There are many reasons to become vegetarian to include creating a sustainable environment, enhancing food democracy and security, the better management of food resources, and leading a healthier lifestyle. There are ethical issues as well in the “farming” and killing of massive quantities of living animals.
If you really care about the environment; if you believe you should recycle, conserve water and electricity, and believe that our environment is more polluted than it should be, then you should consider being a vegetarian.
Saving and Sustaining the Environment
Saving the environment is a big concern for vegetarians. One early, and huge, influence upon environmentalists from the “60’s generation” was a book called Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé. She wrote that being a vegetarian can lead us to a more sustainable environment.
“Food democracy concerns itself with the future as well: It implies economic rules that encourage communities to safeguard the soil, water, and wildlife on which all our lives and futures depend.”
Healthier Life Styles
One of the most common reasons many people choose to be a vegetarian is for better health. Healthier Life Styles are enjoyed by most vegetarians and vegetarian food is usually less expensive and safer than the flesh of an animal. A well-balanced vegetarian diet is easy to prepare, healthy, and helps to prevent or control a number of health problems. High cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer are all directly caused by, yup, eating the flesh of animals, especially cattle.
There are other health concerns; antibiotics and hormones are fed to animals shortly before they are killed and are delivered to you “packaged.” That “juicy” red looking steak flesh in the supermarket has to be enhanced with artificial coloring, otherwise the flesh of an animal after it is dead and already starting to decompose is a rather unpleasant gray color.
Do you know where most animal products come from and what is in the flesh of the animals you eat? If you are not sure of your answer, why would you eat it?
(Solution: do NOT eat cattle flesh)
Ethical Issues are high on the list for many vegetarians. If you really say you like animals, then why do you eat them?If you really say you like animals, then why aren’t you a vegetarian? Many of you could not personally kill a living animal and eat its flesh, why do you allow someone else to do it for you? How many of you would be willing to fatten up and eat your pets? Why not? Vegetarians believe that it is unnecessary and cruel to raise animals for food.
Please view the slideshow prepared by Peaceful Prairie and see if you really like where the animal flesh you eat comes from.
These ethical considerations can be based on two basic beliefs; eating animals is wrong, and animals raised for food are treated poorly. There are many examples of poor treatment; if lobster and other shellfish looked like a puppy, would YOU dip them in boiling water ALIVE?? Did you know that new-born calves are locked in crates, underfed and not allowed to move until they are served as veal? And what about packing chickens so tightly into cages that they can barely move and their excrement falls through the stacked cages onto chickens below? Do you really want to eat these creatures? To many people, eating the flesh of animals is a form of murder.
This YouTube sound-only video is a well told story by Garrison Keillor about a sadly poignant and emotional incident and the emotional conflict of a farmer when something went wrong during an attempt to slaughter a hog.
What About Plants?
This is a question that vegetarians are often asked. If it is wrong to kill animals why is it OK to kill plants? Sherry F. Colb addresses the issue in her article called And What About Plants?. Another article by Ms Colb and Gary L. Francione called A Frequently Asked Question: What About Plants?.
They both argue that plants are not what are called “sentient.” That is they are not “conscious of sense perceptions. Sentient beings have minds; they have preferences, desires, or wants…Plants do not have interests. There is nothing that a plant desires, or wants, or prefers because there is no mind there to engage in these cognitive activities.”
A tree is part of an abundant and regenerating system. It will produce its fruit or nuts year after year, which you can pick and eat, without it killing the tree. The fruits of a tree are its seeds and new trees will grow from them. It is part of a system that creates but does not destroy. You can eat a tomato, take the seeds from it and grow new tomatoes.
If you take the seeds from fruits and vegetables and plant them they produce even more fruits and vegetables. The seeds from just one tomato, can produce hundreds of tomato plants all of which will produce new tomatoes. It is an abundant, self-sustaining, system. It uses the same amount of ground each year and when the plants die they produce fertile soil for new growth.
The growing, raising and killing of animals for their flesh is a limited source of food, it’s life ceases and the creature will never produce again. A live cow or goat for example, can produce food in the form of milk and milk products such as cheese for its normal lifetime. Killing an animal for its flesh is a wasteful, polluting practice as well as an inefficient use of energy and resources.
There are other reasons to be a vegetarian besides saving the environment and the more obvious health and ethical issues. Do you know that vegetarianism can enhance our Global Food Security and Resource Management?
For more on that issue please follow the arrows to the next page:
Global Food Security and Resource Management ->>>