National Vegetarian Week

 Today marks the start of UK National Vegetarian Week. The arguments for a balanced vegetarian diet are persuasive – it ‘saves’ energy, it uses less carbon and water, it can respect the seasons, it has potential to make a huge contribution to resolving global hunger, and it’s good for us. So how can vegetarianism become more often the diet of choice?


Nobody expects an immediate cessation of meat production, let alone a stop right this minute to diary farming. Many people, admittedly not all, will be happy for now to see the continued consumption of diary products and at least some eggs and even fish (I know they’re not vegetables; but in some parts of the world fish are currently essential staples).

At its simplest – though not everyone agrees – vegetarian diets could just be ‘meat-free‘, with all the benefits that would bring.

But one of the things National Vegetarian Week can do is introduce us to the wide and tasty range of foods which a vegetarian diet includes and the reasons for choosing it. And it can help raise awareness of how to prepare and cook vegetarian ingredients.

Long-term business
And, most importantly, perhaps National Vegetarian Week can help along the debate about how in reality the transition to a more sustainable food economy might happen. There have to be ways to protect the livelihoods, for instance, of people who currently produce meat, but who in the future will need to farm differently. Food production is self-evidently critical for us all. It’s the nature of the product, not the supply, which must change.

At last we’re beginning to act (albeit far too slowly) to the idea that carbon needs to be conserved in our industial, domestic and transport arrangements, as does water.

Canny investors have already realised that now is also the time to get a grasp on how to make meat-free food an integral part of the move towards what we all hope will be a sustainable future.

Posted on May 19, 2008, in Knowledge Ecology And Economy, Politics, Policies And Process, Regeneration, Renewal And Resilience, Sustainability As If People Mattered and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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