigator hired by the animal rights group The Humane Farming Association.
But alas, I’ve herd many are not mooved by these films, and in fact remain udderly indifferent to the issue. No matter. I will remain uncowed in my pursuit of a healthy new diet.