This Lenten season, I have come to appreciate hunger. I feel it more often and more constantly. It affects my moods and my productivity. I recognize every impulse to grab a snack and realize how lucky I am. It has made me particularly sensitive to the plight of the impoverished, here and abroad, and though I can not shed my privileged status--for I will always have the option of grabbing a snack or charging a quick meal--I can focus some of my energies to enable and empower others.
I have been attempting to maintain vegetarian eating for months now with success for the most part. There is a lot of explaining that comes with the territory. Why would you do that? Humans need to eat meat! That's just a fad. Are you sure you know what you doing, it's easy to get swept up.
There is no need to apologize for not eating meat. To quote a recent New York Times article:
Though some 800 million people on the planet now suffer from hunger or malnutrition, the majority of corn and soy grown in the world feeds cattle, pigs and chickens. This despite the inherent inefficiencies: about two to five times more grain is required to produce the same amount of calories through livestock as through direct grain consumption, according to Rosamond Naylor, an associate professor of economics at Stanford University.Many vegetarians have thought-out, well-reasoned rationale for making their decisions. And they often have little to do with fad-diets or touchy-feely notions of animal humanity, they have to do with the hard facts of science and the very real consequences of our actions.