I became a vegetarian after learning about the many inhumane and cruel practices that are practiced everyday in today’s slaughterhouses and factories. Also, I didn’t feel as though I needed to kill another being in order to fulfill my nutritional needs. There are plenty of vegetarian sources of protein, iron and other nutrients. Lastly, red meat is also not very good for your health or the environment, so thats another reason to cut meat out of your diet. All in all, vegetarianism is beneficial to the earth and to the body.
I do not consider myself a vegetarian because I eat fish, and occasionally chicken, but I choose not to eat red meat for environmental reasons. I also had to read several books on factory farming for a course that I took, and they made me stop eating animal products altogether for a while.
I began to eat vegetarian because I was curious what it was like to have that sort of dietary restriction. I then continued to eat vegetarian because I really didn’t miss meat as much as I thought I would. I ate a lot of my favorite foods and without really trying to, lost weight. I now continue to eat vegetarian because I enjoy what I eat and how feel/look (my skin cleared up a lot) and I am afraid for the future of our environment. I also do it to protest the non-lives that animals bred for meat have. That said, I am not a true vegetarian. I go four to six weeks without meat at a time, but I will eat meat on special occasions or if I am really craving it. If I am cooking meat, I only buy USDA organic free-ranged/vegetarian-fed meat.
I was a vegetarian and my reasons for doing so were not only due to environmental issues, but spiritual issues. To begin adapting to a new lifestyle can be a challenge; I had been eating meat since my youth, and to change that completely took a lot of will-power and inner strength. I mainly tried vegetarianism to see if I had the strength to adapt to a new lifestyle, which I did. When you have the power to fight what you usually do, it is liberating. I believe this is also why vegetarians also feel better mentally; they have adapted to a new way of life, fighting against what they’re comfortable with and doing something new.
Factory farming and the mass-production of livestock degrade the environment by polluting the soil and waterways with toxic animal waste. It is also quite wasteful of grain that is used to feed these animals who are only going to be slaughtered, which could be used to feed starving populations in underdeveloped and impoverished countries.
Following a vegetarian diet is also beneficial to human health. Eliminating red meat from one’s diet decreases risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, as well as obesity. A vegetarian is also less at risk for food-borne illnesses. A vegetarian also decreases toxins in their bloodstream from heavy metals such as mercury, commonly found in fish.
To be completely honest, I began giving up meat a while ago for monetary reasons. Fact is, meat usually costs more than salads and being a destitute college student it was a wise decision.
However, I have also always been a big lover of animals and the less ignorant I became about the food processing industry the more I stuck by my choice. But this expands beyond simply that because there are many places that take care with their livestock, breeding it naturally and consuming meat as part of a symbiotic relationship.
But for me, I chose to continue being a vegetarian because it takes me out of a processed meat equation. I no longer consume the meat so there is one less person to accomodate for. And selfishly, it feels really good to set goals for yourself and stick with them. Vegetarianism is my goal.
I grew up vegetarian, but there are reasons that I’m glad I’m a vegetarian. The treatment of animals and the environmental impact of meat production are the two main reasons that I empathize with, but there are other reasons as well. Processed meat and meat with additives isn’t appealing for many reasons, and neither are the diseases associated with meat (like e.coli). Eating vegetarian can be healthier for your body as well.
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