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“Nothing exists except atoms and empty space. Everything else is opinion.” -Democritus

For the most part, there are two types of people in the world: those who care and those that don’t.  The concept of caring reaches realms unimaginable. For the sake of argument, we’ll assume carnivores don’t care about what they’re consuming, what they’re putting into they’re bodies on a daily basis. For the sake of the same argument, we’ll assume vegetarians and vegans care too much. But what is it, exactly, that we care about so much to put up with ridicule from family and friends on the regular (seriously, if another relative of mine asks me, “But what do you eat?” I’m going to lose it). I can not speak for everyone out there, but these are my three main reasons for becoming vegetarian. Different strokes for different folks, yes, because I’ve never been one to preach. When it comes to this topic, I’m going to go ahead and quote one of my favorite emcees (and fellow vegetarian) Andre Benjamin: “Speeches only reach those who already know about it,  so this is how I go about it”:

Environmental Awareness

Do you realize how meat production affects our environment, our Mother Earth? The meat industry pollutes the environment more than all other industrial sources combined. Combined. In my eyes, you can’t consider yourself a true environmentalist if you’re still eating steaks and salmon and all that shit. What type of legacy do you want to leave for future generations, and what type of carbon footprint are you leaving on a day to day basis?

Animal Rights

I am an animal lover. What can I say? I’m a sucker for their cute little faces and their undying, unconditional loyalty. I could never imagine killing an animal for my own benefit. We are living in the 21st century, folks. We’ve evolved beyond the hunter and gatherer days of our Neanderthal ancestors. It’s time for our eating habits to evolve as well. Organizations dedicated to the cause like PETA and Mercy for Animals have done a good enough job showing the ugly side of the meat industry. I don’t need to go into any gory detail on how meat gets from the pasture to our plates. They’ve taken it to the next level as people for the ethical treatment of animals in all aspects of life, not just meat. Do your research, and always consider your sources. I haven’t always been a vegetarian, and my logic was always, “Well the animals going to be killed anyway.” But there comes a time when one needs to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. If everyone stopped eating meat, the demand would cease to exist. Think about the power of your decisions. And the power of your purchases.

Being Healthy

Most of us are detached from what we’re eating. We don’t always know the source of where our food is coming from. We can, however, take preventative measures to ensure certain aspects of our health remain, for lack of a better word, healthy. Red meat has been linked to hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, acute coronary syndrome and stroke. Vegetarianism is a great way to lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about death on your breath.

I’ve rambled enough. I’ll leave you with some books and movies I’ve seen that have cemented vegetarianism into my mind, body and soul. I don’t want to change you, because you are beautiful. I just think animals are beautiful, too, and they deserve our respect. This is the VegeTERRYn signing off and sending good vibes your way…

Books to Read:

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

Movies to See:

Food, Inc.
Earthlings (I could not even make it through half of this movie, due to its graphic nature. If you’re trying to scare someone into being a vegetarian or humanitarian, this’ll do the trick)
Fast Food Nation

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