Come on, me(a)et some vegetarians
If Erin Edwards has it right, the fate of humankind rests in the hands of vegetarians.
In an age of over-consumption, over-eating and pending environmental catastrophe, the co-chair of Earthsave Kamloops says the switch to a plant-based diet is the one, if only, single choice individuals can make in an effort to curb global destruction.
Simply put, Edwards says going veggie is the one of the easiest ways of shrinking your ecological footprint by reducing the pull on natural resources required for farming which, in turn, lessens the quantity of associated wastes.
Think of it this way, she says: it requires about 50 square feet of rainforest to produce a quarter pound of hamburger meat. Similarly, it requires several thousand litres of water to produce one pound of meat.
“What you do to the earth, you do to yourself,” Edwards said. “Meat is not necessary for us — it is something we adopted.”
A far cry from the ethos espoused by the cliched peace-waving vegetarian, those involved with Earthsave are taking a more philosophical and complete approach to vegetarianism, blending aspects of environmentalism, healthy living and animal cruelty into their mandate.
As such, the movement, which Edwards says is growing, is more of a way of living and thinking as opposed to a statement or fad.
And Edwards, a farm-girl-turned-vegetarian about three years ago, says the effects of the diet switch provides immediate personal benefits.
A typical day, she says, will start with some fruit or cooked cereal, followed by some homemade soup for lunch. Dinner consists of vegetables or salad and maybe a casserole.
“I feel lighter, happier and really feel like I’m doing something to save the excess of waste in our world,” she says.
In an effort to spread the message, Edwards and about 30 others meet once a month for a vegetarian potluck and discussion forum.
In addition to providing an opportunity to sample new dishes and discuss new topics, Edwards says the potlucks provide an ideal opportunity for people to gain a sense of connection to a community.
Despite living in an area of ardent meat-eaters, Edwards says the movement is quite strong in Kamloops.
“It is pretty difficult sometimes. People have some old fashioned values,” she says. “But these [values] are things of the past. In the future, we are hopeful people will be more open to living off what the earth provides.”
For more information, go online to www.earthsave.bc.ca.