As an environmentalist, member of my university’s people and planet society and all round lover of animals I have always felt a certain pressure to become a vegetarian. However these are not the only attributes I have that contribute to the matter at hand. I am also the granddaughter of a farmer. Because of this I have been brought up with a strong understanding of the process of killing animals for food and why without people eating meat many of them would not even be alive in the first place. I have always believed that if the animal has had a good life and little has been wasted of their remains there shouldn’t be any problems with eating meat. Although what does upset me is that this is not always the case and many animals are mistreated. As well as the environmental impacts like methane release from cows and the destruction of forest for land as clear negative externalities of eating meat.
One thing I do know for sure though is that I disagree with people choosing to be pescatarians. I understand that some people just prefer fish and that is fine but for those who are just doing it to ‘look good’ I feel like they are basically saying ‘stuff the oceans’. As fish stocks quickly dwindle, our oceans are becoming more and more scarce, especially elite species like the bluefin tuna which has been fished to endangerment, and pescatarianism is not helping this. Fish should be enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle but also enjoyed bearing in mind a healthy planet.
So I suppose if I were to become a vegetarian I would technically want to be a ‘lacto-ovo-vegetarian’, eating only non-vegetarian food and dairy products. I love cooking and know vegetarian food can be equally as delicious as dishes with meat in so there wouldn’t be any problems in that department. I did read about a new strand of vegetarians called ‘flexitarians’. These people only eat meat for a couple of meals a week and even then it is in small portions and everything else they consume is vegetarian food. Maybe I will take this up? It seems like a good first step. Or maybe I will just take the full plunge and become a lacto-ovo-vegetarian as a New Year’s resolution?