Bittman on Veganism

Here’s Mark Bittman on “Why I’m Not A Vegan,” an interesting read, especially for me since these are issues I’m currently processing in my own life. Where I have trouble is: if industrialized meat is cruel, diseased, and mostly unhealthy, is taste enough of a reason to still eat it? Right now the answer for me is no; but wave an In-N-Out burger in front of my face, and I may just break down.

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1 comment

  1. I think you hit upon the issue — I don’t think the average person is willing to give up meat entirely, because for many people taste is exactly the reason why they will never stop eating something. In my own experience, when I’ve known individuals resistant to completely overhauling their diet for health reasons, the term “but I love it too much to quit” or “but I’ve always had this” or “this is my comfort food” always comes out.

    I think in order for Bittman and his book to be accepted by the general American public, he had to make some sort of compromise. That sounds cynical, like it’s all about his book selling, but I do think it is a point at least worth considering. 100% diet changes are a hard sell here, even if, like you say, meat brings up more than just health, but morality reasons, too. The average person is far more likely to adopt 66/33% diet than put something squarely on the “no” list, and perhaps that what Bittman is saying — if the end goal is health, and a better system for animals, it’s more realistic to try to include everyone a bit instead of planting yourself on the far end. (Personally, I do think more people should be abstaining from meat completely, and I didn’t find it hard to avoid meat once I stopped eating it. But I won’t say my experience is average.)

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