Is Going Meatless in Our Future?

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  Peter Prato for The New York Times

    To the Editor:

    Re “Let’s Launch a Moonshot for Meatless Meat” (column, May 3):

    Ezra Klein’s column about the dangers and immorality of meat consumption is welcome, particularly the comments on the ethical issues involved in wide consumption of meat. Perhaps he is correct that government action is needed, but if “market” means anything, then consumers should be able to make some of the change happen by themselves.

    Like Mr. Klein, I was a meat eater, and I made the change to vegan perhaps 10 years ago, when it wasn’t as easy as it is today to find alternatives, especially for protein. Aside from the health effects, which may or may not become manifest for me in the long run, there is no sense of ethical superiority.

    But I do feel a responsibility to do what I can to reduce violence and insensitivity in the world, and this is something I can do, every day, several times a day.

    Jeff Lang
    Chapel Hill, N.C.

    To the Editor:

    I, too, am predominantly vegan, but the answer to climate devastation because of animal agriculture is not the development of artificial meat. The answer is with developing and growing more robust, climate-change-tolerant, whole-food vegetable protein sources that can help eliminate hunger in the developing world.

    An Impossible Burger does nothing to help the hundreds of millions of people in poorer countries who are facing food scarcity because of climate change. The processing and packaging of artificial meat products that require refrigeration is itself wasteful of energy.

    Artificial meat is an indulgence for wealthy countries that want to feel virtuous about doing something for the environment without having to change their tastes and habits.

    You can make an exquisite “burger” with beans as the main ingredient in your own kitchen — no chemical processing required. And, more to the point, so could an African nomadic herder displaced by desertification.

    Georgia Fisanick
    Warren, N.J.

    To the Editor:

    Meatless meats have come a long way and are now very, very good. We have a lot of good choices out there, and they taste great.

    But we need to put the same subsidies in place to support these products that agriculture and meat production have. That will help bring down prices.

    Perhaps it’s time to drop the subsidies given to meat production.

    Christopher Noyes
    New York

    To the Editor:

    Ezra Klein discusses abstaining from eating meat as a choice. But for a number of us, eating a vegan or vegetarian diet is not a choice if we choose to be healthy.

    I don’t enjoy eating meat; I’ve tried vegetarianism for extended periods and learned that doing so makes me ill because of a digestive condition that is not rare.

    The moralizing about meat eating needs to be tempered by the fact that some of us cannot tolerate vegetarian diets or faux meat products, which tend to be highly processed.

    Elizabeth Simonds
    Santa Barbara, Calif.
    The writer is a registered nurse.


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