People ask me why I'm a vegetarian. Others don't ask anything, but just give me a plastic grin when they discover I don't eat animal flesh or their secretions. Funny. I should be the one giving the frown, but I don't, because that would be unkind.
Because vegetarians seem somewhat alien-like, some think we are shoving our beliefs down their throats whenever we request a veggie burger instead of a slab of cow or pig. I can't speak for all the aliens, but I never want to shove anything down any one's throat. I'll explain my reasons and some facts, and this may make some feel uneasy, but that's only their conscience kicking in, not me.
I haven't always been a vegetarian. Only six months ago did I make the change from allowing my body to be a grave for rotting flesh, to eating what I believe our bodies were created to consume: A plant based diet.
So? Why? The reason I even contemplated such a weird thing is because I had heard that animal flesh and secretions caused inflammation in the body. As a massage therapist and a writer with painful hands and joints and an heiress of all kinds of inflammatory diseases, I decided to research this rumor. Not only did I find this rumor to be fact, I also discovered reasons that rip my heart out and blacken my soul just thinking about them.
Reason 1: Compassion.
Animals want to live. Animals feel pain. Who am I to cause any living being pain and to end their life just so I can have a tasty meal that isn't good for me? Who am I to keep a cow constantly pregnant, living in a pen hooked up to machines to steal her baby's milk so that I can have cheese on my pizza, and then when her life is completely spent and she can no longer stand, haul her off to be slaughtered for my hamburger? Who am I to keep birds locked in tiny cages their entire life with three to five other birds and sear their beaks and talons off so they don't peck themselves to death just so I can have eggs for breakfast? Who am I to 'grow' cows on filthy feed lots to live in their own feces and never frolic in a field? Who am I to mass produce turkeys in inhumane conditions and allow cruel and painful killing techniques? Who am I? I am a human with the conscience and the mind to know right from wrong. I have been given this choice and I choose compassion.
Reason 2: Environment.
This is totally self explanatory. But, just in case it's not, here's a link: Vegan Outreach Environmental and another Vegan Peace Environment and another Vegan Quest and another Wikipedia
Basically, the United Nations says: Save the environment by going vegan.
People are going hungry in the world. Livestock is not. A bit backward, don't you think?
Reason 3: My Health
According to the American Dietetic Association:
"Appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes."*
But wait, there's more.
Carnivores vs. Herbivores
Cancer thrives in acidic conditions. Eating animal products creates an acidic environment in our bodies. A plant based diet (especially raw and unprocessed) creates an alkaline environment in our bodies. Enough said.
Here is a cute little video I saw the other day. I don't necessarily like how they make man look un-smart, but still found it informative.
Want more information?
Read Vegan Freak by Bob & Jenna Torres or The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone