Oftentimes when I meet someone they ask me why I’m a vegetarian (a vegetarian is someone who doesn't eat meat or fish, nor uses any animal products which mean pain). Before I list the reasons why I’ve chosen to be a vegetarian let me say that I don’t judge people who choose to eat meat. People make different choices for different reasons, and it is not my place to judge the choices that other people make. Just being alive is inevitably going to cause suffering. But anyway, here’s why I’m a vegetarian.
1) I respect animals, and I believe that a vegetarian diet causes less suffering than a diet centered around animal products. i find no pleasure in pain.
2) Animals are sentient creatures with their own wills and feelings, and it seems wrong to force our will onto another creature just because we’re able to.
3) A great deal of medical evidence points to the fact that a diet centered around animal products is terrible for you. Animal product based diets have been repeatedly proven to cause and exacerbate cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
4) A vegetarian diet is materially more efficient than an animal product based diet. By that I mean that you can feed lots more people with grain directly than by feeding that grain to a cow and then killing the cow. In a world where people are starving it seems criminal to fatten up cows with grain that could be keeping people alive.
5) The raising of farm animals is environmentally disastrous. All of the waste from animal farming gets washed into our water supply, poisoning our drinking water and fouling our lakes, streams, and oceans.
6) Vegetarian food is nice to look at. Compare a plate with grains and fruits and vegetables to a plate with pigs’ intestines, chicken legs, and chopped up cows’ muscles.
So that’s pretty much why I’m a vegetarian. If for some reason you ever decide to become a vegetarian or a vegan, please do so carefully. Most of our conventional diets are so meat and animal product based that when we give up meat we don’t know what to replace it with.
Although a vegetarian or vegan diet is a million times healthier than a carnivorous diet, making the transition away from eating animals needs to be done wisely. Most health food stores and bookstores have good books that can help you to make the transition from an animal product based diet to a vegetarian or vegan diet.