Tuesday, September 25, 2012

13 Years

September 25, 1999, when I was a freshman in high school, I became a vegetarian. I assume there was some article or something that got me started on the idea, but I can't remember. I do remember realizing I'd hardly had any meat for the last several days, and deciding to make it official. 

(I need to make notes of any article/show/whatever that I think might, possibly, someday, start a life change. I so rarely remember the exact thing that got me started on a project, or where I heard of a concept.)

Over the past 13 years, I've made various attempts at going all the way vegan; it's difficult emotionally and mentally, as a lot of my comfort foods are dairy-based. I really don't think I'll ever be 100% vegan, simply because that makes socializing with omnivores virtually impossible, but I am continuing to work towards being vegan at home.

I'm veg for a variety of reasons:
  • Health: Thanks to genetics, I have extremely high cholesterol - it was over 350 at one point! (I'm 27!) Imagine how much higher it would be with more animal products in my diet. It's come down dramatically in the last few months by taking red yeast rice (a natural supplement that works similarly to prescription statins), but reducing dairy has also seemed to have an impact.
  • Environment: Raising crops to feed livestock is a terribly inefficient use of resources. Livestock also produces more greenhouse gases than transportation!
  • Cruelty: Mainstream farming practices such as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) create simply unacceptable conditions for animals. 
  • Ethics: Even if pain was minimized in livestock's lives and deaths, it's simply not necessary. Why put animals through anything, why create them simply to kill them, when we don't need their flesh to survive, much less to thrive?

cat in the window

If you've ever looked your cat or dog in the eyes, let them share your bed, and laughed at their personality, what makes them any different than any other animal?

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