Magazine article World Watch

Julia Tier: Reluctant Vegetarian

Magazine article World Watch

Julia Tier: Reluctant Vegetarian

Article excerpt

I love bologna. There was a time in my life when bologna constituted a significant portion of my diet. During this time, I also consumed more than my fair share of turkey sandwiches, bacon cheeseburgers (medium rare), and chicken calzones. At that stage of my dietary development, my affinity for meat was matched only by a suspicion of anything and everything green. It was with this penchant for pork and aversion to veggies that I began working at the Worldwatch Institute and simultaneously embarked on an unlikely and rather reluctant journey along the road to vegetarianism.

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Before joining Worldwatch, I hadn't given much thought to factory farms, recombinant bovine growth hormone, or livestock-induced greenhouse gases. Like many carnivores, I avoided the mental connection between the food on my plate and the global meat industry that produced it. After a little over six months at the Institute, which counts sustainable food and agriculture as one of its three main program areas, I reluctantly realized that I had every reason to stop supporting animal agriculture. What I lacked was even the slightest desire to stop eating meat.

After devouring Worldwatch Senior Fellow Danielle Nier-enberg's report Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry, my mind began churning with questions. How will I get enough protein if I stop eating meat? What will I eat on Thanksgiving? Will I need to take supplements?

Questions that seem silly now caused me a lot of worry at the time. I decided to start small. I set a goal to cut out all beef, pork, and chicken from my diet for one month. …

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