Tag Archives: vegetarianism

Are 15% of British Columbians Vegetarian?

Museum of CommunismInsights West recently released data from a poll on the treatment of animals. The headline result was that 88% of respondents were against trophy hunting – hopefully a wake up call to the government which still supports it. However, the surprising result for me was that only 85% of British Columbians were in favour of “eating animals”. Usually vegetarianism in Canada is estimated at around 5% of the population. Either BC has a much higher percentage of vegetarians than the rest of Canada or some people who eat meat don’t realize it comes from animals.

Veganism in the News

Borscht Ingredients
There’s been a lot of articles in the media recently about vegan diets. The Huffington Post ran an article Shattering The Meat Myth: Humans Are Natural Vegetarians.

Although we think we are, and we act as if we are, human beings are not natural carnivores. When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us, because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.

The New York Times has six articles arguing for and against vegan diets in there Room for Debate series: Is Veganism Good For Everyone?.
1. The Jury Is Still Out

B12 isn’t the only nutrient missing from veggies. Creatine, carnitine, taurine, cholesterol, DHA, EPA, menaquinone and retinol are sparse to nonexistent in plants.

2. We Are Not Grizzly Bears

Humans are thought to be omnivores – just like the grizzly. Look in that mirror … we’re so much alike, aren’t we?

3. Meat is Brain Food

Clinical research finds that people on vegan diets commonly suffer from a variety of nutritional deficiencies.

4. It’s About Food Quality

The reality is that, while veganism may not be for everyone, quality matters. And, in a rush to give consumers value, food producers have jeopardized the quality of most meat out there. Veganism may not be the solution, but “reduced consumption” can very well suit us all.

5. Plant-Strong Is The Way

The primary reason it’s hard to give up animals is because most of us have grown up eating animal products and don’t have the first inkling of how to eat anything else. But it’s a “piece of kale” to eat “plant-strong” in 2012.

6. A Choice With Definite Risks

You may choose to be a vegan. Your baby doesn’t have that luxury. Let her grow up omnivorous and healthy.

Legislating Vegetarianism – Meatless Mondays

TOFU
When ‘encourage vegan options for all’ was voted as the top action to make Vancouver the greenest city, I laughed it off because I didn’t think the city could legislate people’s eating habits. I agreed with the sentiment, but didn’t think the city could do anything beyond encouraging healthy eating habits in schools.

Well, there is an international initiative called Meatless Mondays, endorsed by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, that is encouraging people to give up meat once a week. They’ve managed to convince some cities, like Ghent, Belgium and San Francisco to officially endorse the initiative. Last week Whitehorse city council narrowly defeated a motion (by a vote of 4-3) which would have made them the first Canadian city to officially encourage Meatless Mondays. Maybe Vancouver can be the first.

Our goal is to help you reduce your meat consumption by 15% in order to improve your personal health and the health of the planet.

By the Power of Brocolli

More reasons to become vegetarian…
Meat prices set to soar as production costs mount: analyst “Poor weather in wheat-producing regions of Canada and Europe has contributed to the price increase. In addition, more wheat and oilseed crops are being used to produce biofuels.” The more I hear about biofuels, the worse the idea seems. We’re so addicted to cars, we’re desperate to keep them running (in the face of peak oil and global warming) that we’ll try anything, no matter the auxiliary costs.

Urban Microfarming: A Smart Solution For Vacant Lots “urban gardening movement has taken hold in backyards and community gardens. The harvest…produced at reasonable cost and in areas where fresh organic produce can be difficult to find.” What a great idea. There’s aren’t that many vacant lots in Vancouver (I have seem urban gardens under the Sky Train), but most cities have lots of empty space. According to the article, Detroit has 20,000 vacant lots that are now available to garden with a free permit.

In 2 weeks, London will ban cars from most roads in the core and open them up to bicycles for one day. The event will be called London Freewheel and is the brainchild of London mayor Ken Livingstone. Should be quite the party.

One of the big differences between Vancouver and Seattle is that in Vancouver has a walkable, public waterfront. This is what Vancouver would look like if it put cars ahead of pedestrians (like Seattle does). Photo courtesy of Northwest Progressive Institute.
Elevate Vancouver