As a long time vegetarian I have been asked countless times why I gave up eating meat. I have had people try to talk me out of it, people get offended, and also people who were genuinely interested and wanted to know more. It never really bothers me when people make blunt statements about how stupid they think it is or how they could never do it. But on the other-hand, it always makes my day when someone is willing to understand and listen to my reasoning. I gave up eating all meat and seafood when I was 7 years old simply because of my love for animals. The internet was what really exposed the cruelty of the meat industry to me-via youtube videos (that I probably shouldn’t have been able to watch at such a young age) and some readings that better introduced me to vegetarianism. Up until then I hadn’t really pieced together the idea that meat
Despite the fact that most of my family were convinced that it was just a phase, I have stuck with my decision for almost 12 years now. For me, it has never been difficult because it is something that fundamentally makes sense to me. My reasons for staying vegetarian have actually grown and changed quite a bit in the past 12 years but can pretty much be summed up into three basic categories: animals, the environment, and health.
Growing up I always had pets and found myself very sympathetic to animals. As soon as I realized that I could have a diet that didn’t involve harming animals, I felt enlightened. I was also very fortunate to have the support of my parents who were willing to cook me alternate food options. This is still the number one reason that I am vegetarian and I think that this is also the reason that I haven’t had a problem sticking to it. My devotion to animal welfare is probably one of the biggest parts of my life. #FriendsNotFood
Animal agriculture is one of the top contributors to climate change. The amount of land, water, and other resources that are required to raise just one animal to adulthood are absolutely insane. With a rapidly growing population, there is just no way that our planet can sustain our eating habits, especially those notorious of people in the United States.
“But where do you get your protein??”
I can’t tell you how often I am asked this! The answer is so simple it’s ridiculous. I get my protein the same place the animals get theirs: plants! There is so much protein in plant-based foods
But honestly, if you do it right a vegetarian diet can have so many health benefits. I’ll admit, as a 7 year old I had no interest in this aspect and probably didn’t have the best diet (vegetarian or not) but as I’ve gotten older and learned more I have really grown to be interested in making healthier choices which has really made a positive impact on my life.
Now, more recently I have taken up an interest in veganism which (for those that don’t know) involves giving up all animal products, including dairy and eggs, along with meat. This is about the most ethical diet out there and if done correctly can be really healthy, too. I know that there are a lot of strong and varying opinions on veganism but personally I like the idea of it and admire anyone who tries to eat ethically. (But I do understand that due to things such as food deserts it is not possible for everyone).
Anyways that’s all for this post but I will most definetely write more about vegetarianism/veganism in the future! Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below! Be kind 🙂