Two years ago, the summer before I began college, I decided to make a major change in my life: I went vegetarian. My sister had been vegetarian for quite some time, and often got preachy about it. Although it was annoying, it really put things into perspective for me. I never thought I would be able to go through with something so big, since I had always been a big meat eater, but it turned out to be surprisingly easy for me. And I'll tell you why.
What really made me go vegetarian was what I learned when I did a little research. Through watching credible, well-known documentaries and reading scholarly articles on the matter, I was shocked at what I was learning.
"Earthlings" was the first documentary I watched, and it was centered around how animals were euthanized for this industry. Not only did they discuss it, but they had video footage. Lots of the footage was recorded by hidden cameras, to expose how poorly animals really were treated.
It shocked and disgusted me when I saw the cruel, inhumane and downright horrifying ways that the animals were treated and killed. I specifically remember hidden camera footage revealing the gathering of baby chicks, and instead of simply getting all the chicks in the same place, they were kicked viciously by the men working. You could hear their chirps turn to high pitched squeals, and the pain in them was clear.
Another video clip I vividly remember was how a cow is slaughtered before it is used for its meat. It is hung upside down by a single hind leg, and its throat is slit until it is drained of all its blood. Fully alive and awake, it has to suffer through this. It dies a slow, painful death.
I think it is often forgotten that animals feel pain, too. Just like us. Can you imagine being hung upside down and having your throat slit, dying a slow, painful death as you're drained of all your blood? This video alone made me never want to take another bite of a burger ever again.
In addition to my research, I watched the documentary "Cowspiracy" (which, fun fact, was partly produced by Leonardo DiCaprio!) which is very centered upon why animal agriculture is horrible for our environment. In fact, animal agriculture is the leading source of our environment's decline! How scary is that? Our environment is already in such poor condition and is deteriorating at an alarming rate. And this is largely due to animal agriculture and what these animals release when they are raised and killed.
Though these are just a few examples of the horror that is animal agriculture, these and many more are the factors that led me to quit eating meat cold turkey. I knew I didn't want to contribute to that or play any part in it. Soon, I would eventually like to be vegan.