Besides this, we are stripping the Earth itself of its vegetative cover in order to raise enough grain to feed these Animals! To mass-produce them in far greater numbers than they would naturally exist! Slaughter every cow and chicken currently in the system, today, but then stop, and you wouldn't see me shed a single tear for the removal of these animals. Cows and chickens are so plentious that they are literally a vermin that is eating the planet to death. We could eat the crops we are raising for them and have more than half our acres back for parks, for clean air, for recreation. So much more wealth would be available in the economy. We could pay back the national debt with the money we saved on dropping the meat industry.
And then, if you get a craving for meat, by all means, please go out into the Woods and kill something! Since there are more Woods at this point (having recovered them from farms), there are more Animals, and you may have your pick! I would not even bother to make you get a hunting license! Kill as much as you can eat! Fish to your heart's content! Heck, raise a cow or chicken of your own if you really like the taste of beef and poultry specifically... But why ruin the economy, bankrupt the government and maintain the torture of millions of unnecessary cattle just to have a burger on every block.... Millions of which are thrown away every day into dumpsters, half eaten and often wholly uneaten.
With the situation this bad, every ONE person who chooses to give up meat even ONE meal per week... is making a significant change for the better. Why go all the way?? Every action counts.
I, personally, care enough about this issue to go ALL THE WAY. I lack discipline... I am not a saint after all, just an idealist. I have my own tastes. I like McDonald's double cheeseburgers, of all things, although I hate myself after wasting the money on such a cheap thrill. So I am not there yet, but I am evolving. I am training myself to depend on less. I am cultivating new tastes. I am trying new things. I am not looking for the ONE BEST WAY TO LIVE. I am trying to look for A BETTER WAY. My way.
So far, I know that VEGAN > VEGETARIAN > any other number of small steps, ranging from the one who only eats fish to the one who only eats fish & poultry to the one who eats all of it, but no pork, to the guy who eats as wide a range as possible but seldom.
I want my diet, my clothing, my electronic usage, the type of transportation I use, etc., etc., etc., all to reflect my ethic of treating the Earth right. Of being a GOOD STEWARD.