Vegetarianism This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     I believe that one’s diet is a personal, sacred choice. However, I am an avid supporter of vegetarianism. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to make “gobble” noises during Thanksgiving dinner or make myself out to be a martyr. I won’t even pretend it’s remotely enjoyable to cut up a steak into very small pieces and quietly slip them to the dog. I can say, however, that I feel better physically and mentally since I cut out meat. Plus, the environment benefits from my choice.

Anyone can help the environment; it’s as easy as ordering a veggie burger! By abstaining from meat products, a vegetarian is withdrawing their financial support from the environmentally unconscious meat industry. The meat industry contributes 18% of the atmosphere’s greenhouse gas emissions. The world’s transportation system accounts for only 13.5%!

The advent of large commercial meat farms are environmentally unsustainable because they exploit valuable resources. Currently, livestock consumes 70% of the nation’s grain. In a world with barely enough food, this mismanagement of resources is disgusting and wasteful.

The Sinclair-style meat factory is something of the past, but meat is still a horrific, diseased industry. Currently, its biggest atrocity is the treatment of livestock in large commercial meat farms. There are constantly credible reports of violence, cruelty and maltreatment of livestock. These farms are not sanitary either, for animals are packed in tightly and disease runs unchecked.

Becoming a vegetarian was the hardest thing I have ever done. It requires constant research of food items. Never again will I be able to just “try something new” without scrutinizing the label first. Now, however, I approach life with more self discipline. I feel that I have more energy and concentration. I am proud to identify myself with the four to ten percent of Americans who are vegetarians! Knowing that my everyday decisions are saving the environment is an amazing feeling. In the slightly altered words of Julius Caesar, “Vedi, veni, veggie!”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 10 at 4:26 am
i love this so much!
Israel70717 said...
Dec. 16, 2010 at 11:56 am
okay first of all i would like to say that i am not a vegetarian but this made me think about what it would be like to be one. But it seems like it is hard to do it especially for me. but keep up the good work try your best.
Ali._L said...
Dec. 14, 2010 at 1:26 am
This is an extremely important issue to be aware of. Great work, and I love the writing!
Bethani said...
Jun. 11, 2009 at 7:29 pm
You have given me some new information about vegetarians. It was interesting to learn. Keep writing about things that affect your life! It will get you far!
Site Feedback