Editor's note: John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN Opinion and creator of CNN's Change the List project. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
Before we jump into a debate about the environmental costs of eating meat, here are three things you should know:
1. I've experimented with vegetarianism twice, but it's never really stuck. Round one ended when I had a dream about a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy's, and then woke up to march zombie-style to that fast-food restaurant to order it. Round two may or may not have ended with the brunch I had Sunday, I'm still not sure.
2. I ate chicken chilaquiles for brunch on Sunday. It was delicious.
Therefore, 3. This is not an anti-meat polemic.
But I have been thinking in recent weeks about our relationships with animals and what our diets mean for the health of the environment. It started while I was doing research for a story on illegal animal trafficking, and I was reading books, including Dana Goodyear's "Anything that Moves" - about how the American foodie scene is trending toward the bizarre and endangered (witness the 2010 bust of a California restaurant serving whale) - and Jonathan Safran Foer's "Eating Animals," which argues, in part, that one cannot eat meat and also earnestly claim to be an environmentalist.
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