I’ve only been a vegetarian for a few months. I feel almost dishonest to be using the word “vegetarian”, as even within those months I have not had a perfect track record. Perhaps “aspiring vegetarian” would be a better way to put it. Anyway, why would a dedicated steak devourer, bacon gorger and fried chicken consumer such as myself even consider giving up one of the purest pleasures of life?
Same reason I became a Christian: Intellectual integrity.
I feel like the arguments for vegetarianism are more compelling than those for meat eating:
Arguments for Vegetarianism
- Meat produces a lot of greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change
- It’s an inefficient use of resources: the animals consume lots of grain and water before they end up on my plate.
- In a world where there are humans starving, it seems questionable to give food and water to animals simply for the purpose of turning them into a steak.
- Deforestation: Forest land is cleared both for raising the animals and for growing their food.
- Vegetables are good for you!
- Vegetables are cheap.
- Animals are sentient beings, they feel pain, have interests, etc.
- If you do it right, you can be just as healthy, (if not healthier) as a vegetarian.
Arguments for Meat Eating
- It’s yummy
- We’ve evolved to be omnivores
- It’s tradition
- Health: source of protein, iron
As a person committed to critical thinking, rationality, ethics and integrity, if I cannot justify doing a thing, I don’t do it. And I can’t see any way to justify eating meat. I can get my protein and iron elsewhere, so why should an animal have to die for it and the environment be depleted for it?
I feel like if I am to have any creditability in criticising the hypocrisies and inconsistencies in the actions and beliefs of others (Christians in particular), then I have to be striving to remove them from my own life. Christian or atheist: practice what you preach.