In an effort to act superior, I'm going to spew some facts at you. Blame it on my More with Less cookbook and trying to eat like Jesus! I don't see anything morally wrong with eating meat, but I've decided to reduce my meat consumption so that most of my meals are vegetarian or use meat as an accent, rather than the main dish, as I've heard most non-U.S. countries do anyway.
Turns out, meat production is pretty harmful for the environment (I'm going to skip the obvious harm for the animals.) According to vegetarian.about.com, with real citations listed at the end of the articles, I learned that more than 1/3 of all fossil fuels produced in the US go toward animal agriculture; ten times the amount of carbon dioxide is emitted from a calorie of meat than a plant protein... and that going vegan for a year reduces more emissions than driving a hybrid car.
As for water usage, a pound of beef requires about 2500 gallons of water to produce, whereas a pound of soy requires 250 gallons and a pound of wheat 25 gallons. So, although I've spent over a year learning to shower in under 5 minutes, by going meatless, I could exchange the water I'm saving for encores in my shower concerts! Which might explain why my family/ housemates never really support my meatless endeavors...
With 6 billion people (plus some, but who's counting?), obviously one person is not going to make a difference. But if enough people are doing it - I sure don't want to be the one person who's holding us back!
I'd love meatless or barely-there meat recipes that you enjoy, and if you want any recipes from me, just comment/ send me a note! Links to recipe pages in the comments section so all can see, or emails are fine as well.
If you're feeling up to it, I challenge you to eat only one meated-meal a day - or no meat-centered meals for a week. Let me know how it goes - I have a really hard time obeying at restaurants. (Eddie George, why do bacon bits make your macaroni irresistable?)