I don’t eat meat, I don’t enjoy eating meat and I don’t think I need to eat meat.
And although this is a personal choice that shouldn’t matter to anyone but me, I still get criticism for it. “It’s just a fad,” and “stop starving yourself” are just a couple of remarks I receive when telling someone that I don’t eat meat — so here are a few legitimate reasons, and a little responsive criticism, for the people who feel that way.
The United Nations released a statement in 2010 stating that a vegan or vegetarian diet should be a goal for everyone in America, even if it is for just one day a week.
Because a decrease in the demand for meat and animal products decreases the production of these goods, which, in turn, decreases the amount of carbon dioxide that meat creates with its production.
So, by decreasing meat consumption, you decrease your carbon footprint. In addition, animal waste runoff from factory farms is a major pollution factor in surrounding rivers and streams — another problem that can be remedied by a decrease in meat demand.
If you don’t care about the environment, then here are some humanistic reasons to change your mind about us “hippies.”
About 70 percent of all grain produced in the United States just goes to cattle being raised to slaughter. If it wasn’t being fed to animals, it could be feeding starving people around the world.
Also, if you have the means to eat a balanced diet without meat, then why not give it a try? It can help feed less fortunate people whose bodies can’t afford to be vegetarian.
So, with all the food available in our country that doesn’t have meat in it, what are your reasons for not taking advantage of it? Eating a greater plant-based diet also has benefits for the consumer, such as a reduced-fat diet, increase in energy, longer life and saved money.
Animals require a lot of energy to produce, grow and slaughter, which results in a higher cost for you – the consumer. It’s also amazingly easy to eat vegetarian.
With the rise of this “fad” comes a rise in restaurants catered to plant-based diets, not to mention the Internet is teeming with awesome recipes and ideas for vegans and vegetarians.
If the moral obligations aren’t enough for you to become a plant eater (as unfortunate as that would be), then do it for your body and wallet.
And that doesn’t mean just eating salads and “starving yourself” — it means eating vegetables, fruit, grain, tofu, nuts and the like. Our grocery stores have a plethora of options so that protein deficiency doesn’t become an issue.
I know one person becoming a vegetarian isn’t going to change the world, but if everyone at least tried it could make a huge difference. Even one or two days a week would decrease the demand. So quit the criticism, we’re not all animal-loving hippies, and get on the bandwagon. Vegetarians could save the world.