So, let’s discuss one thing about my life shall we? There have been many experiments conducted by myself into my diet. I have cut out dairy because it doesn’t sit well with me. I have, in the past, cut out meat but ultimately gone back to eating it within a matter of weeks. I have dieted, restricted, and done all manner of things until now, when I chose to become vegetarian, and stick to it.
Now, let’s talk about meat first. Meat has never sat well with me. I’d eat it out of tradition, but truly never enjoyed any meat because it laid heavy on my stomach. I’ve had veal, duck, beef, lamb, rabbit, chicken, turkey, all manner of seafood. I’ve eaten various other parts of an animal and have done so largely for 27 years, although you could probably round it down to at most 26 solid years through the fact I have eaten largely vegetarian for a while.
I have a few reasons for why I’ve chosen to become vegetarian. From the outside, it was based in health. I wanted to dramatically improve myself by not ingesting pointless extra animal fat. Along with the above aversion to meat, it seemed a logical way to approach diet and life. Then, after about a week or two, it started to become about ethics.
Is it ethical to keep animals purely for slaughter, when they contribute to issues such as pollution and world hunger? Now, the pollution part is obvious, cow farts are gross and contributing to greenhouse gases, as well as all the shipping that is involved, and the subsequent waste produce from the fact we overproduce meat and a lot of what is on the shelves of supermarkets, ends up in the landfill.
World hunger however, is perhaps a little overlooked. Take Europe for example. We have ample land on which to grow grains and crops, and we do. However, the grain and crops we grow, largely go to feed us, humans. In order to feed the animals we keep for slaughter, and subsequent by products, we import it from poorer countries. That harms their own economy, and the price of grains and crops sky rockets, because we’re buying it from them. That money is then used to fund growing more crops, and the people of that country are again, exposed to high priced items we can buy for pence in Europe. Thus contributing to undeveloped countries literally starving to death.
The keen-minded among you may then be asking, “but Ted, why aren’t you vegan if this is how you feel?”, well it has been a consideration in the past. At present, I don’t consume diary products, because I am too sensitive to them, and additionally I don’t consume honey because of the way the honey is extracted from hives, killing off and already dwindling number of bees that we need to pollinate our plants in order to clean the air and basically survive. I do, eat eggs. Hence that I sometimes will stipulate I am ovo-vegetarian, just to highly I don’t do diary.
Is it nice to eat eggs? Well I think they’re tasty, and I suppose there is a question of ethics I need to answer. Is it ethical to keep chickens to lay eggs? When it comes to some practices with raising animals such as chickens, there are questions that need to be asked. Often, male hatchlings are killed within a few days because they are ‘useless’ when it comes to laying eggs, although they can fertilise them to lay more hens rather than cocks, but that’s often overlooked. I buy and eat only free-range eggs, but then there is issues with this also. For a chicken to be classed as free-range, it can have another 9,999 chickens in a hectare space with it. That is still, perhaps, overcrowded, and people are trying to get it reduced to 1,500 chicken per hectare.
However, nutritionally, eggs are pretty good. They are classed as a whole protein, and for someone who doesn’t eat meat, I have to get protein from wherever I can get it sometimes. Beans and pulses help, and so do a whole bunch of other foods, but eggs are still a very good source.
I don’t write this to encourage other people to become vegetarian, because I think it’s somewhat irresponsible and unethical in which to do that, and I’ll talk further on the ethics of it in another post. But I have wrote this for some understanding and possibly to pose some questions people don’t always ask themselves.