A vegetarian diet holds ethical, environmental, and health benefits. The meat production system is producing a large percentage of methane contributing to the greenhouse effect, Fresh vegetables are a good source of vitamins and cows are living breathing beings. With all of this (and more) in mind, why are people not going vegetarian?
A study at Cornell was done that says if we used the grains we used to feed livestock to feed people we would be able to feed 800 million hungry people. This is essential information considering that we are in a crisis of world hunger. The controversy comes from when we realize that world hunger is a problem of distribution and many of those who do have access to a vegetarian lifestyle cannot afford the price rates of organic, fresh, veggies versus factory-produced beef. The other issue brought up is that a vegetarian diet is not necessarily better for the environment. Pesticides and herbicides are sprayed all over factory-produced veggies. These chemicals affect the topsoil and the ecosystems that are near the spraying or being affected by the decrease of pollinators, killed by pesticides.
The answer in that sense coincides in that the answer is not the food itself it is the access to food. Access to fresh organic vegetables is simply not ideal. Organic is expensive. A survey was done on the price of food at Colby college and the price difference of all of the items they found was that organic foods are 68% higher on average than standard vegetables. The amount of people who can afford to make a change with that 68% is very slim.
In conclusion, people are sticking to their non-vegetarian diets because benefits of a vegetarian diet aren’t substantial enough to change ways of life. The price of organic veggies and the pressure of changing the way we eat is too much compared to just eating something cheap, and easy to find. If we want to make the change (for ethical, environmental and health benefits for the world), it is essential that we change the accessibility and price to good fresh, organic foods.