A lot of people are surprised when they hear I’ve been a vegetarian for almost eight years. After reactions such as “wow really?” and “that’s a long time,” the questions start pouring out. People first want to know why I made this decision. Then, without a doubt, they’ll ask what I eat, as if meat was the only food group they know of.
The reasons behind my adopting a meatless lifestyle are very personal and are by no means the best or only reasons to become one. Personally, I believe that all animals are innocent and sentient beings, therefore I can’t bring myself to participate in or support any cruelty or harm toward them. I have never been one to shove my ideals or lifestyle choices down anyone else’s throat. However, I do happen to be a fan of providing information to people who might be interested in my choice or are thinking about making a lifestyle change themselves.
There are many reasons why adopting a meatless lifestyle is beneficial. The one that sits first and foremost in my heart is that by eating less meat, I cause less harm to animals. I’m an avid animal lover, which was more than enough of a reason for me to initially stop eating meat. But there’s more concrete information to back it up as well. Studies show that all warm-blooded beings experience pain, stress and fear. Animals such as cows, pigs, chicken, turkey, ducks and sheep all feel distress and have the same kind of fear and pain as we do when being hurt and killed. They exist on the same sentient spectrum as our cats and dogs that we love and care for as a part of our own families. I couldn’t and still can’t live with the idea of hurting an innocent creature when I can easily go on living with a meat-free diet.