So I was talking with my wife the other day about being vegetarian and whether we should attempt being vegan. I surprised myself.
I have been really pondering why I don’t eat meat. At first, it was a health thing. Not so much that a meat free diet is healthier (it is, by the way) but because part of my ability to lose weight depends on being able to control food. Vegetarianism = controlling food. Hence I became vegetarian.
But the more I think about it, the more I find that I don’t really need to kill things to eat well. I’m not sure if its the murdering that I am really finding distateful or the fact that commercial meat is full of fun things like mad cow and salmonella, not to mention cholesterol, triglycerides, and other things which cause a host of diseases. But there is something about killing to eat that I find unnecessary.
Citizens of developed nations do not need meat to survive. As a species, all humans once needed meat to have enough food to live. Even after agriculture came along, we still needed meat. The problem is industrialized countries (and non-industrial countries if the Developed Nations spent less time blowing up their neighbors and siding with dictators and more time building infrastructure and rooting out corruption) have enough technology and understanding of food science that if they so chose, they could live without meat.
And frankly all we are doing by eating meat is killing ourselves. People die of contaminated food (and yes, people died from bacteria in spinach, but that was traced to a pig farm next door…) and people die of the diseases that meat cause. At the same time, the American Cancer Association is pushing people to eat vegetarian diets because they are healthy and they extend life.
Ultimately, I feel that not eating meat is the logical next step in cultural evolution. I think it makes us more human and humane to stop killing the “lesser” creatures that live on it. Yes, God made us dominion over all the land and all the animals on it. However, the way we use that dominion is akin to me giving you dominion of my bank account and you losing it on slot machines or thousand dollar trinkets. Yes, you had dominion over it, but wasted it.
So, to my mind: we don’t NEED meat. We probably SHOULDN’T eat it and there are BETTER alternatives. To me, it just makes sense that we find a new direction.
I expect a deluge of feedback for anyone who reads this. I don’t consider myself a militaristic vegetarian, but I do wonder what would happen if we looked past our epicurean ways and tried to live a little healthier.