from the information i have, i don’t feel like being vegetarian is going to have anywhere near the best cost benefit ratio per unit of effort in my case… albeit my situation may not be the typical one. I have a super high metabolism and eat a lot but i am allergic to raw fruit and some other things, so my options are somewhat limited. One figure I saw said that if everyone in the US became vegan we’d only reduce our carbon emissions by 3% and we’d also have to start making more synthetic fertillizer too. People can and do debate those numbers all over the place, but… i dunno. In terms of ecosystem collapse/biodiversity loss crisis, it depends more on how food is produced than what food is chosen, I think.
In an ideal world I’d mostly only eat food produced locally and ideally produce a significant amount of food ourselves and in an ideal world we’d only eat meat that either i hunted myself, raised myself, or purchased from a farm nearby. That isn’t where I am at now and probably never will totally get there, but that to me would be a much better goal than buying a bunch of processed food. But I live in a rural area and also don’t have tons of money and someone who say, has more money but lives in new york city, the tradeoffs and such will be different.
That all being said i think it’s worth saying that these problems that mostly drive this question are system based and one person or group’s actions don’t matter much if they don’t change what others do. And I really don’t see veganism spreading to everyone anyway, and it pisses people off a lot when you tell them what they should or shouldn’t put in their bodies, etc. We need cultural, political, technological, community, maybe spiritual change… doesn’t mean loss of quality of life, in fact maybe the opposite, but it means breaking through entrenched power structures which is about the hardest thing. So yeah, be active in your communities, talk to each other, use your actions as an example. And work on food waste too, that’s a huge one.
Obviously these are just my opinions not as a moderator, curator, etc. And, i have no issue with others being vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, whatever, as long as they don’t try to push it on me… But for some reason people get very pushy about this issue one way or another.