Friday, November 20, 2009

Vegan Dreams

From The Wildlife Society Blog:

Vegan Dreams

November 18th, 2009

A recent op ed in The Washington Post by James McWilliams, an associate professor of history at Texas State University at San Marcos, argues the environmental virtues of a vegetarian diet. There is no doubt that there are many ethical issues surrounding the modern, commercialized production of food for human consumption. For example, the author points out that it takes a gallon of gasoline to produce a pound of beef. Then there is the excessive use of water, fertilizers and antibiotics, all of which are potentially hurting the environment. And who can forget that flatulent grass fed cows produce four times the amount of methane as grain fed cows–a green house gas 21 times as powerful as carbon dioxide. Then, there is also the issue of the treatment of domesticated animals, which the author decries as often being inhumane. While animal welfare (not rights) is not an environmental issue per se, it certainly is an important consideration. While I am no vegetarian, I do believe that the animals I eat should be killed humanely.

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