Our editorial staff faced a brief discussion when looking at the calendar lately: do we write something about the World Vegetarian Day or do we shut up about it? Can we say what we think, do we all agree or do we maybe confront our readers and perhaps ourselves? It is a fact that today is the 42 time we celebrate the meatless holiday founded by the American Vegetarian Society in 1977.
Over the years, it was picked up by many institutions and associations with an interest in spreading the word about the positive effects resulting from vegetarian or vegan nutrition – sanitary and ecologically.
A favorite argument: “I eat way less meat too. “
So why did we give this a bunch of thoughts in the first place? Our office is suited with representatives of vegetarianism, veganism, and carnism. There are even pescetarians, so all the standard boxes are checked. One thing we can agree on is that we live in a peaceful habitat when it comes to our lunch breaks. Therefore we decided to give this article a go. First things first all vegetarians and vegans probably know the situation of being confronted with their choice of eating. It happens when people offer food or when they double-check with the waiter if there are any meat or dairy products in a dish. Promptly the reaction appears that oneself (speaking of the meat-eating opposite) goes way easier on the meat, meaning eating less. As if it was a bad thing to begin with. It isn’t! It is the what and how that matters.
Now we have to differ very carefully: Some vegetarians and vegans are bombing meat-eaters chat with worst-case-animal-farming-videos when someone “confesses “to eat meat. On the other hand, some people feel quite provoked when people tell them they don’t eat meat. Maybe to them, it sounds like “I am not doing what you do because it is wrong or even worse.”
It is not every vegetarian’s and vegan’s responsibility to criticize and convert people that do eat meat. In the end, this delicate topic needs an open dialog with a shared respect for the other side, and yes we do realize we could be on thin ice here.
Introducing a new consumer species: the Climate-Eco-Flexitarian
It turns out nutrition has become an unpleasant topic somehow. Since it has something to do with our personality, a valuation or an accusation can deeply hurt and force some people into defense.
On World Vegetarian Day all of us, meaters and none-meaters alike would like to speak out for an al least temporary nutrition. It is a fact that excessive and cheap consumption of meat is an essential topic in today’s environmentalism. The high water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of industrial animal farming are the cause of immense long-term damages. The reduction of those would drastically improve our overall situation – it is as simple as a, b, c!
Everyone, eating meat or not, is sitting in the same boat and therefore in charge of improving the status quo. Nobody has to give up eating meat for good, but everyone can decide for themselves to make a difference and reduce and look out for quality and origins. It’s the question of which adjustments we can make to enable change.
The mastership is in the restraint (Goethe)!
Transferring the most simple economic rule, “demand determines the price, ” that we can live by and use to make a change. Who refrains from eating meat out of eco-unfriendly origins does their part. It is as simple as that. It’s a little hard to change yourself and not to point the finger at politicians or the industry. Change lies within the individual.
Yes, this is us pointing the finger, at least for a bit. It is just essential for everyone to realize that not everyone can fight every battle. We are saying those who consciously eat meat can be as good as a climate change activist as someone who does not eat meat at all. There are various other ways to improve our situation, no matter how small they are.
So far our two cents on the World Vegetarian Day. Bon appétit!