Since recently going vegetarian, I have experienced my fair share of negative comments, jokes, and disapproval from both family and friends who are close to me. I could start off by saying that everyone should just mind their own business and let people eat what they want to, but that would be slightly hypocritical of me, and I’m not a hypocrite. Everybody is allowed their own opinion and preference when it comes to dieting. The purpose of this article is not to rip on meat eaters but to stress the importance of accepting vegetarians and to recognize why we we’ve chosen to eat the way we do.
Having a family with a lengthy string of cancer history, it makes prevention of diseases and cancers very important to me. Different types of meats are packed with fat-soluble contaminants like herbicides, antibiotics, pesticides, and hormones. These toxins are highly concentrated in the fatty tissue of animals, and can lead to bacteria and parasites (i.e. salmonella and parasitic worms) as well as viruses. Considering this, supposedly the consumption of meat has been related to various diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, kidney stones, and even cancer. It’s a no brainer for us to go vegetarian considering the possible consequences of meat eating!
Our bodies were created to feed off a plant-based diet. The gathering hands and flat teeth we were given are most beneficial for collecting and chewing grains and vegetables as opposed to animal flesh. Also, due to the alpha-analyse in our saliva, we are more easily able to digest complex carbohydrates in plant foods than we are to digest animal foods. That’s how our bodies were built. Along the fact that plants and veggies were what our bodies were constructed for, is that we burst with energy from not eating meat! Eating plant-based leads to improved concentration and well-being. A study done by Chris Forbes-Ewan on the effect of vegetarian dieting in athletes proved that “well-planned vegetarian diets, particularly those including milk and/or eggs, can provide all essential nutrients for good health and for a high level of sports performance.” (Sportsci.org).
Putting the health complications behind meat eating, we also see being a vegetarian as morally correct. I understand that there's some of us who may be very aggressive in getting our opinions across and by calling out all meat eaters to be monsters for even thinking that eating meat would be morally acceptable. I am not this way; I am not forcing anyone to see my views morally. Just understand that our opinions matter too. To us, it is difficult to think about the incredible torture animals experience throughout life and death just to end up on our plates. If you challenge this argument and suggest we “just don’t think about it,” imagine being the victim of slaughter yourself. Animals are born and raised to die, how can we sit and just “not think about it?”
Lastly, it’s no question that our worldly environment has been experiencing some serious turmoil. By eating meat, we are essentially eating ourselves off the globe. The rates of waste and ruined resources skyrockets due to meat consumption. Going vegetarian can save the planet. Raising animals for food is a major cause of excessive greenhouse gas production, adding up to more gas than all cars and trucks in the world combined. Going vegetarian can also significantly reduce water usage. Less water is used to nourish plants than used to support living animals, and so are antibiotics, growth hormones, and chemicals which are extremely harmful to the environment as well! Overall, by going meat-free, we can reduce our ecological footprint by saving more than 100 animals each year from the horrendous animal cruelty produced by meat industries.
Overall, these are just some of the reasons why we choose to be vegetarian. Hold true to your values and opinions, but understand our concerns as well. Going veg is great for our bodies and the environment!