Picture: Veggie tacos (Quick seared broccoli slaw with onions, fresh avocados, salsa, and Nature’s Seasoning with jicama “tortillas”)
Let me begin with the statement that I am vegetarian transitioning to vegan. Jodi is too, but it’s more because of association with me than a desire or calling.
You may remember that I had said that we are pescatarians. Well, I had a bad experience with a piece of fish. It may have been psychosomatic, but it was enough to make me just drop it like the bad habit that it was.
I am not currently vegan. Yes, Julie C, I realize that it’s healthier (on so many levels) and we’ve slowly (or at least I’ve tried) to cut out dairy. I do love me some cheese, pizza, and butter. MMMMM . . . smoked gouda . . . But, the fact that I’m complicit in what I perceive as crimes against animals is making me want to distance myself from it all together.
Anyway, I get the question in the title a . . . LOT! Seriously, you’d think I was an alien or something.
“So . . . you’re from WHAT planet?”
It most often comes up when I’m offered food that a carnivore would love and I have to politely decline.
“You’re not hungry? Here, I’ll make a plate for you.”
“Thanks, but I’m a vegetarian.”
“A what? You don’t eat meat?”
“Why don’t you eat meat? Is it against your religion? Are you allergic or something? Did you have a bad experience? Are you, a pacifist? A hippie? What are you, Democrat or from California?”
And then I have to go into the litany of reasons. Or sometimes I don’t. I’ll just leave it at something like, “I just don’t.” I realize this is never satisfying for the inquisitor.
So, here are the top 5 reasons why I’m vegetarian and working toward vegan:
- When I used to eat meat, beef, chicken, and on the rare occasion, pig, I hated the hot mess that me and the toilet had to put up with. Indigestion and butt flames are never fun. Not to mention the gaseous stench. Eating vegetables has literally ended the dreaded toilet fiascos.
- The number of animals that are killed every year is RIDICULOUS . Now, I’ve read numbers anywhere from 30 billion per year (not including fish and exotics) to this staggering number of 150 billion. It’s truly an ecological disaster no matter how you count it.
- The animals are treated absolutely horribly. It’s despicable. It really should be a crime, but instead it’s a crime to do something about it. This is a really short law. Get off Facebook and go read it.
- Vegetables are just plain healthier. PERIOD.
- I actually feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Now, those last two may seem stoopid, but it’s true for me.
I still sometimes get cravings for meatish dishes: boneless hot wings, a hamburger, pepperoni, sausage, etc.
But, I recognize that it’s simply an addiction like a craving for sugar or coffee or marijuana or alcohol. (I do NOT get cravings for the last two.) And because I recognize this, it’s very easy for me to ignore the craving. Give it 5 minutes and it’s gone.
All kidding aside, I do believe that veganism/vegetarianism is a serious issue. More precisely, increasing proponents of the lifestyle is a serious issue.
I’ve watched some horrific videos and movies about factory farming. Jodi sat crying and I myself had tears running down my cheeks. If you haven’t yet, it would be irresponsible for you NOT to find some to watch. Just brace yourself and DO NOT allow little ones to watch. They are disturbing at best. Beyond hellish at their worst. How some actions can be legal is really beyond me.
For me veganism is about doing unto others as I’d have others do unto me. I don’t think in any religion it’s okay to torture and neglect any living thing; especially purely for profit’s sake.
Ultimately, it’s just responsible and truthful living.