Now that you know my story of how I became a vegetarian, this follow-up looks at why I have continued this lifestyle. I strongly believe that not eating animals is the single most important thing anyone can do to help save our planet. Eating animals contributes to the terrible suffering of animals, personal bad health, the obesity epidemic, and the worsening of our planet. It is completely spot on to say “go vegetarian, save the world”! I’ll kick this off with an excellent quote from Paul McCartney on GoVeg.com.
- “If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you could do. It’s staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty.”
–Sir Paul McCartney
Animals as Meat
I strongly believe that there would be many more vegetarians if people were more aware and involved in the process of turning animals into food. If people had to witness or participate in the slaughter of animals it would make them think differently. Having to see a carcass cut up and turned into “food” would make people stop and think about it. Today it is just far too easy to get meat wrapped up in nice cellophane packages or order burgers from fast food places. Chicken fingers and nuggets are so far removed from the suffering of those poor birds. Chickens are the most abused animals on the planet and their treatment and lives is stunningly sad if you are aware of it. This chicken story at goveg.com has more details.
If you missed it from my last post, be sure to check out PETA’s calculator that tells you how many animals you have saved (if you already are vegetarian) and how many you can save in your lifetime if you continue to avoid eating meat.
If you need some further convincing, please check out some of the terrible undercover video that has been shot inside slaughter houses. The video at meat.org is a great starting place and they have links to other videos.
Being vegetarian is just plain healthier. People are not designed to eat meat. Animals that eat meat have very short digestive tracts so the meat doesn’t stay in them long and have the chance to rot. Ours on the other hand is over 20 feet long! Do you really want that animal carcass slowly moving through your intestines and decaying as it goes? Also, meat eaters have sharp teeth at the front of their mouth to tear the flesh, which we humans lack. If none of that convinces you, try it and see for yourself. I suspect you will feel lighter without the heavy weight of meat going through you. My daughter was accidentally served spaghetti with meat sauce once when she was about 4 and her body almost instantly rejected it and she threw it all up. This was before she or we realized the mistake, so it was purely her body talking!
Being a vegetarian is great for the environment. Raising animals for food is extremely resource-intensive. Eating lower on the food chain is a great way to do your part to save the environment. I have a great post from Earth Day that covers the terrible environmental impact.
For me it started out as a personal health thing, but over time all three of these reasons – personal health, animal cruelty, and the environment – have all become excellent reasons that justify why I have continued to be a vegetarian and why I don’t forsee changing for the rest of my life.