I was raised a meat eater. We ate it with every meal. All sorts, lots of ground beef, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, and beef. It was a staple of the diet. My mom had ideas of eating less of it, and we called her a hippie. I kept with a meat rich diet for years. I thought that I couldn't do with out it. It seemed like the right thing to do. Men ate meat. Then I watched "Supersize Me". Morgan Spurlock's movie about eating at McDonalds, every meal, for a month.
What an eye opener. I had not thought about feed lots, animal cruelty, antibiotics, and the dirty conditions of packing plants. I was hooked on learning more about this subject. I read Spurlock's book based on the movie. From there I began reading Micheal Pollan's "Omnivores Dilemma", and "In Defense of Food". I found more and more material on the subject, and I ate it up (pun intended). I was opened up to a world of Big Food, corporate greed, genetic modification of plants to make them resistant to herbicides and pesticided, the role corn plays in (almost) every processed food we eat, how Big Oil and Big Food work together, how cows are fed corn, and also stuffed with antibiotics to make there stomachs able to digest corn. The gigantic lakes of waste from the feed lots. The migrant Mexican workers who are treated like slaves in the processing plants. I was appalled. How could this happen. This knowledge was the start of my changing of ideas for the way I was going to live my life. Quickly I stopped eating meat from stores when I couldn't tell where it came from, and would only eat it from local sustainable sources. I planted a garden. I began to incorporate more organic food into my diet. I can't say I am a total convert. Financial restrictions has not allowed me to make the jump to full organic eating. I have basically taken all meat out of my diet, except for fish. I try to find fish that has been line caught, versus net caught, and I don't buy fish processed outside of Canada. I also avoid farmed salmon as best as I can. To me those are feed lots that are just as polluting as the ones on land for livestock, and they are destroying fish species in other parts of the world creating an inefficient food source for something that mother nature could do for us. I have heard that cows are the biggest contributer to methane, a GHG, on the planet. The cows digestive process creates a lot of the gas, the breaking down of grasses, and other plant matter.
Not eating animals is good for the planet. Meat is heavier to transport, it is unsustainable, the calorie in to calorie out ratio is poor, and is the cause of many food borne illnesses. I am not saying don't eat meat, just eat less of it, and be choosy where is comes from. Ask questions where it comes from, and if they don't know, then don't buy is there. Buying meat from a box store is probably not a good choice.