My computer's working again, but I'm still pretty stressed out. I decided to have a bowl of ice cream to make myself feel better. And since I don't want to talk about anything serious or awful today, I'm going to break down the possible objections to ice cream, and why I still like it.
It's not good for you
There's a pretty good case to be made that ice cream is bad for your health. There aren't many vitamins and minerals in it, and it's really high in calories. I'm not going to go and get the box to work out the relative health values to some of my other favorite comfort foods, like potatoes or macaroni and cheese, but it's probably a safe bet that I'm over the advisable caloric intake for someone of my activity level -- and whatever the recommended serving size is, I'll bet I had more.
That all said, I'm not having ice cream for breakfast every day. I have a bowl every now and then, and I'm pretty comfortable with my body size and health level. I'd like to be healthier, but at this point I think it's more an issue of getting more exercise than it is a problem with my dietary choices.
Dairy is exploitative of animals
I think I've mentioned before that I'm a weekday vegetarian -- so my dietary choices are already not super-respectful of the life-and-comfort rights of animals. That said, I do have a lot of problems with the way cattle are treated in this country.
I like Temple Grandin's position on cattle -- that it's okay to use animals for food, as long as you give them a good life. I'm not confident it's ethically perfect, but it's a lot better than our current position, and it's a compromise I could live with.
Cattle is bad for the environment
This is also true, and I do think we need to cut back on the amount of meat we produce as a country. That would probably also mean cutting down on the amount of dairy produced, pushing ice cream, like meat, further into the realm of luxury food.
I think I could live with that, though. If supply and demand led to its necessity, I could see myself paying 10 dollars for a bowl of ice cream. Once in a while, anyway. It's one of those foods that's just good, and I believe the demand for it won't go away, even if it gets expensive.
Plus, if there's just less to go around, that would help with the health decisions referenced in the first question.