Am I a Vegetarian? A Vegan? A Carnivore? A Pescatarian? No – I’m a Conservatore.

by | Mar 8, 2016 | Conservation | 1 comment

Humans love labels – I’m white, he’s gay, she’s rich, they’re eldery – and so forth. It’s been that way for many moons and viewed by some as an essential part of civilsation and social architecture. In fact we love labels so much that we didn’t even accept that the colour blue existed before we gave it a label.

I have not eaten fish (unsustainable that it) since 2008, after watching The End of the Line. I thought I was doing my bit for the oceans, and then I watched Cowspiracy. I realised that I could do more, and started thinking about the meat I eat.

“Why?” you cry belligerently. “Cows are in fields, not the sea, and farmed for eating. I don’t understand!”

I present you with a few pertinent facts:

  • “Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.”
  • “The widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops often interferes with the reproductive systems of animals and poison waterways.” – Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. . Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.
  • “Their [fertilisers] most dramatic effect is eutrophication– resulting in an explosive growth of algae due to excess nutrients. This depletes water of dissolved oxygen, which in turn can kill fish and other aquatic life.– WWF
Cattle farming Infographic

Cattle farming Infographic

This was tough to hear. But, I know myself…right now I don’t think I could cut out meat altogether, much less consider veganism. So what to do? I became a Conservatore.

Conservatore “A person who chooses food based on its sustainability and impact on the world’s natural resources. Conservatores self-regulate their habits, without strict rules, allowing them to create a model which suits their lifestyle and location. Conservatores are educated about global food impacts, whilst being realistic about what they can achieve based on their personal circumstances.”

Make sense? It’s kind of long winded to say ‘I’m sort of not eating meat most of the time, but I eat it sometimes, and I don’t eat fish, unless it’s sustainable sourced,’ *eyes glaze over, boredom sets in.

On reading this, some people might see it as a cop out. In my opinion, this is progress. Having worked in conservation for a few years now, I find the distinct ‘black and white’ outlook on behaviours and outcomes to be destructive. Seems to me like it’s better to do a little bit of something than a whole lot of nothing. Join the Conservatores today.


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