People often ask me why I’m a vegetarian. It’s as annoying as someone asking a tattoo artist about tattoos while hanging out in a bar. My question is why eat meat? Eating a dead body is…. repulsive. Isn’t it?
Typical unsolicited comments I receive are: How do you get protein? But meat tastes so good! I don’t know what to do with tofu. What do you eat on Thanksgiving? But fish isn’t meat. You don’t eat meat-I feel bad for your man. The monotonous conversations that ensue make me want to stab someone with a carrot! But then I remember that some people feel judged or even guilty about eating meat and so they ask questions. It’s easier to scoff at a vegetarian than to acknowledge the process of turning a live chicken into a McNugget.
I’ve encountered different types of vegetarians over the years. There’s the faux vegetarian who eats meat “sometimes”, the smug vegetarian who is morally superior, and the preachy vegetarian that enlightens with provocative facts at the most inopportune times (think 4th of July barbeque). These hybrids give the rest of us a bad name.
So why don’t I eat meat? My choice is based on ethical, health, and environmental reasons. I can’t overlook the brutal life animals suffer through on farms before they are slaughtered. I challenge you to watch the final scene in Fast Food Nation while eating a juicy burger. As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” Creativity and consciousness separate man from beast, but it doesn’t give us the right to exploit other species for consumption, entertainment or experimentation.
Meat is high in saturated fat which leads to heart disease; the number one cause of death in the United States. The artificial growth hormones injected in cows to increase milk production are linked to cancer. Energy intensive factory farms are overcrowded with animals and colossal amounts of feces which increase methane gas emissions, global warming, and pollution. Conscientious carnivores buy from small farms where animals have a better quality of life.
Vegetarianism is a philosophy and a lifestyle. The benefit of being a vegetarian is that you’re a cheap date and you definitely won’t get the human variety of mad cow disease…. a disadvantage is the endless gas your loved ones must endure. Hopefully the day will come when vegetarians will not have to explain their food choices because they’ll be the majority. Random thoughts: Tofurkey is disgusting, I don’t care what other people eat, I’m not a tree-hugger, soy bacon is inherently silly, and salad is not a meal. Send questions or comments to: [email protected]
Brutal vegetarians: Chris Adler, Brian Fair, Kirk Hammet, Angela Gossow, Geezer Butler, Rob Zombie, Eddie Vedder, & Ozzy.