I really, really, really, really, really try to not preach about veganism. When I started my checkered path on July 5, 2004 I did it because I wanted to change my impact on the earth – not become an insufferable nag who people don’t like to hang out with (I save those qualities for DH). For the most part, I think I achieve this. Here is a list of things I try to never do as a vegan:
(list 18) Things I Try Not To Do as a Vegan
- Comment on what other people are eating.
- Tell people I am vegan unless they ask why I am not eating something.
- Refuse to go to a restaurant because there won’t be any vegan (or vegetarian) options.
- Talk about being vegan unless it is apropos to something in the conversation or I know the person has similar interests in veganism/vegetarianism/organic food. For example, my coworker Mark (who is on the other end of the political spectrum) is a vegetarian and he always likes to discuss vegan or vegetarian recipes.
- Cry, stomp, or act miffed when somebody bites into some sort of meaty/cheesy concoction and expresses delight at how good it is in order to get me to react. (Think Homer Simpson taunting Lisa.) I have been really surprised by how often that happens, especially at work, once somebody finds out I am vegan.
BUT (you knew there was one coming), today is Earth Day, and I am going to imbibe in some pro-veganism campaigning. Becoming vegan does way more for the environment than driving a hybrid or recycling (although those are good too!). I am not a perfect vegan, but I sure try, and here are the enviromental reasons why:
(list 19) Environmental Reasons I Am a Vegan
- U.S. livestock consume more than six and a half times as much grain as the entire U.S. human population consumes directly. According to the Council for Agriculture Science and Technology, if all this grain was consumed directly by humans, it would nourish five times as many people as it does after it is converted into meat, milk and eggs.
- A vegan diet requires 300 gallons of water per day, while a meat-eating diet requires more than 4200 gallons of water per day.
- Animal agriculture accounts for more than 80% of annual world deforestation.
There are other reasons I am a vegan, but I won’t get in to those. If you want to know more, please ask me or read The Food Revolution by John Robbins. He rejected the Baskin Robbins fortune in order to pursue veganism. He lays out health, environmental, and moral reasons to be a vegan. It convinced me – and I had no prior inclination to anything other than meat and cheese (other than trying to be a vegetarian for three days in high school).
I am not a vegan role model. Too often I am tempted by something in the house – this week it was a forkful of blueberry stilton cheese and a root beer float ice cream bar. But I try, I really do. I encourage you, on Earth Day, to avoid meat and cheese and milk tonight. Do it for the earth.
OK, really, I am done. Zipping my lips. No more on the subject. Shhhh!