Let me tell you a little secret… I’ve not always been a vegetarian. It’s something that I assume most veggies have in common – we’re the “converted” (except for the few born into veggie or vegan families – hey, keep up the good work guys!)
Making the choice to become a vegetarian stemmed from a number of sources but ultimately concludes in one reason. Unlike most herbivorous homo-sapiens, my problem does not lie with the killing animals. For me, it’s the livelihood they have to endure; their death is almost a sigh of relief…
Unfair Treatment of Animals
Let me elaborate: coming from a country where corporal punishment is not practiced, every so often a criminal on trial, or newly put in prison, finds a way to commit suicide and people get disappointed. It’s logical that we want people who have committed terrible acts to pay for their illegality by having their freedom taken away, isn’t it? They don’t deserve our rights and lifestyles, yet we don’t want them to escape their condemned lives either.
Imprisonment is seen as a punishment. Life imprisonment is saved for the worst offenders.
Yet people are not born into prison. Nor are they allowed to be left in over-cramped, communal conditions with no sanitation facilities while imprisoned. Criminals are not left with festering wounds, or broken bones caused by overfeeding from unnatural sources or manhandling. And criminals are certainly not kept in the dark for the whole of their sentences.
These instances are labelled as torture. And sadly, the majority of the meat that we are served or sold has endured such conditions. I’m not even going to mention their deaths, humane or not. It’s for this reason that I could no longer stomach a bloody steak, or a chicken leg, with the its crispy “melt-in-the-mouth” skin. The sheer scale of inhumanity is no longer compatible with how I want to live my life, and the idea of secondarily eating the feed that went into these animals, the unhappiness in their bodies and the rigidity of their deaths is, in my eyes, no way healthy.
Having reflected on these choices with friends and family, it’s clear that the majority of people don’t connect the dots like this – whether it be through ignorance or blind faith in the meat industry. For the minority that do recognise this reality, and still choose to eat meat, let it be clear that I have no qualms with you. In fact, I respect you for taking the time to process the cause and effect more than anything else.
For 20 years of my life, I was also unaware of the issues in our meat industry, but a number of books, articles and documentaries helped me form my solid decision. If you’re looking for proof of what I’ve written or want to make up your own mind, I suggest starting off with one of the following documentaries, to give you an easily-accessible and quick insight:
A documentary about the reality of the American meat industry.
A documentary about three average American people trying veganism for one month.
If you’d rather only learn about the reality behind the fast food industry, this one is for you.
On top of these, investing time in fitness and yoga has meant that meat just doesn’t fit with my lifestyle – but my relatively new-found vegetarianism is a great excuse to find healthy places to eat and new food to cook! In a way, this is why I created Curiously Conscious – as a journal to store healthy, natural ideas and spread the word about happy, green living.
So, now it’s over to you – if you watch one of the documentaries above, or have an opinion on vegetarianism, I’d love to talk with you! Let me know what your thoughts are on the food industry in the comments section or with me on Twitter and also, if you know any other good documentaries on the subject, especially ones linked with the British food industry!