I had always classified myself as a hardcore non-vegetarian. Whenever somebody inquired, I always answered “Hardcore non-vegetarian” with a glee on my face, as if it was something to be proud of. I consumed it for ten whole years. Yes, that long. I also categorized myself as an animal lover. I was growing up and had no idea of the world around. It wasn’t until I saw PETA’s news on skinning live animals that I was totally horrified and pledged to never wear fur. I signed up to receive PETA newsletters and saw the information on slaughter houses. I could not believe I saw myself as an animal lover but ate meat.

I am now a complete vegetarian. It makes me shriek when I see terrified faces of animals as they are about to be slaughtered and God only knows what they have suffered before. Anyone who thinks themselves as an animal lover cannot eat meat. I admit, it has been hard, very hard to resist whenever I encounter it on plates of other pseudo animal lovers. Undeniably, non-veg taste great. But, let me share my heartfelt whys and wherefores of converting. Following are a handful of reasons which helped me persuade my mind and tongue to not slobber over meat.

My wake-up calls:
1. I witnessed some ducks about to be slaughtered. And, it was not the blood that melted my heart. It was their faces. Their eyes.
2. I witnessed, a rescued cow escaping from a burning transport truck bound for slaughter, but she wasn’t that lucky.
3. I was an onlooker when a rescued chicken had her beak burned off without any painkillers. I can’t even begin to explain what I felt.
 4. when I saw a cow not letting go off her baby. But, the baby was taken anyway.

What I think to myself; to kill an innocent animal like deer for food, we are not a tiger or a lion staying in the natural forest following the natural set-up. At least, the tiger or lion is excused because it will never eat vegetarian food. We are human beings granted with the sharp intelligence that does sharp analysis and we have the option of vegetarian food. We also eat the vegetarian food. If we kill an innocent animal like goat/buffalo/chicken etc for our food, even though we have the option of the alternative vegetarian food, our attitude is proceeding in such a direction so that we will harm any innocent human being also for our enjoyment even though we have the alternative option for such enjoyment.

This is more than sadism because a sadist enjoys by harming another person and he has no alternative person there for such enjoyment. If we analyze this subject through our sharp intelligence, we will find that the vegetarian food is far better than non-vegetarian food also, as per the medical science.

Personal Reasons:
Well Being. I just feel better since “giving up” meat and becoming vegetarian.

Personal Finances:
1. Health care costs. (Being healthier on a vegetarian diet means spending less on health care).
2. Food costs. Vegetarian foods tend to cost way less than meat based items.

My Environmental Reasons:
1. Conservation of Fossil fuel. By eating plant foods instead of animal foods, I help conserve our non-renewable sources of energy. (Start caring about the environment You live and breathe in) Why? Because you owe it. It’s obligatory.
2. Water Conservation. It takes 3 to 15 times as much water to produce animal protein as it does plant protein. As a vegetarian I contribute to water conservation.
3. Efficient use of grains. By eating grain foods directly, I make the food supply more efficient & that contributes to the environment.
4. Soil conservation. When grains & legumes are used more efficiently, our precious top soil is automatically made more efficient in its use. We use less agricultural resources to provide for the same number of people.
5. Saving our forests. Tropical forests in Brazil and other tropic regions are destroyed daily, in part, to create more acreage to raise livestock. By not supporting the meat industry, I directly reduce the demand to pillage these irreplaceable treasures of nature. Since the forest land “filters” our air supply and contains botanical sources for new medicines, this destruction is irreversible.

It’s no wonder, then, that approximately 70% of agricultural land is currently used for livestock (which will only increase with an increasing population). Add all the methane cows produce, all the water they and other livestock drink and all the waste they produce, and you’ve got a very ugly little sum of planet/climate ruination. Basically, stop eating so much meat and help save the world.

My Aesthetical Reasons: Decaying animal parts, whether in a freezer case or served in restaurants, can never be as aesthetically pleasing to the senses as the same foods made from wholesome vegetable sources. Only habit can allow one not to perceive this: a change in diet makes this self-evident.

Ethical Reasons:-
1. Love of animals. I LOVE animals as I love myself. Let me write LOVE again. I have no desire to kill them or cause them harm. Animals are God’s property and have a right to life.
2. Small sacrifice, the sacrifice I make is nothing compared to the animals, its life.
3. Protecting the Temple; whatever affects the body has a corresponding effect on the mind and soul.
4. Slaughter isn’t the term I am a fan of.
5. World Peace. There can never be peace among men while men are declaring war on other highly developed life forms.
6. Clear conscience. I know what I’m doing is right. I feel good inside about my decision to remain “meatless
7. Easy substitutes. There are vegetable based substitutes for every meat product imaginable.
8. Help end world hunger: Every day forty thousand children on this planet needlessly starve to death. According to the Department of Agriculture statistics, one acre of land can grow 20,000 pounds of potatoes. That same acre of land, when used to grow cattle feed, can produce less than 165 pounds of edible cow flesh.

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