Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Why are you a vegetarian?

I get asked this question a lot. Which is fine, I'm more than happy to share my reasons. What surprises me is how often my answer is met with belittling sarcasm. I guess it shouldn't surprise me too much since this how I used to react to my sister's decision to stop eating beef, lamb, basically cute animals (not a judgment). But I'm pretty sure I reacted like this because deep down I felt guilty in my own decision to continue to eat animals. Maybe that's why people do it to me now.

So, why am I a vegetarian? It's 100% for ethical reasons. I do not believe there is anything wrong with animals eating animals. My problem is with factory farming. The way these animals are treated is disgusting. It's beyond disgusting. And it's just not ok.

I'm not sure why I'm writing about this since this is a really charged topic for me. I get really upset when I think about what these animals go through before being slaughtered. Their living conditions are truly horrifying. I won't get into any specifics because it's horrid. But I think that anyone who chooses to eat meat should watch the videos of what happens. Or maybe not, I don't know.

I feel guilty if we're gone from the house too long and the dogs are in the house. Because they may not be smart but they can feel the discomfort of needing to go to the bathroom, of being lonely or bored. And that is enough of a reason to do my best to not put them through that.

I'm always a little disturbed when people tell me that it's ok for them to eat meat because animals are stupid. Perhaps but they are also aware. And, after all, humans are animals. Humans can have IQs the same or lower as a pig or cow and also be aware of what is happening. I have read that pigs have the intelligence of a 3 to 5 year old. Following this logic, does that mean it would be ok to treat a 3 year old in the same manner as a factory farm pig?

Or that the food chain dictates our right to slaughter and eat meat. I know of no other animal in the food chain that tortures its prey, by say systematically burning the beaks off of baby chicks so that more can be stuffed into cages, until it is cruelly killed.

I'm sorry. I promised no details. I shouldn't even be writing this. It will only make me and maybe you upset. No more.


becca said...

Not sure what happened because I posted a commented yesterday and it's not here! In any case, I can't believe how GUILTY your post made me for eating meat. I gross myself out now but I don't know how I'd survive without chicken, turkey and fish... I don't think I'd ever feel satisfied but... you brought up some great points here and you've made me second guess my choices. What do you do for protein?

I agree about leaving the dog home alone... I always feel bad about that.

Carrie said...

I'm sorry I made you feel guilty; I swear that wasn't my intention. I didn't mean to come off as Saint Carrie who learned the truth about factory farming and has never again touched meat. I actually knew for quite awhile before I could quit eating meat. Don't let anyone tell you it's easy cos it's not.

Morningstar and Boca (?) make awesome meat substitutes that are just as good and way healthier (I actually started eating them to lose weight way before I was a vegetarian). They make burgers, chicken fingers (Jake's 8 year old sister couldn't tell the difference at all), grilled chicken strips, ground "beef." And it's really good. Jake eats meat and he still eats Morningstar burgers and I cook with the beef and chicken all the time.

Anyway, I honestly wasn't trying to make you or anyone feel guilty. I cannot stand militant types who try to guilt people into giving up meat. It's so counter-productive and rude. It's a personal decision and I just wanted to put my reasons for my decision out there.