BREAKING NEWS: I’ve decided I’m going to become more of a vegetarian again. I don’t consider myself a meat aficionado, but lately I haven’t been able to get away from the thought about what a huge impact eating meat has on the rest of the world. It’s such a selfish, short-minded thing, in terms of its impacts on our ecosystems, inputs required, and nasty outputs from the way most meat is produced in this country.
At best, raising meat is a highly inefficient way to feed a population. So really, if I’m going to work towards living more sustainably and being less of a consumer, it was only a matter of time before I got to the conundrum of meat.
So what do I mean by becoming “more” of a vegetarian? I’ve decided to only eat locally produced meats – meats from farms I could actually go visit within the state of Indiana. This has the added bonuses of:
- Supporting local farmers
- Lightening my footprint in terms of greenhouse gas production
- Minimizing the hormones and antibiotics that go into my meat (and, by extension, into me)
- Limiting the amount of energy required to get meat from the farm to my place, simply based on its proximity
Win. Win. Win. WIN.
I’m also super lucky that our neighborhood restaurants seemingly more often than not feature meats sourced locally. No, I don’t have to give up my occasional burger at Twenty Tap, which uses hormone- and antibiotic-free meat from Fischer Farms. Thank goodness for that.
Did you know it takes 35 kcal of fossil energy input for 1 kcal of beef protein? With that in mind, the quality of your meat better be really good to justify this very high use of fossil energy input. I consider this at least a small step in the right direction, in addition to expanding our garden.