We like to think of ourselves as humble (or omnipotent) stewards of the Earth. We like to believe that we are the most powerful force in nature. That plants grow because we will them to. In fact, our will contributes significantly to our ability to produce huge amounts of staple foods, animal products, and even organic vegetables. Our mighty plow churns through the soil, our hands wrangle the uninvited weeds, and lo and behold, the seeds we painstakingly nurture in plastic houses set root and flourish in our fields.
Ever since I began dabbling in vegetarianism my freshman year of college, I’ve received a lot of bewildered, intrigued, and defensive responses. Fluctuating between omnivorism, vegetarianism, and veganism, I’ve been a proponent of each group. Through the idealism and dogma bound up in each phase, I’ve come to believe that only honesty and critical self and societal reflection can bring any progress to this hotly contended, gridlocked debate.