Omnivorism: Still a Dilemma?

Omnivorism: Still a Dilemma?

Amber Byfield
Nov 2, 2009

Meet Fernando, who will live his entire life on a farm in rural Texas.

It's encouraging to see so many people vocally concerned with their food choices. People are turning toward local foods and organics, and there's a heightened awareness about factory farming and its effect on our environment. Now Jonathan Safron Foer's book Eating Animals is forcing people to ask the question: "Should we eat animals at all?"

We (and this we is not the Re-Nest "we," but the boyfriend-and-I "we") haven't picked up a copy of the book yet, but think it might just finally send us over the edge about eating meat. We have already made a commitment to buy organic, local, and humanely raised meats in our household, but should we take it a step further? In an article she wrote for the Huffington Post, Natalie Portman says that Eating Animals took her from vegetarian to vegan activist.

Based on reviews we've read, the book digs deeper into the injustices toward animals in factory farming, much like Fast Food Nation and Food, Inc., and points out that factory farming creates a lot of waste and has a significant impact on our environment.

When we bring this up in circles of friends, they run the gamut from strict vegans for health reasons to once-in-a-while vegetarians for green reasons to meat-loving omnivores who may or may not profess their love of the environment.

The bf and I seriously think we're ready to stop eating meat—which is actually a little crazy for us, seeing as how we both grew up on farms in Texas where butchering a cow was just a way of life and sustenance. We loved our cattle, and they lived happy lives between the barn and the pastures, and then they provided us food in return. But is it ok to say, "I'll eat this cow, but I won't eat that cow"?

What do you think? Are you teetering on the edge of vegetarianism for green (or humane, or other) reasons, or are you fine keeping your omnivorous diet the way it is?

Related posts:
Agri-tainment: Education and Recreation in One
Learning to Cook With Less Meat
Joel Salatin on Big Organic and the Future of Food
Reinventing Farming

(Image: Amber Byfield for Re-Nest.)

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