I was in the airport this weekend, and I picked up a magazine to read during my flight. I bought SELF Magazine, a publication for women similar to the editorial content found in magazines like Glamour and Women’s Health. I was flipping through the pages when I found a title that made me stop short, “Veg Out!” The article explained the benefits of becoming a vegetarian. It detailed the variety of options to try including becoming a vegan—eliminating all animal foods, dairy and eggs; a pescatarian—a vegetarian who includes fish in their diet; a fruitarian—an extreme diet of fruits, nuts and seeds; and a raw foodist—vegans who eat all food raw on the theory that cooking destroys a food’s living nature. I just couldn’t believe what I was reading!
The article continued to say, “In a poll at Self.com, 45 percent of women said they either were vegetarian or vegan now or had tried a form of it in the past. 71% of nonveggie SELF readers limit their meat intake. Ready to bring out your inner herbivore? Dust off your salad spinner and start harvesting the benefits!”
The next section of the article was titled, “Ethical Eating 101,” and it detailed ways to lessen your impact on the earth by minimizing your meat intake. The article said, “Transporting cattle, farming grain for feed and cows’ own emissions of methane and nitrous oxide (farts) are major greenhouse-gas producers. If every American had one meat-free day a week, it would have the same impact as taking 8 million cars off the road, according to the Environmental Defense Fund in New York City. In addition, conventionally raised animals often are restricted to crowded cages and pens that don’t allow the inhabitants to lie down. If you do eat meat, consider organic—the industry is held to higher animal-treatment standards.”
Flipping the page to the rest of the six-page spread, I was presented with vegan recipes, a guided one-day vegan eating plan and a portrayal of where the Hollywood stars align in their eating habits. Curious? Carrie Underwood was on one end of the spectrum for her vegetarianism and Jessica Simpson was on the other side wearing a “Real Girls Eat Meat” t-shirt. You go, Jessica!
I think it’s time for another serious letter writing campaign, folks. If you wish to write to the editorial staff at SELF to tell them about meat and dairy in a healthy diet, link here  to share your thoughts with the editorial staff. Keep the comments to less than 100 words, and be sure to share your personal story to connect with the readers. While you’re at it, be sure to send me your letters, as well, so I can thank you for your efforts. It’s time we stand up and speak out against these taboo trends. Where will our industry be if we don’t?