making the transition to a plant-based diet may be the most effective way an individual can stop climate change
In 1998, I gave up meat on accident.
A week or so into Lent, I realized I had been eating only fish. Mostly because demands on time and budget found me eating a lot of fast food, and I most enjoyed the seafood options. Although I was an atheist I decided it would be interesting to give up meat until Easter in the old Catholic tradition.
Back then, pescatarian was spelled differently and far less known:
As a pescetarian, I consume a “vegetarian plus fish” diet. It’s easier to just say I don’t eat “air-breathing meat” (as most United States dioceses of the Roman Catholic church describe for fasting) or flesh from things that breathe, than to explain to people what a lacto-ovo-pesce vegetarian diet is. A lot of people want to engage me in political debate when they learn this, assuming I’m a PETA member who espouses animal farming (overlooking the leather shoes, etc.). Vegans are offended that I’m not “pure”, and often scorn me as if I’m a detriment to their cause. Really, it’s not a moral issue for me. I just happened to notice I had gone the first two weeks of Lent (in 1999 IIRC) without eating any meat but fish, so decided to continue the remaining two weeks as well. At the end, I felt better and had lost some unhealthy weight (I was rather sedentary at the time) so I never resumed eating meat or poultry.
Living with Shannon meant I ate less and less fish, and environmental awareness had me limit myself to very responsible local seafood. So by 2009 I was a de-facto vegetarian.
These days, I still would be willing to eat very responsible local seafood, but none of that appeals to me. Increasing awareness of our supply chains means I now strive to avoid animal byproducts even for clothing, and consume dairy conscientiously.