Green Living: Vegetarian Connected

That’s right, I’m a vegetarian. I was thinking about change, and one day, when I saw another set of animal cruelty photos, I said, “Enough!”

That was over a month ago, and it hasn’t been particularly hard since, except on the rare occasions when you want to eat a burger or fried chicken. My wife is also a vegetarian and it helps. She was a vegetarian for a long time before we met and her experience helps me. In fact, shortly before I sat down to write this story, I ate a feta cheese roll that my wife made, this roll was right on target, in the very place that I used to set aside for a local chicken sandwich. .

I knew about how meat gets into supermarkets, however, I convinced myself that I am an omnivore, and the love of meat is in my DNA. So I ate it (and loved it). Sometimes, usually at barbecues, the conversation turned to how meat was produced and how terrible it was in slaughterhouses.

I looked guiltily at the chunks of animal flesh sizzling on the grill and banished those thoughts. My mouth filled with saliva, I thought about whether the reaction to this smell, the best smell in the world, is acquired, or is it a primitive instinct. If it’s a learned response, maybe it can be unlearned. There were diets that emphasized our meat-eating roots, and as an athlete, I made sure to properly nourish the body. So as long as my body told me to “eat meat”, I did.

However, I found that more and more people around me were not eating meat. These were people whom I respected and whose views on life were similar to mine. I also loved animals. When I saw animals in the field, I had no desire to jump over the fence and finish off the animal. There was something strange going on in my head. When I looked at the chickens on the farm, it occurred to me that I myself was as cowardly as a chicken: I could not imagine how you could twist the neck of a bird to cook dinner. Instead, I let nameless people and corporations do the dirty work, which is wrong.

The last straw was the terrible photos from the slaughter of pigs. I saw them a week after photographs of what happens to unwanted chickens in egg production, and before that there was plucking of live ducks. Yes, alive. The Internet, a place where you can distract yourself for a couple of hours, has become a place where viewing such images is inevitable, and the lack of connection between what I eat and where it comes from has disappeared.

Now I’m one of the 5-10% of Americans who call themselves vegetarians. And I resist the desire to convert people to my faith, apart from this story. I’ll just say that my transition will not be a turning point in our attitude towards animals. Rather, my actions are related to the fact that I want to live the way I think is right, and reflect the world in which I would like to live, a world in which there is no collective cruelty.



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