Umpteen people have written to me, because they would like me to go vegan. If I did, they say, I could eat raw, save the carbon produced by cooking on my natural gas stove (which I still haven’t figured out how to get around), and be kinder to animals. They tell me I could eat lots of nuts and beans for protein.
Problem is, I can’t find nuts and beans grown within 250 miles of the city, and eating local, to reduce food miles, is one of the parameters of the No Impact project. Now, I know that the vegans in the crowd would say that perhaps I should relax my mileage standards. Someone even wrote me that it would be better to drive a hummer and not eat meat.
Well, good news! I don’t drive a hummer and I don’t eat meat. But I do eat eggs, cheese and milk. The thing is, I’ve visited the farms and seen how the animals are treated, and I’m content that they are treated well. That is to say, my conscience is clear. I’m satisfied with that.
Each of us who want to live an environmental life has to make choices and trade offs. I really admire vegans for making theirs. The vegan choice is an excellent and important ingredient in the mix. I thank vegans for reminding us all about how important it is to be kind to animals (Frankie, my little dog, pictured here, is by the way in full agreement on this point).
The way I see it, vegans help promote kindness to animals. Local eaters help reduce food miles. Between the two groups, we promote a range of environmental options for people to pick up. There are many ways to be kind to the planet. In other words, it takes all sorts.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.