Is a vegan diet better for the environment than a vegetarian diet? Today, Slate asks that question. Either way, though, giving up meat is apparently good for the Earth: "going vegetarian has the same effect on carbon dioxide emissions as switching from a Chevrolet Suburban to a Toyota Camry."
Personally, I don't really give a crap which one is better for the environment. I'm a vegetarian for bleeding-heart ethical reasons, and the same ethical concerns force me to acknowledge that recent human history would have been safer, kinder, and gentler had the modern environmental movement never existed. It doesn’t take a carnivore to see that environmentalist hysteria takes on a consistent pattern: affluent Westerners decide that some long-enjoyed privilege of modern life is evil, and set about depriving the people of developing countries of that privilege.