Animals Are Not For Eating

June 16, 2009
By Julia Benton BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
Julia Benton BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
1 article 3 photos 0 comments

I don’t enjoy grilling steaks. I would rather pet a cow than eat one. I am a vegetarian! And I’m not the only one. There are an estimated 4.8 million vegetarian adults in the United States and studies show that vegetarianism is even more common among people under 18.
I don’t really have any deep philosophical reasons on why I became a vegetarian and I never had a sudden realization about meat. One day, I just stopped eating it. My decision wasn’t a difficult choice; I knew that I could never eat a hamburger without feeling guilty about where it came from. For me, eating meat was unnecessary and I soon learned that there are plenty of other delicious, non-violent options. I now spend my mealtimes eating pasta, salads, pizza, and sandwiches and if there isn’t a vegetarian meal on the menu, I simply ask for a dish without the meat. Being a vegetarian is a lot easier than most people think and I have never regretted my decision.
That isn’t to say that I am repulsed at the mere sight of a sausage. And I certainly do not silently judge my happy meat-eating friends while they are munching on a meaty snack. I understand that meat is oftentimes tasty and some people have no desire to ever stop eating it.
Still, I don’t think I will ever understand how people can lavishly treat their pets and dress their dogs in little sweaters while remaining completely unfazed that an equally deserving animal died to become their burger. While I am certainly not out to convert everyone, there are obvious benefits of a meatless diet and I encourage you to give vegetarianism a chance!
Overall, people become vegetarian for a variety of reasons. Some want to lose weight and hope to live longer, healthier lives. Others have always loved animals and are ethically opposed to eating their furry friends. Still others are drawn to vegetarianism because they want to do their part to reduce pollution and lower their carbon footprint. Whatever their reason, vegetarians are taking care of their bodies, animals, and the earth through their diet.
Why become vegetarian? Read on:
You might live longer. By becoming vegetarian, one of the lives you could save is your own. Vegetarianism is about more than simply not eating meat; it’s also about smart eating. The American Dietetic Association reports that "appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” Of course, there are meat eaters who eat more vegetables than vegetarians, and vegetarians who eat more unhealthy fats than meat eaters. A vegetarian diet isn’t automatically healthier than a non-vegetarian diet. You still need to use common sense and cannot simply replace your meat intake with ice cream.
You’ll lower your carbon footprint. The meat industry has a devastating effect on the environment and waste from farmlands is one of the greatest threats to water and air quality today. Cutting down on our beef intake would help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions because there would be less factory farm, methane-producing cows.
You’ll be in good company. So should we all become vegetarians? Will we? For most people meat still does taste good, and if we ever were all to become vegetarian, it would undoubtedly take a very long time. Maybe someday in the future, people will look back and say ‘Can you believe that in the 21st century, people were carnivores? That they were still eating animals?’ If you do decide to skip out on the meat you will certainly be following a long established and an ever-growing trend. The illustrious list of vegetarians has included: Albert Einstein, Leonardo DaVinci, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Pythagoras, Mohandas Gandhi, and even 8-year-old cartoon character Lisa Simpson.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!