A few months ago, I decided to go meatless one day a week. It was mainly because I don’t see meat as a good use of world resources and I felt that it didn’t involve much sacrifice but could make a difference.
Let’s be clear – I like meat and I have no plans to give it up. I’m also way past the point where I’m going to be able to repair the damage I’ve done to my body in the last half century, despite what those inspirational films may say.
It was surprisingly difficult to go meatless all day – whether it was the temptation of bacon sandwiches in the morning, the lure of pre-packed ham sandwiches or the shortcut of meat-based ready meals for tea. This was made more difficult by not wanting to tell people I was going meatless. I have coped with the process of becoming a non-drinker and non-smoker over the years, but becoming slightly vegetarian was a step too far.
I’m an omnivore who choses not to eat meat on Mondays. Just like I’m a smoker who has decided not to have a cigarette today (as I have done every day for the past 15 years).
I didn’t actually intend to join the Meatless Monday thing but it crept up on me. After going on their website I’m beginning to regret it. I’ll happily cut out meat one day a week, but maybe not Mondays. I just don’t like being part of a movement, particularly one that has a jazzy, happy website and a recipe for Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry. I’m not saying these things are bad. They just aren’t for me.
I’m actually more concerned about Earth Overshoot Day, the day we manage to consume a year of resources. It’s today. We have used up a year of resources in seven and a half months. Now, I have no idea how you calculate this and don’t altogether believe the calculation is possible, but for a moment let’s assume it is. It doesn’t matter whether it is or isn’t, what matters is that it’s come six days earlier than it did last year and months earlier than in 2000 when it arrived in October. IN 1961 it didn’t come at all – we only used 75% of a year’s resources.
I’m not overly worried for myself – I’ll be old fairly soon, my appetite will decline and a bit of global warming will help eke out my Winter Fuel Payment. I’m actually worried about what we’re doing to the world we pass on to our kids.
I can’t see that we will cut back on consumption and, having been promised much by scientists in the 1960s, I can’t see us farming under the sea or on the moon.
I have a suggestion, and I know it isn’t going to be a popular suggestion, but by 2100, when the planet is groaning under the burden of 13.3 billion people (compared to today’s 7.3 billion) you may thank me for daring to suggest it.
We are going to have to start eating people.
If we start with the vegetarians it will also free up supplies of cauliflowers and chick peas.