The kicker about become Eco Aware is that you lose ignorance. Things as simple as eating and driving can become moral choices. And the choices are never nice and tidy. My current issue is food… my vegetarianism in particular.
Mia and I have been virtual veggies for years, getting more and more hardcore until the past 2 years Mia has been all but 100%-only very rarely breaking ranks to avoid being rude when we are eating at friends or family with myself about 98%. While we both eat very similarly, we do so for different reasons. I started eating less meat for ecological reasons-I want to eat lower on the food chain to reduce the amount of acreage it takes to feed me fat arse. Mia is all about the ecological side as well, but is also an Ethical Vegetarian-she believes that killing an animal for her own food is wrong. Not to mention she has an at times irrational repugnancy to turkey necks and chicken feet. I credit her greatly for stopping well short of condemning others for not doing so-its a personal choice for her.
So I sat safely ensconced in my ideals for several years, but my recent rash of agricultural reading is shaking my convictions. The acreage argument is still wicked strong. Drive I-80 across Iowa and you will see farms for 800 miles, and nary a single plant that humans can eat. Corn on Beans for mile after mile. The ecological impact of that much genetically modified monoculture is unprecedented. Erosion alone is averaging over 5 tons per acre per year to the extent that the silt field in the Gulf of Mexico is visible from space. But as I research large scale organic agriculture the more I am convinced that industrial anything is unsustainable. So we have switched to mostly local foods grown on small Wisconsin farms using the European slogan of Eat Your View as a motto and cutting about 1250 miles off the transport of much of our food in the process.
This is much better, but my resolve is weakening. The more I read about small scale agriculture, the more farms I tour, and the more books on Permaculture I research-the more I think that a vegetarianism based on pure ecological grounds is misplaced. So as is my wont, I’d like to explore these thoughts in a series of posts.