I just did the calculations and I realized I have been a vegetarian for 7 years!! I think I always tell people 5… I guess I was wrong! While in university, as I began my undergrad in Environmental Studies (later changing to Forest Conservation), I first contemplated going vegetarian. Unlike a lot vegetarians, my main reason for ‘converting’ was to be environmentally conscious. Producing livestock on the large-scale that we currently do is not sustainable. All of the resources (water/vegetables/grains) that we use to keep livestock reduces the resources available for our 7 billion people to eat! When you consider something like 1/3 of those 7 billion have meat in their daily diet. Also the sheer number of animals (cows especially) contribute to emissions (cows=methane gas). So as a budding student I felt I should do my part. If I was going to attempt to be sustainable, going vegetarian was a great step.
Then came the movie Food Inc., if you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian/vegan a movie such as this would most definitely be your swaying point. It is actually only in my later years that animal rights and just the idea of eating animals has come into play for my reasons for continuing to be a vegetarian. I follow a few vegan sites on Facebook & in the blogging world. I also have a few vegan friends. Their reasons (most of which are animal rights based) are now more relatable with me, then they were 5 or 6 years ago. I have always been pro animal rights, but like I mentioned I had other factors motivating my decisions. However, the idea of eating an animal just feels wrong after 7 years of not doing it and I truly cannot get past the difference between eating a pig & a domesticated animal. Yet many meat-eaters will get their backs up about dog/cat/horse/dolphin/shark meat found in food. If eating a dog upsets you, then why do you eat bacon? Pigs are also domesticated animals…and are more intelligent than any other traditional house pet. I suppose it makes me wonder what makes my cat so different from a cow or a pig or a rabbit? If you are going to eat one, why do we have these strong feelings not to eat the other? Just seems a little hypocritical to me.
Food for thought I suppose.
I have been thinking about my vegetarianism lately and the sustainability of my diet. I started writing this post to talk about vegetarian cooking, but I think why I am a vegetarian is a good start. I am trying to lower my soy product intake (I am bad for buying frozen premade vegetarian proteins), I want to start doing more of my own cooking. In the next few weeks, watch out for some recipes & vegetarian/vegan info. Hopefully they will help you with your own vegetarian cooking!
*After writing this post a friend of mine posted this on Facebook. I think it perfectly explains why I became a vegetarian in the first place and really helps to put meat-eating in perspective. Please take a few minutes to watch and let me know your thoughts.*