November 29, 2011


Anand M. Saxena, The Vegetarian Imperative (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins U. Press, 2011) ("We have not learned to take food seriously. A person living in the developed world seems to have an endless variety of food choices, from breakfast cereals and lunch meats to snack items. We munch all through the day. However, there are vitally important reasons for taking food seriously. Put simply, if we do not change our ways, we humans will eventually run out of food because our planet will not be able to produce what we need. We need to take food seriously to save the environment (or at least not despoil It to the extent that our children have to suffer deprivations), to provide sufficient food for people living right now and in the future, and to protect our own health." Id. at 3. "The global demand for food for the present population is already very large, and it is on an upward spiral, increasing with each passing year. There are to main reasons for this situation. First, the population of the world is growing by 76 million every year and is projected to reach 9.1 billion by the year 2050. Second, and at least as important, a nutritionally transition is taking place in most regions of the world, with a greater demand for foods of animal origins--meats, milk products, and eggs. The consumption of these items in the developed world, while already very high, is still increasing at a slow rate, while in the developing world the demand for animal-based foods is increasing rapidly." Id. at 4. "Eating the primary agricultural products--grain, fruits, vegetables, and nuts--is called eating closer to the sun because there are no intermediary steps. Feeding agricultural products to farm animals and then consuming animals as food is a secondary process, with a large concomitant loss of energy; thus producing these foods increases the burden on the ecosphere. Our choice of food is important because it determines the quantity of primary agricultural products used to fuel our activities." Id. at 6.).