Monday, January 01, 2007

On Veganism

Like most people, I used to think being a vegetarian would be extremely difficult. I thought that it must be such an ordeal for a vegetarian to eat that their life must be largely comprised of searching for food. I heard that what little food a vegetarian could eat tasted awful, too. Who would want to live such a life? I sure didn't. Had I spoken to a veg*n during the first two decades of my life, I would have said "I could never do that!"

I also heard that vegetarians, and especially vegans, were typically healthier than their omnivorous brethren. I liked the idea of being healthy...having a higher quality of life for a longer period of time sounded pretty good to me. I also heard of people abstaining from red meat, and in December of 2001 an acquaintance of mine did just that (for health and weight loss). I thought that would be something fun to try, as I enjoy personal challenges.

Giving up red meat was an idea that I could warm up to. Once I wrapped my mind around that, I thought about chicken, pork, didn't seem like it'd be too hard to give up any particular one. I still wasn't sure what vegetarians ate, but I figured the food couldn't be as bad as I had heard...after all, peanut butter and jelly was vegetarian, and that tasted good, and it just didn't stand to reason that millions of vegetarians were all living off salads and PB&J.

So, my 2002 New Year's resolution was to go vegetarian.

I ended up reading a number of books on health, animals, ethics, and farming practices that year. These subjects were eye-opening, to say the least. I approached my research with some common knowledge. I knew that too many Twinkies were bad for you and that animals were raised and killed to put meat on our plates. Simple enough, right? Hah! I won't go into all the details, but if you're interested in learning more a good starting point is Why Vegan?. Anyway, if we don't need to eat animal products - if we're better off without it, even - then why do so? There's plenty of great, convenient food that doesn't require exploiting animals...why not eat that instead?

So, my 2003 New Year's resolution was to go vegan.

I've been happily meat-free since 2002 and eggs & dairy free since 2003.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of your points, but a few need to be discussed further, I will hold a small conversation with my partners and perhaps I will look for you some suggestion later.

- Henry