I go to cookouts, over a friend’s house for dinner, out to a restaurant, or even over my parent’s house with my family, and I get asked various questions…
“What do you mean you don’t eat meat?”
“How do you get your protein?”
“What do you eat?”
“What are you, a tree-hugger?”
“Do you eat leaves for dinner?”
I get it. We’ve all grown up eating meat. I understand that we’ve been meat-eaters since the cavemen days. (I’d like to point out the average age of death was 25, and whether or not that’s related to eating meat isn’t the point. My point is it’s a stupid point to use people who lived in caves as proof in any argument.)
I do. I get it. I’m the odd-man out here.
The truth is, I’ve thought long and hard about why I no longer eat meat. And the fact that it’s been almost three years means I’ll never go back to being a meat eater. Because I’ve proven to myself that my body feels damn good without meat.
So I thought I’d put down my reasons, not really in any specific order. (In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m going to break this up into a few different posts…because there’s really a lot to it.)
Now, in addition to being asked silly questions or dealing with the shock that I no longer eat meat, I’ve also done my research. Of course, based on someone else’s research.
However, the problem with “research” — and it doesn’t matter what side you’re on — is to me it seems to be never-ending. Very rarely does any single body of research provide a definite, 100% accurate answer.
So, I’ve decided to stick with my common sense and even point you towards some of my favorite sites or articles that, to me, make skipping meat an easier decision. (Again, for me, personally.)
#1. I like animals.
I’m a fundraising copywriter and part of my job is to raise money for animals. The more I learned about our unethical treatment of animals that exists throughout our world, the more I realized I wanted nothing to do with slaughtering an animal so I could eat.
Most animals are kind, social, caring, and — hate to bring this one up — have feelings.
Let’s take cows.
The bond of mother and baby are extremely strong and a mother cries when her baby is taken away.
Like all mammals — and yes, like humans — cows feel.
They’re very social animals.
They stick with their families for a lifetime.
They can smell up to six miles away and can remember the faces of 100 other cows.
#2. Meat Is Expensive!
I’m not saying if it was cheaper, I’d eat meat.
What I am saying is my family’s grocery bill is likely 2/3 of what meat-eating families spend. It’s expensive enough eating vegetables…but the cost per pound for veggies doesn’t come close to the price of meat.
#3. Factory Farming is disgusting and we should be ashamed of ourselves as a country for letting it continue the way it does.
I don’t need to go further into it if you simply click on any link above.
The meat industry processes almost 93 billion pounds of meat each year.
Here are the numbers, right from the American Meat Institute’s website:
In 2012, the meat and poultry industry processed:
8.6 billion chickens
32.1 million cattle
250 million turkeys
2.2 million sheep and lambs
113.2 million hogs
If you’re in the meat industry, you’re jumping up-and-down with joy. Look at all that money!!
But if you’re like me, you can’t help but picture it. But we don’t need to go into details in this post.