RE: Tipping Point?
Posted Friday, September 23, 2011 at 9:57 AM
Does anyone know if there is any results yet as far as more people being vegan/vegetarian actually resulting in less animals being killed, and ultimately less animals being bred/bought/sold, etc.?
I don't know numbers or anything but what I can report anecdotally is:
more grass fed, locally raised, not factory farmed beef, chicken, eggs, dairy, etc is showing up in chain groceries
more vegetarian and vegan options are appearing in chain groceries
more vegetarian and vegan options are appearing in restaurants (like Meatless Mondays at some high end Manhattan places)
at a local craft fair type event recently, the concession was selling burgers, hot dogs AND veggie burgers (cooked on a separate grill!)
more vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, websites, blogs, magazines/magazine articles
more vegetarian and vegan pieces in the press overall
However, whether there are fewer animals being used for human food is a different question because what I'm seeing (and most of us in the US, UK, etc) is only a piece of the puzzle.
In some places, where standard of living has rapidly increased over the last decade-ish, consumption of meat is way up - it's always been a luxury item, unavailable to all but a few. Now, it's a status symbol. There was just a piece online where a restaurant in Saudi Arabia is charging customers for leaving food on their plate, wasting it (ordering lots of food then leaving it for the trash), because being able to "splurge" like that is a symbol of wealth "I have enough money to get more food than I can eat". And, it's not that hard, in these globally connected days, for excess beef (for example) to simply be shipped from where it's not being eaten to where it is in demand. Little net change in the number of critters being used, just a change in the distribution patterns.
Then, there's the flip side of the situation, where those on the barely surviving level may eat animals, use their skins, use the milk from the animals, etc. simply to survive. Not going to get into whether that's the best use of the resources (land, water, etc), it's just a fact as things are right now.