Monday, 11 October 2010 04:46

"Vegetarianism is meaningless"

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While scanning through recent blog posts in Google Reader (if you don't use it, I highly recommend it), my eyes landed on this phrase: "vegetarianism is meaningless". Of course my first reaction was, "now wait a minute...", so I read on to explore the argument. Turns out, I totally agree with it.

The quote is from Mark Bittman, who you may know of as the Vegan Till Six guy. Blisstree recently interviewed him and included the following quote in their article:
"Vegetarianism is meaningless; reducing meat consumption while increasing your intake of dairy (and often fish, since many so-called vegetarians do eat some animals) doesn’t do either you, the animal kingdom, or the planet any good: you’re still eating too many animal products, the animals still suffer and die, and the greenhouse gases aren’t reduced, at least by much.   
Veganism is probably the ultimate goal, but in my opinion you can’t even get a small percentage of our population to believe that, any more than you can get them to give up their cars. Reduced consumption of animal products and processed food, and an increased intake of plants is a move in the right direction, and one everyone can live with."
Mark's right, most of our population does not want to go vegetarian, let alone vegan. However, many are willing to reduce the amount of animal products that they eat. As a journalist and activist I've had to learn to accept that this may be as far as most people will go, but at least it's something. In fact, Mark himself hasn't given up animal products entirely, although the article doesn't really explain why, especially since he gives some really good arguments for going veg in the article...

What are your thoughts on the quote? Do you think vegetarianism is meaningless? And if so, why aren't more people vegan?
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