Progressive Revival

Progressive Revival


The Moral Superiority of Vegetarianism

posted by Paul Raushenbush

A vegetarian diet is morally superior to one that includes industrially produced meat.  

Now, as someone who really likes meat this is hard to take.  I am vegetarian during Lent but not all the time, I want to be, but I admit that sometimes I fail and eat meat.  While I used to rationalize that as part of my meat and potatoes culture (growing up in Wisconsin and all) I can’t preach peace and justice on Sunday and then eat a pot roast after the service and feel like I am practicing what I am preaching.   Eating meat is just plain greedy. 
The statistics below, compliments of Kathy Freston on Huffingtonpost, make this abundantly clear.  Just as it is no longer acceptable to take more than our share of other resources, eating meat is wasteful and indirectly leads to food scarcity elsewhere in the world.   Check out these statistics

If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save:
? 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months;
? 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year;
? 70 million gallons of gas–enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare;
? 3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the size of Delaware;
? 33 tons of antibiotics.


If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would prevent:
? Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million tons of CO2, as much as produced by all of France;
? 3 million tons of soil erosion and $70 million in resulting economic damages;
? 4.5 million tons of animal excrement;
? Almost 7 tons of ammonia emissions, a major air pollutant.


My favorite statistic is this: According to Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads. See how easy it is to make an impact?


Each Lent I try to be better Christian in the hope that my seasonal piety will carry on after Easter.  This year it is my intention to hold  a permanent fast on meat.  It is simply the morally right thing to do in our world that can no longer support meat consumption.



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Charles Cosimano

posted April 2, 2009 at 12:12 am


All the moral arguments of history cannot stand up against the taste of a good hamburger.



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Ralph

posted April 2, 2009 at 1:35 pm


I really doubt those numbers. If we were meant to be vegetarian why did God give us cannine and incisor teeth instead of just molars like a cow.



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aaron

posted April 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm


Mother Earth News has a fabulous article this month on the “what if” we took all the crop land devoted to cattle feed for industrial farming operations and restored it to grassland for pasture raised and fed beef. Same number of cows, just no longer concentrated, more fertile soils, less pollution and the big scary co2, plus better quality and more healthy beef.



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Lauren

posted April 3, 2009 at 5:09 pm


There is an article called “Animals and their Jewish Guardians” by Sandra Nathan on the Tikkun Magazine website currently.
http://www.tikkun.org/article.php/Nathan
It is about Jewish voices for animal rights and how Jewish experience and beliefs can incorporate or call for considering vegetarianism and attempting to minimize the suffering of living beings. This can be lived as part of the call for ‘tikkun olam’ — healing the world.



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Nixon is Lord

posted January 4, 2011 at 12:27 am


Vegetarianism is another way for middle class white Protestants to feel good about themselves, another gimmick so that Mainline “activists” can feel “relevant”.



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