Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vegetarianism: Why Make this Change in Your Diet?

© Carrie Boyko
Toni and Xena
This picture of me and my dog Xena is meant to represent animals as a whole, not merely her as my pet. Here she stands as my reason for becoming a vegetarian, and that is my love of animals. Last year she passed away, and as my first dog, the loss was extremely painful. However, without her, my passion for animals never would have grown as strongly as it did.

The day I decided to become vegetarian was a turning point in my life; it was the day I realized that I could help reduce the cruelty towards animals by no longer consuming them. It is true, people become vegetarians for many reasons; intolerance of animal cruelty is but one of them.

Whatever your feelings on the situation may be, I am not here to judge. For me, animal cruelty is unacceptable. Raising animals to sustain ourselves is unacceptable, and I am proud to say that I am no longer a consumer of products that have been produced through acts of animal torture and cruelty. Were the animals treated humanely, kept in clean environments, not given innumerable amounts of growth hormones, and not slaughtered in mass numbers, there is a slight chance I would feel differently. Why not eat organic meats you may ask?

Animals grown on organic farms are not given hormones or antibiotics like those on factory farms typically are. However, that does not suggest they are treated more humanely as a result. Animals on organic farms must have access to outdoors, however, "having access to outdoors" does not imply that they are ever actually outside during they day. They may only have access to a small outdoor enclosure and many may never reach it due to their tightly packed spaces indoors.

© Carrie Boyko
I Love Animals; They Love Me
 I am not here to tell you that if you are not a vegetarian, or do not intend to become one, you are doing the world an injustice; I merely wish to educate those of you interested in this particular lifestyle for the time being. As I mentioned earlier, people choose to switch to a vegetarian diet for many reasons. From personal experience I have known more vegetarians who have chosen this lifestyle for reasons related to animal concerns and environmental concerns than any other matter. Animal rights groups such as PETA advocate vegetarianism on a daily basis.

Here are a few others:

1. Concern for Overall Health
It has been proven that excluding meat from your diet can decrease your cholesterol, help promote weight loss, as well as decrease the risk of multiple types of cancer and disease.
2. Environmental Concerns
Did you know that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than SUVs, cars, planes, and ships combined?.. That’s a lot!
3. Weight Management
Extensive research has proven that children and adults who follow a vegetarian diet are leaner than those who do not.
4. Food-Safety Concerns
Animals are given hormones to affect their growth rate, which you are then consuming when you eat them. These hormones can potentially have a negative affect on your health.

© Toni Boyko
Beach Sign in Thailand
 These are just a few reasons why some people may choose to follow a meat-free diet. Now, for those of you who may be interested, you simply need to determine what compels you enough to abstain from eating meat. During my research I stumbled upon an excellent compilation of statistics behind many reasons one may choose to become vegetarian, it certainly was an eye-opener for me in some areas. It may help to push you over the edge in your decision, or help you to persuade another.

I began by talking about my passion for animals, so I would like to end with the words of another, that I found amusing, and words I could truly identify with.

"To his butler: Please put the ladybug outside without harming her." 
-- Winston Churchill

Please feel free to comment by leaving your reason for becoming vegetarian, here, at our Facebook page, or on TwitterAny other comments, questions, or concerns, are also graciously encouraged.

BTW, if you're a dog lover, you may enjoy what you'll find over at All Things Dog Blog. Stop by and let Mom know I sent you!


AlyssaJacobs said...


My name is Alyssa Jacobs. I have been reading through your blog and I am finding it very interesting. I love to write and I think I could make a great contribution to your page. If this is something that you would be interested in, then shoot me a quick email when you get a chance.

Kind regards,
Alyssa Jacobs said...

A question commonly asked of vegetarians is, 'Don't you miss eating meat?" To people whose lives consist of filling in time between one hamburger and the next, the idea of never eating meat again seems about as appealing as lifelong celibacy or solitary confinement. In fact, many vegetarians do miss the flavor and texture of meat, and many find the early weeks and months to be difficult. However, people change, and after a period of time, most wonder how they ever managed to eat the stuff in the first place.

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