Meals From Mars

As a vegetarian it sometimes feels foreign like I’m on another planet when discussing the all to popular question”To eat or not to eat animals for food.” While vegetarianism has been practiced for over a thousand years in some countries, it is a relatively new concept in the West. And so, with the question cropping up more and more , I thought I would share with you the questions I get asked most often. “What’s wrong with eating meat?”

For me it’s comes down to this. “I object to the consumption of meat because it is the flesh of another being, obtained through her slaughter, without her consent.  The food we call “meat” — more accurately, the body parts of pigs, chickens, cows, and other beings — is unnecessary in a human diet and is too much a product of exploitation for me to condone its use.”

Food is a very personal thing for many people, and as members of a culture raised to view the corpses of other animals as food, it can be daunting to imagine a life without those bodies on our plates.  I agree that there is definitely a period of adjustment we have to go through when we eliminate animal products from our diets.  However, once that period of adjustment is over I gaurantee you will find that I you don’t miss it.  Not even a bit. I swear!

I know the reality is we can’t educate overnight, people are still going to use animals for food, clothes and exploit them for entertainment and science, however we can reduce this suffering and reduce the consumption of products by sharing our thoughts and opinions as well as making more informed product choices. I am not telling you how to live your life, but I am asking you to reconsider your thinking process. Reducing consumption has huge benefits not only in reducing suffering but also benefits in health and environmental impact.

“I was meat free for a while, but I felt tired all the time because I didn’t get enough protein.”  In saying that I belive people are open to the change, unfortunately they revert back. This is a statement I hear a lot This makes me wonder what the reality of that process was for that person making the choice,  I wonder did they do enough research in their meal planning?  Did they get the support from their families and friends? Somehow society failed to support them but with the right tools it’s easy, healthy and has long term benefits.

Protein can be obtained through a variety of plant-based sources.  (Beans, lentils, soy protein, nuts, grains) all contain a healthy amount of protein.  I am not a nutritionist, and you should speak with one if you have specific concerns, but there are a number of great resources are available, especially on that wonderful tool called google. If you are really serious then have a proffesional meal plan for you. The Vegan Project is a good start if you live in Vancouver, BC. If you don’t, research something local in your area. If you can’t find anything, contact me and I will find some great resources to get you started.

What will happen to all the animals if we don’t eat them?  Animals are currently bred and raised specifically to be slaughtered and eaten (or otherwise exploited by humans). The same that would happen to giraffes, caterpillars, rhinos, wolves, seagulls etc… they will live out their lives in an environment that allows them to thrive in a sustainable way.

God put animals on the Earth for people to eat. I don’t practice any organized religion, so I don’t feel qualified to respond to this question. I do however feel that something can’t be right if one “god” is saying respect all living things and another is saying animals are our food. Makes you wonder?

I don’t eat red meat. I only eat chicken. Chickens are still exploited by humans for their bodies and by-products.  They deserve just as much consideration as other animals, and I do not endorse using those animals without their consent.

People have been eating meat for thousands of years! People have been doing many things for thousands of years that are unnecessary today.  We can live healthfully and happily on a vegetarian diet, and by doing so, we ensure that other animals live healthfully and happily as well.

The way animals are treated in agriculture is terrible. I always buy humane, free-range, organic meat, dairy and eggs. Those methods of food production are also problematic, unfortunately.  Any system in which animals are being farmed for their body parts or their by-products is ultimately using those animals without their consent, and thus is not consistent with an ideal of non-exploitation.

How can you justify spending your time helping animals when there are so many people who need help? I think people and animals living under oppressive systems deserve equal consideration, and they all need allies in their struggles for equality.  In fact, I devote much of my time to helping both human and non-human animals.  Choosing to avoid meat consumption helps to keep actions in line with the goal of a world free of exploitation and oppression.

Animals are better off being raised on farms than living in the wild where they face predators, disease and starvation. Animals in free-living situations are not being forced to do anything they do not want to do.  I oppose subjugation and exploitation, and animals being raised for food, clothing, entertainment, or science are being used without their consent.  I would prefer that they were living free and able to make their own choices.

 I believe in the circle of life. I believe in non-exploitation.

Animals kill other animals for food, so why shouldn’t we? We have the choice to live happily and healthfully on a diet free of animal products.  Some animals do not.

Don’t dairy cows need to be milked? Cows only produce milk to feed their young.  In order to continually produce milk for human consumption, they are kept in a continual cycle of pregnancy.  This is traumatic and oppressive, and I choose not to drink cow’s milk so I do not support that system of oppression.

What are your thoughts on organics? “Organic” does not mean anything in terms of animal liberation; it simply refers to the food that animals are being fed.  While organic food has many positive qualities, it does not mean that animals are not being oppressed.  “Organic meat” and “organic dairy” still require that animals are kept in cages, exploited and oppressed, and used without their consent.

I hate PETA! I don’t like them either. I think their campaigns are disrespectful and hurtful to both human and non-human animals. They make everything good look like a force of change, I think that there is a better approach than bombarding people with an argument, it’s better to have people experince the process and make their own decisions. Being a vegetarian is a healthy living choice. It’s a choice to respect the lives of animals as well as embraces the responsability in protecting the earth.

If you have a question about plant-based eating please write me a comment and I would be happy to reply. If I don’t know that answer I’ll go find it for you.

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