Updated: Nov 20, 2022
I want to preface this blog post by saying that this discussion is from an environmental standpoint. It won't discuss the ethics behind eating animals as this isn't a field in which I currently feel well-informed. However, I will delve into it in the future and explore these thoughts in a separate post.
Our diet has been a hot topic for a while now. We seem to have identified ourselves by our dietary choices. These choices are very personal to us, and we shouldn't be made to feel bad about them. Some of us identify as vegans, some pescatarians, and others as meat-eaters. No matter which category we fit under, most of us share the same ideology - having a deep-rooted care for nature and our living environment. Over lockdown, when some of us were fortunate enough to spend more time outdoors, I think we benefitted from and enjoyed what nature has to offer. Going on walks around our local parks, listening to the birdsong, and being more present. I would love to welcome these changes within society. I think one way in which those fortunate enough to make choices around their diets must adopt a more sustainable diet to ensure we preserve nature. However, I appreciate this isn't accessible to all due to insufficient time, money, or know-how.
We can also apply the rhetoric of identity to many other views on life: our political standpoints, our sexuality, and our ethnicity. By pigeonholing ourselves within these different groups, we are identifying our differences. However, this makes us forget what we all have in common—our humanity. I believe we are all fundamentally the same good people who want to do what's right, but it is often difficult to do what is 'right' within our current system for many reasons.
I grew up eating meat, and I currently eat meat. However, this hasn't always been the case. I tried going vegan for six months a few years ago and found that my health suffered. I don't know exactly why this was, but I feel better when animal products are part of my diet. I don't believe that eating meat makes me a bad person.
I agree with plant-based diets. I think with the evidence out there, it is vital that we try to reduce the quantity of meat we consume. There are so many metrics by which we can measure the sustainability of our food, from the amount produced to land and other resources required, to greenhouse gas emissions, to name a few. However, the evidence shows that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is good for us.
I don't think we need a world full of perfect vegans. We need a global community of imperfect people doing their best to reduce meat consumption. I don't see our global community completely going vegan, so we also need to farm the meat we do eat using more sustainable practices. By this, I mean in a way that isn't so damaging to the environment we rely upon for our survival (ecosystem services such as oxygen production, carbon dioxide absorption, and cultural/leisure activities).
We also need to rethink our attitudes toward food waste. Food is essential to life and seems to be a miracle of nature, so how can we waste this stuff? If you'd like to read more about food waste, you can check out my previous blog post here.
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what I have discussed here, so feel free to contact me here or leave a comment on this post. I hope you have an amazing day ❤️