Vegetarianism, taking the plunge
A long time ago every dinner was beef, every lunch was chicken, and every breakfast was bacon. It was the way things were, and there was nothing the household teenager could do about it. Their parents bought the food, and they were required to eat it, no matter how much they grimaced at the sight of brussel sprouts or beef.
Nowadays, teens have choices. Vegetarianism is no longer a radical, unconventional thing to do. Many teens are choosing to eliminate meat from their diets because of choice. It's nice to know that we have a choice. We no longer have to be forced with our mouths pried open to eat "What's for dinner," as those countless commercials claim.
As a vegetarian myself, I am very happy to be starting a page on something that affects me every day. People ask why I choose to isolate my mouth from meat, they wonder why I don't take the turkey at Thanksgiving, and some even start conversations with me about why they too choose not to eat meat.
Teens everywhere are becoming vegetarians. In sophisticated New York City to rural Wyoming. If you asked 10 people, chances are at least one of them is a vegetarian, or at least thinking about it.
What is a vegetarian?Why become a veggie?
Why become one?
But what will people say?
So if you love hamburgers, stir fry, and that lovely meatloaf your mother makes...why switch? Well, I suppose if you have come to this place, you're probably wondering what's so bad about all those wonderful foods you eat all the time. It can be different for all people.
I've talked to many non-veggies who, when mentioned the word tofu, look like they are about to barf. It's so easy to act that way when you've never tried something. Is it more gross to put a dead animal than some soy beans in your mouth? For me, it's the dead animal that disgusts me. Whatever your personal opinions are, they are yours, but what I am trying to tell you is why some people switch.
Sometimes people switch purely by the way meat tastes. They don't like meat, and nobody is going stop them. There is nothing you can really say to try to persuade somebody who doesn't like the taste of meat to eat the next sloppy joe they see. That is the way it is with a lot of vegetarians.
Some people switch to the veggie-life for health reasons. It is said that vegetarians live longer and have less of a chance of getting nastified diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. They also tend to be thinner (that extra fat on the beef really adds up), and have lower blood pressure. These facts are because a vegetarian diet has less cholesterol and fat and more vitamins and fiber.
Many vegetarians are what they are because of a variety of religeous and ethical beliefs. (Thanks Animal Rights Homepage!) Some vegetarians such as Jains, Buddists, and Hindus, believe that killing and eating animals violates the ethical concept of ahimsa, or non-violence.
Another reason why people become vegetarians is for animal rights. For instance:
At the slaughterhouse, animals are supposed to be protected by something called the Humane Slaughter Act. This act, in part says that an animal is supposed to be unconscious before killed. There are many faults in this act. For one thing, the act doesn't even consider chickens, turkeys, and other birds to be animals. This means that most farm animals are conscious while being killed.
It's things like that that make people want to throw that hamburger out the fast food door. Here is a list of some other statistics and facts that I compiled through my research.
- It takes about 100 gallons of irritigation water to feed one person with meat, milk and eggs EVERY day.
- In California, it takes 23 gallons of water to produce one pound of tomatoes, 25 gallons for wheat, 33 for carrots, and more than 5,200 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. (CA beef needs so much water because they are raised in the desert)
- More than 1/3 of the forests in Central America have been cleared since 1960, mostly to raise cattle for beef
- Have you seen the packaging on some of those foods that are out there? Geez! You don't need 3 layers of packaging for a thing of Mambas! What's the deal here? What about on cereal...they have the cardboard box, and then the bag. I don't know many people except my family who recycle that kind of stuff. But believe me, it adds up. When you're shoppin around for food, please pick the one with the least packaging. They don't need all that, and the dumps are being filled up every second of the day.
- Every year in America, 6 billion animals are slaughtered for food.
Think about that, we don't even have a billion people in our country!
- Seldom do you see a smiling cow eating grass in a vast plain of green grass. 90% of the animals that people eat in the United States are raised in confinement. Some animals get sick, but the farmers don't take them away..they kill them anyway and then sell them in the same way as with any other meat. That means that you could be eating a very sick cow, and might even get that disease.
- Animal testing has to do with cruelty to animals. I have read many disturbing articles about companies that do use animal testing. Procter & Gamble does animal test. It astounded me of some of the things that they do to these poor animals. The following is a sampling of what I found: force feeding animals with toxic chemicals, burning rabbits' eyes with chemicals, skin irritancy tests on rabbits and guinea pigs (chemicals are put onto shaved, raw skin). There are ways to prevent this. A very powerful way to do this is to boycott all their products. Some of these products are:
- Crest (toothpaste and such)
- Always (feminine protection)
- Max Factor (makeup)
- Pantene Pro-V shampoo
- Head and Shoulders shampoo
Here is a list
of companies that DO animal test
Here is a list of companies that DO NOT animal test.
But..what will people say?
Emily is waiting until she finds more facts on why to become a veggie before she puts in this section hold on for a few more days while she completes that. Thanks fer your lime!