A few weeks ago I sent my sister an email asking her why she became vegetarian (we both are and have been for roughly six years). In her response, she asked me why I am a vegetarian. I ended up writing more than I expected, so I figured I’d go ahead and post it for all to see!
The book I mentioned that I was reading at the time was The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory.
Perhaps some day I’ll formalize it and turn it into a better post, but for now it’s better than nothing…
the first thing that caused me to become vege was the fact that i realized i just didn’t like meat all that much. the flavor/texture/etc. i specifically remember being at school and i got a chicken salad sandwich pita and there was some grissle in it and i was like, that’s so disgusting. never again.
now that i’ve been vege longer and given it more though, i have a whole list of reasons:
- meat takes way more energy/resources to produce food/nourishment than vegetable-based foods. the common statistic is that 10 lbs of grain produces 1 lb of beef. imagine how many more people on this planet could be fed with that extra grain.
- on a similar note, the way we “farm”/”raise” animals now is extremely bad for the environment. try taking an old cattle field and plant some trees — they won’t grow since the ground is so polluted with animal waste and stripped of minerals and stuff.
- like you said, i like and appreciate and respect animals. i don’t think humans have any moral superiority that gives us the right to decide to kill other animals. when anti-vegetarians respond to this by saying “but animals kill other animals” and “cavemen at animals” i say:
- animals never kill other animals to the point of extinction
- animals don’t use factory farms and mass production
- animals have to look their prey in the eye when they kill it, thus creating an emotional response to the slaughter that humans have removed themself from
- cavemen didn’t use computers, either… i would like to think we’ve improved since those times, and meat eating should be one of those things we’ve improved upon
- the way that we eat meat and determine what meats are “ok” and which are “gross” just proves to me that humans aren’t innately wired to eat meat. for example, lots of people think it’s “horrible” and “inhumane” etc. to eat dogs and horses and whatnot. to me, it’s all the same. i hate people who are quick to defend dogs but then turn around and eat a burger.
one thing that i don’t like, though, are people who are vegetarian for religious and/or health reasons. i mean, in the end it’s good because less animals are killed, but i guess for me being vegetarian is something at the core of who i am since it was an ethical decision i made. i’m not forcing myself to do it because of religion or desire for better health.
i know you aren’t vegan (and neither am i, but i try to be vegan whenever possible), but one very interesting point made in the book was that both eggs and dairy products come from only female animals. it’s just another example of men (and humans) exploiting the female body… even in animals!!!
Any other veg*ns want to share their thoughts on why they became veg*n? I think it’d make an interesting sort of anthology. Or not really…