Letter: Food choices
In response to Larry Bruffee’s letter;
The most effective thing that an individual person can do to lessen their carbon footprint is to become a vegan or vegetarian. Multiple leading environmental organizations have concluded that eating animals is the single most environmentally damaging practice we have. To claim that the environmental impact of the soybeans used in a Tofurkey is excessive while simultaneously ignoring this fact is uninformed at best and willfully ignorant at worst.
I recognize that buying a local turkey or raising your own is a vastly better choice in terms of both your family’s health and the environmental impact of its production, and I applaud you for that. But to claim that your consumption of a local turkey somehow promotes you to a moral platform above vegetarians is preposterous. I’m guessing that, if you do eat meat, you also regularly or occasionally consume meat that is not local and eat meat when travelling or dining at a restaurant, both of which are practices that support and perpetuate factory farming and the meat industry as a whole.
Also omitted from your argument is the simple fact that your Thanksgiving dinner came at the expense of another living creature’s life. It is true that locally raised birds have vastly improved living conditions over factory farms, but it is difficult to understand how this justifies their eventual fate, which is to be slaughtered, in terror, for a human’s unnecessary consumption.
I can’t help but think that perhaps you are already aware of these facts and thus felt the need to attempt to justify yourself in your letter. If you are environmentally conscious, as you claim to be, may I suggest the book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer. It’s very well written and might be of interest to you.