Should we be vegetarians?

I love thick juicy steak. I love St. Louis’ chicken wings. I love bacon. I love hamburgers of all sorts. Apparently all the pro-veggie gross-out images and health warnings have done nothing to stem my carnivore lifestyle. Mmmm, meat.

So why would I start a discussion about not eating some of my favourite foods? Well food, for those who can least afford it, has not been cheap as of late. There are complex reasons for this, including our dubious government-subsidized forays into biofuels that have inevitably driven up the price of food.

While it would be great if I could control government agriculture subsidies, I can’t. There is another thing that sticks in my mind though. It takes seven pounds of feed to make one pound of beef. If the average American (and I assume Canadians aren’t far off) eats 250lbs of beef each year, that’s 75 billion pounds of beef consumed in North America every year requiring some 525 billion pounds of feed! What else could we do with that over 262 million tons of feed every year? The opportunity cost of our meat-eating is enormous and in a world where everyone’s food supply is linked I have to ponder the moral implications.

I don’t know, maybe it’s a bit radical to forswear meat, but should we start to think a bit more about the ethics of what we put on our plates? Thoughts?