I say vegan, you hear hippie. I say environmentalist, you hear those freaks driving a Hybrid.
I am not going to waste my time trying to urge meat-loving omnivores to leave the steak and come and have some tofu (you won’t tell the difference, I swear). I know how hard it can be to convince someone who loves their meat to give it up. I used to be one of you. I loved meat. Chicken, bacon, seafood, steak, all delicious, and essential in anyone’s diet. I dream about eating burgers, and in my dream it’s beef, cheese and bacon, yum.
So please for a moment do not think that I am asking you to cut the manly steaks and dieter’s chicken breasts from your shopping list (although if you did, that would be super cool). I am envious that you can separate the ideas of “meat” and “animal” and still enjoy a pie. My request is not nearly as impactive on your life as that. I’m asking you, please, would you have one, or a few extra meat-free meals this week? It’s not as hard as it sounds, really. Some veggie burgers are really really delicious, fake bacon is surprisingly good (and smoky, mmm), and nachos with beans make me loco with joy.
I’m not asking this of you out of selfishness or because I’m trying to brainwash you or have a negative effect on your health. Seriously, my days of evil are over. I’m urging you to do this because of the environment (and we all love that, don’t we?). One estimate published in a UN study states that if you reduce your intake by just one 150g serve of red meat each week, you’ll save 10,000 liters of water and 300kg of greenhouse pollution in a year. Additionally, the UN reckons that 77 million tonnes of protein in the form of food is given to livestock which end up producing 58 million tonnes of protein. That’s a massive waste of energy transfer going on, which could be put to better use (say, feeding starving third-world children).
So do your part and throw a soysage on the barbie instead.