Post # 16
I think that what you’re doing is absolutely making a difference! I’m vegan for ethical and environmental reasons and I think it’s great that so many people are choosing to cut back on animal products. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing to make an impact. I’ll also say that it gets easier over time to eat out… you get really fast at scanning menus to figure out what could be modified to be vegan, and you may find yourself naturally gravitating toward places where you’ll have more options.
Post # 17
mrshomemaker: Thanks for that information! I’m actually a journalist in the agriculture industry (which that itself feels very conflicting to what I’m trying to do) so I completely get what you’re saying about consuming a lot of corn and soybean. Fortunately we don’t eat a lot of soybean-based products due to health-related concerns, but I haven’t paid as much attention to corn. It’s something I’ll be cognizant of going forward.
My husband and I have talked about joining a CSA so we get locally sourced products and I plan on looking into that. My father-in-law used to own chickens as pets and would give us eggs, and I loved how natural and ethical it was to use those eggs, knowing they didn’t come from a factory farm.
Post # 18
Vlana: Thanks for the encouragement 🙂 Yes, Cowspiracy was the reason my husband and I made the committment. We were vegetarians for a few months and then went back to eating meat, because I missed hamburgers, if I’m being honest. Then we watched that and I have not had a craving for a hamburger since!
Post # 19
charlie486: I agree. I’m not one of those people who thinks everyone should give up meat because that’s just not going to happen. And we have noticed how better we feel cutting meat completely out. We had been eating a primarily plant-based diet before and decided we’d go vegan after Christmas because we knew it’d be impossible not to eat meat while visiting families. We spent a little over a week and a half with both families and I couldn’t believe how different I felt because of the amount of meat we were consuming. I love my family, but I was definitely looking forward to getting home and starting this diet.
Post # 20
ShoeGal89: The thing about being/eating vegan is that it is not just about eliminating meat, it is about eliminating foods that have an impact on animals natural environments. So that means things like palm oil (natural forrest destruction) which is in a lot of things which appear vegan.
January was vegan awareness month and there is a great website attached to that veganary which has helpful shopping information and great recipes including a great one for making vegan cheese. We don’t eat a lot of the prepackaged vegan food, it isn’t really available here and what there is is expensive so we just make from scratch. But to minimise our carbon footprint we grow our own vegetables/fruit and have joined a vegie swap/co-op. Basically we pay $40 a month and give up two weekend days a month and we go out to farms within 100km and buy the non-supermarket quality fruit/veg off the growers. Between all the members (because we all do different weekends) this means every week we have a box of fresh and cheap fruit and veg which would have just been ploughed back into the ground. We don’t care if our apple has a few spots on it or our carrots are misshappened. All members also provide overstock from their own vegie gardens/fruit trees as well.
The happy cow website is good for finding vegan friendly restaurants as well. We are lucky as we have 3 or 4 high quality vegan restaurants nearby but also a lot of vegan friendly but just make sure to enquire about stocks used as often they use the stock on hand which won’t be vegan/vegetarian.
Post # 21
ShoeGal89: That’s awesome! You probably already knew all of that stuff already! It’s easy to drive yourself crazy with all the conflicts and hypocrasy but at the end of the day sometimes you have to just go with your gut. You feel better not eating meat and of course it does have a fantastic environmental impact. I think as long as we’re always questioning and looking for a better way and living with intention we can’t go wrong.
Post # 22
I was also very moved by cowspiracy. I have made drastic changes in my meat consumption since then. I’m also a frugal weirdo that washes and reuses zip lock bags ect. Always for looking for more ethical and cost efficient ways of doing things!
Post # 23
Cutting back on consumption except for a couple times a year is obviously better than being a full-time meat eater, but when people say this, I find it insulting to use the vegan or vegetarian labels. Real ones don’t use any “but” or “except” disclaimers. Just my vegetarian opinion.
Post # 24
Sorry, but the rational answer is no, in the grand scheme of things you are not making a difference. Not a single animal farm will close because the two of you are not eating meat. And eating it a couple of times a year or not matters even less. If you like your new diet and you feel good about it, then that’s perfectly fine, but don’t go telling people that you are helping prevent climate change.
Post # 25
don’t be discouraged, eating less meat and dairy is the biggest (and to me, easiest) change you can make to become more sustainable/low C02/environmentally friendly. Still not easy, but has a much greater impact than shorter showers (the stat thrown around is that you’d have to not shower at all for 6 months to save as much water as would be saved by not eating 1 hamburger).
you definitely are making a difference. there are now a lot more vegetarian/vegan products and businesses definitely do respond to changes in demand, that’s the core of how businesses work. because althiough it feels like it’s just you, it’s not and together you and all the other wonderful people eating vegan/vegetarian/flexitarian are making a big difference. not only to reducing meat consumption, but also to increasing awareness of the importance of this and encouraging others to follow this path.
Post # 26
ShoeGal89: You can only do what you can do. There is no such thing as 100% vegan. I went vegan last year for both ethical and environmental reasons, and yes, I might have slipped up (mainly without knowing but once or twice temptation has got the better of me with some old favourites) but I think it is really helpful to remind yourself why you are making these changes.
If everyone thought “if it’s just me, I’m probably not making a difference” then nothing would ever change!
Post # 27
I was a vegetarian for 16 years and a vegan for about 5 of those years. I read an article in Food and Wine magazine about how some life long vegetarians, like Mollie Katzen, had started eating meat – that was naturally and ethically raised, becuase that meat was less processed than a lot of vegetarian options, like tofu and setain. That started me reading a bunch of books, like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, all Michael Pollen books and The End of Food.
Here’s my take away from those books. You alone “going vegan” isn’t going to do anything to help climate change. It’s just not. Unfortunately the crappy way the US processes meat as well as other foods has become more and more standard around the world – so at this ponit, there would need to be a global movement for there to be any kind of change.
And as Michael Pollen points out in “In the defense of food” (I think) – if you think shopping at Whole Foods is a good alternative, it’s not – it used to source local goods, but it has gotten so big that it is about the same as most supermarkets. What Whole Foods does that is good is it does tell you where the food is from.
If you are really concerned about climate change – then you need to think of where all of your food comes from. Not just meat. Only buy local, seasonal produce. Are you living in a cold climate eating bananas in February? You need to think about how those bananas became available for you to eat. This would apply to any fruit, vegetable, meat, etc. Some thinking that farmer’s markets or CSAs are good – but you also need to research how far the food is traveling, because it is most likely by car.
It’s really overwhelming when you start to think about it. It’s so much more than not eating meat.
Post # 28
I think being vegan is one way to help the environment, obviously there are other things to take into consideration too, but animal agriculture has an enormous impact on our environment therefore eliminating it from your lifestyle is a great start.
Can one person change the world? Regardless of what you think, that should NOT stop anyone from being vegan. Sure, just because one person goes vegan, it doesn’t mean an animal farm will be shut down but there is a ripple effect where if one person ignites a change in those around them, we can eventually lead to a tangible change. Notice how there are more vegan options available than ever before? Eg Ben and Jerry’s have now released a vegan ice cream range, due to demand.
And even if going vegan DIDN’T change a single thing, that is NOT an excuse to NOT go vegan. For example, if I find stealing to be a horrible crime and choose not to partake in it, other people around the world will still have their things stolen by other people. My refusal to steal does nothing. Does that mean that just because I can’t stop theft globally that I should just steal whatever I want?
Post # 29
You absolutely need to read Eating Animals. It reveals the devastating impact that factory farms have on the environment.
Post # 30
I definitely think you’re making a difference! I grew up in a household where there HAD to be meat at every meal so I went from meat literally being in everything, to a vegetarian five years ago. I’m working on dairy now, so maybe I’ll be a vegan before long 😉 It definitely gets easier to skip meat. I used to be like yall and crave a cheese burger or chicken parm when I went out, but I felt so much better once I stopped having it that I rarely miss it.
I think the little things we all do absolutely have an impact. Try not to feel guilty!