According to, if you ate meat-free meals every other day for a year, you would save 487 pounds of CO2.

I like the idea of being a vegetarian. Eating lower on the food chain uses less energy. The amount of pollution that is created by our meat-production facilities is really stunning . . . and most of it comes from the meat itself, from animal waste pouring into rivers to methane in the air. Our digestive tracts really do a better job with plant matter than animal parts. The foods are more nutritionally diverse, lower in fat, and would reduce my chances of heart attack, stroke, and gods know what else. Only one thing has ever gotten in the way of a lifetime commitment to vegetarianism:

I don’t like beans.

Have you noticed just how much of the healthy vegetarian diet is comprised of beans? Black ones, white ones, orange and purple ones. Beans that taste like every variety of paste imaginable, and even some that taste like dirt. And each and every one of them doing its best to strengthen the one skill I have that I would prefer to downplay, at least in polite company. Maybe I should just scald my tongue or have the taste buds surgically removed?

Now to be fair, that is only a seeming requirement of the healthy vegetarian diet. I could keep myself full of plant-based convenience foods and not have to eat all that many beans. But if
it’s not going to be healthy, why not eat bacon and go for broke?

There are some good arguments for eating meat in the proper mindset. Animals are animate, and so it is easier to remember that they had an end to their lives so I could continue with mine. It’s easier to remember to thank the animal for dying than it is a carrot. Or a bean. Heck, probably didn’t even have to kill the plant.

But I’m going to give a vegetarian week a shot. Maybe beans aren’t so bad after all. But it’s not just about what I taste, it’s about what the family smells . . .


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