If Jane ever leaves me, I'll know where to find her. She'll be back in NY looking for Mark Bittman. She loves the man, even if he's older than the typical male who might turn her head. Why does she love him? Well, there's his cookbook, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. She religiously reads his blog, Bitten (he's not the only one writing posts), and column, The Minimalist, in the NY Times. But more importantly, she loves his message -- "eat less meat." Bittman is not vegan, nor is he vegetarian, but his message may do more to get the average person to consider eating vegan occasionally than appealing to peoples' ethics.
Bittman's new book, Food Matters, talks about the importance of eating less meat, and how that trumps every other action: eating locally, eating organic, eating "humanely" processed animal product (if there is such a thing). He talks about the 60 billion animals that are killed annually to produce food, and how that is conservatively estimated to double by 2050.
His message to omnivores is to be a "less-meatarian," and vegetarians should strive to be "less-dairytarians." And we should all strive for incremental (and therefore, sustainable) changes.
This is so do-able for everyone. If you've been trying to convince the people in your life to go vegan, you probably haven't met with much success. But THIS message doens't require any major "sacrifice." We can save 6 billion animals if every human cuts down their meat consumption by 10%. (And 1 billion if we get Americans to eat 10% less.) 10% doesn't seem like an unattainable goal.