Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Fiance Is Going to Kill Me For Writing This

... but more and more, I'm starting to feel like veganism is the healthiest, most ethical option.

No, I'm not becoming a vegan. I don't think.

But about a year ago, I dramatically changed my diet to reduce my cholesterol. I've almost completely cut out cheese and butter from my diet. I only consume fat-free milk. I started eating fish twice a week, poultry a little less than that, and red meat on rare occasion.

As a result, I dropped my cholesterol by 100 points.

My diet now is fairly healthy. I think I could probably drop my cholesterol further if I cut out meat products completely, but for now I'm okay with the results. Health-wise I'm doing okay, but....

There's that small little nagging problem with the fish. You know, no big deal, we're just severely depleting the world's fisheries and driving some fish to extinction.

So, you know, while I think eating fish is a HEALTHY option, I'm not sure it's super ethical.

The truth is, aside from the fat-free milk and yogurt which I eat with my cereal, my diet leans towards veganism anyway. Most of my cooking is vegan, most of my lunches are vegan. My meat consumption is pretty much limited to eating out. I eat limited amounts of dairy and meat. And while it's not the healthiest choice nor what I would argue is the MOST ethical choice, for now, I'm okay with the choice.

My fiance feels (probably correctly) that my going vegan would seriously impact both of our lifestyles. I think it's a fair point, and given that he is perfectly happy eating mostly vegetarian food at home, I'm loathe to press him on this. Plus, there's that little niggling truth: I don't want to become a vegan either. As little as I eat meat, I'd miss it if I didn't get to eat it at all.

But for now, I'm redoubling my efforts to eat sustainably caught fish and organic meats. I'm not a vegan, or even a vegetarian. But for me, being a mostly-vegetarian is the sustainable path. For now.


Kimberly said...

I hear you on this one -- I've changed my eating habits for ethical reasons at various times over the past decade, I know it's hard to find something that sits well with me, my health, and my conscience. And THEN, on top of that, to have to figure out a way in which it meshes with my husband . . . well, that's almost more difficult than figuring it out for myself in the first place.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

There's a local restaurant here that serves delicious vegan food. I'm not a cook though so preparing stuff like that myself is too hard lol.

Color Me Green said...

My issue with veganism is that it relies so heavily on soy, which most of the time comes from some huge GMO monocrop pesticide farm.
But I have also recently found myself on the mostly-vegetarian path and am meaning to write about this soon.

Green Bean said...

If you guys haven't gone to Millenium yet, what are you waiting for! Best vegan food in SF.

As far as veganism, I don't know that I'd ever go there. I like my honey and my eggs too much and as I get both from reliable, local sources that treat their animals well (the eggs being from my own chickens of course!), I'll stick with them. Dairy is another issue. Personally, I've cut way back on that though my family still eats it. They are, at least, mostly vegetarian for the moment.

Robj98168 said...

I agree with your fiance. Although I feel that love conquers all forms of eating. But I hear what you are saying- A lot of folks think I am Vegan and of course I am not, nor am I vegetarian. I just don't eat a lot of meat. While it does well for my cholesterol level, It does not do much for my weight. Oh well. I hear fat is in this year!

EcoCatLady said...

OK... here's what I don't get. Why does everybody feel the need to define themselves in terms of an "ism" when it comes to diet? Are we all just obsessed with rules, or the need for personal identity, or what?

I think you get onto really shaky ground when you start saying that one "ism" is more ethical than another. I'm not saying that some choices aren't more ethical than others, but I think there is so much gray area here...

I mean, a vegan who is eating piles of GMO soy grown on land that was once Amazon rainforest, which as been trasported half way around the world, processed beyond belief and wrapped in multiple layers of plastic is arguably doing more harm to both the environment and the animal kingdom than someone eating locally produced grass fed organic beef. I'm not suggesting everybody should start scarfing down cows, or that soy is evil, but you can't just "sign up for a program" and turn off your brain.