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| Reasons for Becoming Vegetarian
Pain - The main ethical or moral reason to become vegetarian is to minimise the pain and killing of animals. There is horrendous suffering in factory farming. Paul McCartney said "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian". Read the Confessions of a slaughterhouse worker.
But plants feel pain too... - This is addressed here.
World Peace - Also, there is a link between animal suffering and world suffering and war. Evidence from psychology tells us that those who are cruel to animals are likely to be cruel to humans. As a culture, by embracing meat eating, we are being cruel to animals, and so we are surely more likely to be cruel to each other! So, wake up!! - by minimising meat eating, we hasten the path to peace, both inside us and in the world. See The Song of Peace in Wars, Diet and the rape of Earth...
Justice for All - 'Veganism is inherently intertwined with anti-fascism, human rights activism and anti-capitalism. The animal slaughter that vegans and vegetarians are consciously opting out of... relies on systematic exploitation of both humans and animals.' (Adapted from BBC & veganarchist Brian Dominick, posted & accessed 3 November 2019)
Love - By leading a vegetarian lifestyle, we are living a compassionate lifestyle. This is a diet for the new Culture of Love.
There are many personal health benefits to a plant-based diet.
Pollution that damages our health, like mercury in fish or plastic in many marine animals, is more likely from animals.
Hygiene issues and food poisoning are less likely in vegetarian kitchens. See here.
Weight management, taste and concern over antibiotics are also strong motivators.
Care for the Earth - Meat production of any kind causes far more environmental damage than plant-based foods. There is more pollution, more water wastage, more fires, more soil depletion, more global warming, more CO2 emissions, etc. See here.
Chicken is not the answer. Plant-based diets care for our planet Earth.
"The single biggest way to reduce your impact [greenhouse gas emissions] right now is to avoid meat and dairy. It’s far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car."
(Joseph Poore, University of Oxford, cited at BBC, dated 2019, accessed 5 July 2019)
Feed the World - Vegetarianism can easily prevent world hunger. Check out Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé. This 1971 book was groundbreaking in arguing that world hunger is not caused by global food scarcity, but rather by ineffective food policy.
Human Extinction - Today, meat and fish eating is a major driver of biodiversity collapse (BBC, posted & accessed 6 May 2019). We threaten the extinction of a million species. 70% of agriculture is related to meat production. Such land use = biodiversity collapse .
Biodiversity collapse = human extinction. Do we want this? If no, stop eating meat!
Community Care - Your rubbish bags are less likely to be ripped by dogs, cats, seagulls.
In the documentary Vegucated (see here, here and here) (at ±50m), the question of why humans are omnivores is tackled. Dr Milton Mills (see here, here and here) explains that when humans moved from equatorial regions to temperate zones, they also had to adapt their diet to survive. It became necessary to supplement the plant-based diet with animal foods because plants were not available all year round. So, humans adapted and learned to be omnivores, to eat as many foods as possible to survive. However, then animal foods became enshrined as a cultural value. Animal foods became a dominant narrative in society, and its evolutionary origins were forgotten. But today most of us have ready access to a plant-based diet. Just like when we lived in equatorial regions, we now no longer need to supplement with animal foods. In fact, as we are over-consuming on our planet relative to its human population (e.g. it takes about five Earths for us all to eat the way the USA does), it is to our evolutionary advantage to once again adopt a plant-based diet.
There is some debate as to whether humans are anatomically vegetarian/herbivorous.
A vegetarian and anatomist here explains why we are omnivores.
However, this article explains why we are herbivores. We are optimised for a predominantly or exclusively plant-based diet.
Make your own mind up with this one.
I'm going with anatomy as indeed being a reason for vegetarianism, as even if we eat meat occasionally, this does not make us an omnivore or non-herbivore any more than a cat eating plant matter (e.g. in cat foods) is no longer a carnivore.
- Vegetarianism costs less than meat eating - for societies and individuals.
- Also see 'Ethical' above where it is clear that this diet is deeply interwoven with a fair and non-exploitative financial system.
Awareness - Vegetarianism gives a heightened awareness of the spiritual world.
Love - By leading a vegetarian lifestyle, we are living a more compassionate lifestyle. This is a diet for the new Culture of Love.
Energetic Purity - Meat eating tends to keep us engrossed in coarser, more violent, more fearful energies. Do you think that all the fear that the animals experience on the way to slaughter and at death is not embedded in the meat?
Karma - Karmically, surely it is better to minimise meat eating? If you have to eat meat, like some indigenous peoples, at least do ceremonies where you thank the animal for its sacrifice, or just say thank you to the animal and Earth.
Future - The potential future of our diet is outlined here.
If you choose vegetarianism, switch gradually. You also need a clean lifestyle. This allows the physical and subtle energy systems time to adapt. Otherwise, for example:
"If we follow a vegetarian diet but pay no attention to our thoughts, we may allow ourselves to be possessed by negativity. Generally, carnivores have less energy going up the spine; their energy is altogether heavier, especially if they consume meat in large quantities, so negativity does not penetrate so deeply... If someone inclined to be negative gives up meat, he may find that his physical energy becomes low and that because of this faster brainwave he gets dizzy turns and hallucinations." (Lilla Bek in one of her books with Philippa Pullar)
The Future of Diet
Wars, Diet and the Rape of Earth