On Being Vegetarian

8 Apr

“How can you be a vegetarian?! And like… what do you eat?”

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me these two questions, I’d be rich.

Let me first just clarify, this blog post is not in any way a desperate attempt at convincing anyone to become vegetarian. This is just me trying to open people’s minds to a new way of living.

Being vegetarian is not a taboo, a trend or a passing fad – it’s a lifestyle choice.

I wasn’t always a vegetarian. In fact, for 18 out of 21 years of my life, I did indeed eat meat. The reason I ate meat was not only because I liked it, but also because I had never been exposed to any other way of living. American culture dictates that eating meat is a natural, acceptable and normal way of living.

When you are raised with those values, it is difficult to convince yourself you need to stop and reevaluate your life. For 18 years, I lived in an ignorant state of mind. I never once stopped to question WHY I ate meat and how it affected the world I live in.

About a month after my freshman year of college, I began researching factory farms and food processing plants to become more educated on what was going into my body. What I found was utterly appalling. I had always heard the horrors of what it was like for animals in factory farms, but it took seeing it first hand to really and truly empathize with the predicament these animals are inhumanely put in.

I am not going to go into detail about what happens to these animals in factory farms, because if you really cared, you would research it yourself. Let me just say that, the way many animals are treated in factory farms is simply atrocious and to continue to turn a blind eye to something so grotesque is inhumane and shameful.

When I ask people WHY they eat meat, the most frequent response I get is, “because I like it.” The fact that so many people think this is a justifiable excuse for the torture and murder of innocent animals is further proof of how distorted our culture and values are.

The truth of the matter is that most people simply do not want to know what happens on factory farms, because knowing would just be too hard for them. It’s easier to remain ignorant and apathetic than become educated and have to face the cold hard truth. People don’t want to put in the effort to change their eating habits and so many people act as if giving up meat would completely uproot their lives.

Trust me though, you would survive just fine.

Yes, being a vegetarian does require a little bit more effort at first, but once you become accustomed to your new eating regimen, it becomes quite simple. I am not saying you are a bad person for eating meat, but I do feel that a selfishness and ignorance goes along with the stigma of being a meat eater. I know many good people that are not vegetarian, but it’s hard to defend their eating habits and sometimes I question whether they are missing some sensitivity chip in their brains.

I have grown to really respect people who have become vegan or vegetarian, because it takes a truly compassionate person to actually change such an integral part of their life for the sole purpose of standing up for something they believe in – the humane treatment of animals. Change starts with you and if you change, slowly but surely, the world will follow.

In this day and age, it is especially easy to become a vegetarian and getting the proper nutrition is not difficult. I am not trying to convince anybody to change, but I am hoping people will find it in their hearts to WANT to change or at least consider it.

Sometimes, when I decide to go on a rant about how everybody should just stop eating meat, my friends will tell me to stop being such a vegetarian. The thing is though, I am not “being a vegetarian” I am just being human. It seems as though so many of us have forgotten what humanity is and that is something we cannot afford to lose.

Ask yourself, is that Big Mac really worth indirectly inflicting such suffering on these cows?

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What about those chicken tenders that you love so much?

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Or the bacon you eat every morning for breakfast?

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Is it worth it?

By eating meat, you are indirectly and ignorantly supporting all the factory farms that mistreat these animals. Ask yourself, is the inhumane treatment of animals really what you stand for?

Doing what is RIGHT is not always EASY. And what IS right is to make an informed, humane and educated decision on how you live your life.

Like Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

And so I will.

What about you?

xo
TJ

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6 Responses to “On Being Vegetarian”

  1. sageandonions13 April 8, 2013 at 7:33 am #

    Wow. Powerful post! You raise some really good points that I haven’t considered before. Just what I needed to give me a nudge into becoming a vegetarian myself…thank you for sharing.

    • Taylor Devost April 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

      ThankYOU for taking the time to read!! And best of luck with becoming vegetarian. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made! Good luck and thank you! xx

  2. Kathryn April 11, 2013 at 5:46 am #

    It always amazes me, the “what do you eat?” question- anything and everything I want!
    There are amazingly yummy replacements for just about every type of meat product imaginable, not to mention that majority of cafes and restaurants have -finally- caught on and cater to us herbivores… despite the brainwashing efforts and scare tactics employed by the dairy and meat industries, becoming a vegetarian is such an easy change to make in your life- and if being humane isn’t convincing enough, it’s cheaper, your body functions better, it’s easier to maintain a healthy weight and it tastes SO much better than rotting flesh ever could đŸ˜‰

    • Taylor Devost April 11, 2013 at 5:57 am #

      AMEN!!!!! Could not have said it better my self. Thanks for reading! XO

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