Mark Bittman on Cutting Back On Meat (It's Tough Today)
TreeHugger likes to pitch the Weekday Vegetarian idea, promoted by our founder Graham Hill; for the less disciplined there are Meatless Mondays. Food writer Mark Bittman notes in the New York Times that it is a Tough Week for Meatless Monday, but points out why it is a good idea:
Our insatiable appetite for animal protein is as much of an agricultural liability as it is a nutritional one. We raise and slaughter nearly 10 billion farm animals in the United States every year (and that's not counting fish or dairy animals.) It follows, then, that a significant percentage of our corn and soy crops are used to feed the animals that give us our much-wanted (and less-needed) protein. The intensive system of animal and crop production that is fueled by our demand for meat and milk and cheese leads to all manners of abuses: animal, environmental, farm-worker -- you name it.
Not only is it bad for the environment, but it is not great for your health, either. He concludes:
The temptation to go meatless (Monday, or any other day of the week) is by no means ubiquitous in the U.S., and the notion that you can get all the protein you need from plants is even less so. But the fact that Meatless Monday's star is rising holds some promise for rethinking the way we eat. The Fourth of July may not be the day to trade in your hot dog, but the following Monday is a good one for beans and rice.