A demand for action in a time of excessive deliberation:
Finding a solution within the problem
“I shouldn't be eating hamburgers, because the methane gas cows release is the No.1 contributor to the destruction of the ozone layer; and the No. 1 reason they destroy the rainforest is to make grazing ground for cattle. So it's very ironic that I eat beef, being the environmentalist that I am. But then again, if I ordered the tuna sandwich, I would be promoting the fact that they have large tuna nets that capture innocent little dolphins...”
Leonardo DiCaprio; Earth Day 2000 Chairperson
It is a shame that a chairperson for Earth Day does not fully comprehend the definition of the word “environmentalist.” His information on beef production is, indeed, accurate, and so is his stance on the fishing industry. The two industries are responsible for billions of deaths each year, as well as the deterioration of the rainforests, the ozone layer, and our water supply. In spite of this knowledge, it seems Mr. DiCaprio has come to two questionable conclusions: first, he values the life of dolphins more than the life of the planet, and secondly, he believes that he has only two options for his diet – fish or cows. DiCaprio’s statement reflects the mentality of far too many Americans. Our culture is so affluent that we have ceased to consider vegetarian diets. Most Americans seem to believe that if we don’t eat cows, then we must eat fish, pigs, or chickens – if we don’t eat either, we die. However, when one considers the 20 million Americans that are living strictly vegetarian lifestyles, there is no question whatsoever that a vegetarian diet not only is possible, but also extremely beneficial for the vegetarian, the animals, and the Earth. As Leo Tolstoy said, “A human can be healthy without killing animals for food. Therefore if he eats meat he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite.”
James Nash, in his book Loving Nature, does much to explain the state of environmental crisis that we are now experiencing. He also succeeds at citing specific biblical passages that highlight God’s desire for humans to love all of his creation. However, Nash fails to offer many explicit solutions for individuals who want to make the Earth a better place. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, Nash implicitly states at least one solution throughout his entire book. As paraphrased by Albert Einstein, Nash argues that “nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” Nash argues this vehemently in his work, but surprisingly backs off his claims of the book at the end.
Before going any further, it is important to realize that we live in a society that has progressed to the point where none of its people need to rely on the skin, flesh, or oppressive slave labor of animals. Regardless of the actions of our ancestors, both recent and distant, our present...