Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I never met a lentil I couldn't learn to love

Believe me or not I do try not to be one of those people who goes ON about vegetarianism. I mean I’m a flipping vegetarian and I loathe these people.

If pressed (or, okay, even just asked) I am happy to talk your ear off about why vegetarianism is the way to go but I do try awfully hard not to be one of those people who corners you in parties to ask if, with a certain drunken sincerity, if you know what the colon of a meat-eater looks like.

All that said there’s a bloody interesting article in The Guardian today which looks at the effect of the carnivore lifestyle on the rest of the world, by which I mean the third world, as well as the environment.

“Never mind the economic crisis. Focus for a moment on a more urgent threat: the
great food recession that is sweeping the world faster than the credit crunch.
You have probably seen the figures by now: the price of rice has risen by
three-quarters over the past year, that of wheat by 130%. There are food crises
in 37 countries.

One hundred million people, according to the World Bank, could
be pushed into deeper poverty by the high prices. But I bet that you have missed
the most telling statistic. At 2.1bn tonnes, the global grain harvest broke all
records last year - it beat the previous year's by almost 5%. The crisis, in
other words, has begun before world food supplies are hit by climate change. If
hunger can strike now, what will happen if harvests decline?
There is plenty of food. It is just not reaching human stomachs. Of the 2.13bn tonnes likely to be consumed this year, only 1.01bn, according to the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation, will feed people…

While 100m tonnes of food will be diverted this year to feed cars, 760m tonnes will be snatched from the mouths of humans to feed animals - which could cover the global food deficit 14 times. If you care about hunger, eat less meat.”

It goes on here and it's actually pretty interesting. It's also written by a wishing-he-wasn't meat eater so the chances of getting corned by him at the fridge when you're really just looking for your beer are pretty minimal.

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