Strange thing about the internet: Despite the fact that damn near every vegetarian I know in (heh heh) meatspace is almost aggressively apathetic about the carnassial tendencies of the rest of the table, I still tend to pigeon-hole vegetarians — that is, shadows on the cave wall cast by the Platonic Vegetarian — as confrontational passive-aggressive judgemental holier-than-thou jerks who’re more interested in signaling than in the health of their bodies, other mammals, or the planet. I imagine this is because it’s easier for me to stereotype them by one narrow aspect that marks them as out-group, and for them to stereotype meat-eaters by one narrow aspect that &c. Either way, on with the show!
Michael Archer writes a wonderful polemic against… well, not vegetarianism necessarily, but large-scale agriculture:
- Ordering the vegetarian meal? There’s more animal blood on your hands (The Conversation)
Briefly: farming wheat kills more highly-social creatures than grazing cattle. (I presume that farming massively-subsidized corn and wheat crops and pumping the result into feed-lot herds gives us the worst of both worlds from an animal-welfare perspective, but now that I have a real job I can afford to get snobbish about grass-fed beef.)
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal got there first:
Of course, none of this addresses the human welfare costs of switching to more expensive farming methods and thus increasing the cost of food.