Thursday, September 3, 2009

Falling off the vegetarian wagon

Posted By on Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 10:30 AM

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Attached to the debate over concentrated animal feeding operations and conditions at slaughterhouses is the growing trend of reduced-meat or meat-free diets.

We've once again reach the point in the cycle where a vegetarian diet is being advocated from a moral viewpoint about sustainability and doing as little harm as possible to the environment and our fellow creatures. Beth Mendenhall, a senior at Kansas State University, makes that point in a recent editorial in the K-State Collegian:

Bacon is delicious. I know it, you know it, even the pigs probably know it. Despite its tastiness, however, eating meat is bad for the environment and human health and causes billions of animals to suffer needlessly.

And you may start seeing advocacy for a meat-free diet in unexpected places. The Associated Press reports

that People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently offered

Topeka a $6,000 payment for the right to place an advertisement

promoting a vegetarian diet -- a woman in a bikini made of lettuce

leaves -- on the side of a Shawnee County recycling truck.

One group that might not be affected by the proposed bikini ads is veterinarians. In a USA Today opinion piece, veterinarian Patty Khuly wrote that vets are sometimes faced

with unfair pressure to avoid eating meat in light of their chosen

profession:

If only the naysayers could begin to

accept that individual moral progress is far preferable to a slavish

adherence to any one particular animal rights dogma ... then perhaps

veterinarians could catch a break every once in a while when the dinner

bell rings.

And there will always be people who fall off the wagon -- especially if they left behind a life of bacon. It's debatable whether enough people will stick with a reduced-meat or meat-free diet to make a cultural change in America. 

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