The greenhouse gas emissions from the production of meat are larger than the emissions of transportation. This realization has driven me to rethink the way I eat. I gave up meat on the weekdays and allowed myself to have meat on the weekends – I have become a weekday vegetarian.
It isn’t a diet, it is a change in my lifestyle. My choice lead me to more responsible thought about exactly what I’m eating. Cutting-out 5/7ths of the meat from my diet forced me to try new foods and in doing so I have been introduced to a whole new world of food. I have come to appreciate the organic and locally grown options on Miami University’s campus, and I can’t help but wish there were more. I believe if students were given more options outside of the realm of the mass-produced meats, it would be much easier for everyone to start eating more responsibly.
It is likely that my weekday vegetarianism will eventually spread to the weekends as well. When I am getting food now I hardly consider non-vegetarian options. The processed chicken and beef no longer appeal to me. What started out as a way for me to be more sustainable in my diet was really only the beginning of a new culinary and sustainability adventure.
We should all be more concerned with where our food is coming from. Rather than approaching this from the grim “do or die” angle of gas emissions and a rapidly heating planet, I should emphasize all of the wonderful things that are grown sustainably. I have found an overwhelming variety of meatless options that have proved to be more delicious than most of what I was eating before. I feel that it is my personal duty to introduce more people to the weekday vegetarian diet. Not only is it saving our environment, it happens to be delicious. That idea has become my mantra: “To save and savor.” We are all capable of expanding our horizons and securing our future one bite at a time.
For a much more engaging, intelligent take on this and my personal inspiration check out Graham Hill’s TED talk.