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Why are you vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian?

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Old 07-16-2009, 08:38 AM   #1
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Default Why are you vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian?

I'd like to hear some people's thoughts on why they chose a vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan diet. I recently committed to giving up meat and poultry for ethical reasons, a decision I've been toying with for some times. A radio story on the treatment of veal cows was the final straw for me. I love and respect animals and I believe they are intelligent, feeling beings. However, I am undecided about fish. I don't know if fish think, or feel, or form attachments. I have never felt any sort of connection with a fish - it just doesn't seem the same to me as say, one of my dogs. I'm trying to sort out what I rationally think and feel on this and would like to hear from others. Why did you decide to change your diet? How do you feel about the fact that animals eat other animals? Do you percieve a difference between fish, birds and mammals?
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:05 AM   #2
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I stopped eating red meat a while ago because it just grossed me out, i hated seeing the fat, and it was so bad for my heart. I became a pescatarian almost a year ago because i read skinny ***** and wanted to try it, i would have been a full vegetarian but i hate beans and tofu so i needed some way to get protein (honestly i only eat tuna salmon and shrimp) but then i took a class in school called "religion and animals" that actually ended up being about animal ethics through the lens of various world religions and i told my teacher that she just gave me a whole new slew of reasons to continue with this lifestyle that i chose initially for diet purposes and not at all for ethical reasons.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:18 AM   #3
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I am not a vegetarian or even a true pescatarian. We eat mainly fish--rarely anything other than that. No one in my house eats red meat. I do have a couple of things in my freezer--turkey and pork tenderloin I use on occasion--maybe once a week or less.

Hmm. As to why. It started with me noticing that red meat didn't agree with me. I felt sluggish after it's consumption and noticed my digestion of it was slow. Also, it wasn't a difficult for us to do--we have lots of friends who are vegetarians and have seen them doing it for years. It's definitely been a slow move though--and nothing I have done overnight. The humanitarian aspect is of definite concern to me. The cost of proper meat (organic or hormone free)is also of concern. I can shop much healthier for our family for much less if we aren't doing bunches of meat. I love the way produce, rice and beans "look" in my shopping basket and in my home and I like knowing what they do for our bodies. It just works for us. I guess that's why we do it.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:24 AM   #4
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There was a thread about this previously but when I answered it, I wasn't vegetarian
Why are you a vegetarian?

I switched to a vegan diet because I believe animal proteins are unhealthy. I read The China Study and Eat to Live. I think dairy, eggs and any proteins from animals are unhealthy. We were never meant to eat as much animal protein as we do and eating it from unhealthy animals. Our oceans are polluted and fish are not healthy for us to eat even though their fats can be good for us.

Even before following a vegan diet, I learned that many fishing practices are bad for the environment. After following a vegan diet, I learned how bad most animal production is for the environment. Following a vegan diet is much more sustainable for the environment.

Then I learned about some of the animal rights issues after I watched Earthlings. Animals are tortured for our mass consumption. Dairy cows are tortured until their short life is ended and they too become food. Chickens are tortured laying eggs. Watching the commercial slaughter of a cow/pig/etc is horrid. Most are boiled alive so that the skin can be removed easily. I would recommend watching Earthlings as it is a well researched, highly regarded documentary. What I learned about animal production and leather production was quite appalling. I always had a false assumption that we used the skins of animals we ate and leather came from the same cows that you might get a steak from. I was amazed at the waste. It also touches on fur production which I never agreed with anyway but that was also quite appalling. Earthlings also addresses fish production.

As for how do I feel about the fact that animals eat other animals? Well some do as a matter of survival. Not all do. There is also no waste when animals eat other animals. It is also a more natural. How we as humans eat animals is nothing close to natural.
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:47 AM   #5
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goodday, that class sounds incredible--I would love to take that...I wonder if it's offered at any of our local colleges

Earthlings sounds interesting. Did you find at the movie rental or Netflix or what?

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Old 07-16-2009, 12:00 PM   #6
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Personally, the thought of killing any animal by suffocating it seems worse to me than cutting its throat or stunning it. Seems very cruel to me. And that kind of stress seems like it could do unhealthy things to the meat.
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thighs Be Gone View Post
goodday, that class sounds incredible--I would love to take that...I wonder if it's offered at any of our local colleges

Earthlings sounds interesting. Did you find at the movie rental or Netflix or what?
Netflix has it but so does google video:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...72964130308142

And it is very hard to watch, many people report not being able to watch it. For me, I thought it was important so I watched the entire thing.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:31 PM   #8
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I switched because I have a close friend that is vegan and I was curious so I went t goveg.com and found loads of info and videos that helped me make the switch. Almost been a year of vegetarianism for me
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:45 AM   #9
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Suffocating?! Omg, where did you learn that?
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:12 AM   #10
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I was vegetarian in my teens because the thought of gnawing on bones and veins really grossed me out. When I got married my ex was a meat eater and when I was pregnant I did crave meat. Preparing it has always made me ill, the sight of blood alone. I could never cook meat with the bone still in it. Still, I ate meat for the next 17 years and cooked it for my daughter. I was ready to go veggie again last year after the videos of those poor tortured cows in the slaughterhouses here in California came out. My daughter did NOT want to give up meat. Finally, she came to me and said she wanted to be a vegetarian and was committed to it. I hopped right aboard. I'm still pescetarian eating sushi once in a while but also trying to lean towards not only eliminating that but going Vegan altogether.

When I was a child I grew up in farm country. I never liked the idea of eating the animals that I fed and played with. I will say, things tasted different. Milk did not taste like it does now, same with all of the dairy products I enjoyed as a child. When I started going organic a few years ago I realized THAT is what dairy is supposed to taste like. Torturing animals and adding chemicals to save costs hurts not only the animal, but the people who are eating it. IF people are insistent that they eat meat, I strongly suggest that they are careful to buy organic, range free or Kosher products because the animals at least get a decent life before their slaughter and it does make a difference in those who eat it. The reason for Kosher rules regarding meat is to avoid contamination but also to respect the life that is being sacrificed for that meal. Though I'm not especially religious, it's amazing how something written so many thousands of years ago really rings true.

BTW as far as fish go, they do think and feel even though we don't expect it. My mother had a fish tank full of goldfish that actually ended up being more like Koi from her spoiling. When she would walk to the tank they would ALL swim over to her and she was able to stick her hand in and pat them on the heads. I was amazed... they were like little dogs in a water tank!
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:17 AM   #11
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Liz, do you have pictures of the fish? I want to see! XD
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Suffocating?! Omg, where did you learn that?
To be honest, I just assume, which is bad. How else do you kill a big net full of fish? Maybe someone knows.
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minya View Post
Liz, do you have pictures of the fish? I want to see! XD
I wish I did, but unfortunately I do not have pictures of that. I had goldfish too but they never reacted to me that way. Then again I think I probably just stared at them (I was a child) and she actually talked to hers.

If you ever go to Sea World, check out the Bat Rays. They swim up to people to be pet and their skin is velvety.
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:10 AM   #14
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Thank you everybody who replied. I think I'm uneasy because at the moment I'm not eating meat because I *feel* like it's unethical but I haven't really thought it out, and lots of eco-conscious people I know do. But Nelie you are quite right that the *way* we eat meat is nothing close to natural - its more like wasteful and unnecesarily cruel. On the other hand, I still buy and feed meat like that everyday because I'm not about to make my dogs go veggie...:S ! So I guess I'm still contributing to it....
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Old 07-18-2009, 06:28 AM   #15
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I chose to be a vegetarian when I was very young, because as a young child I understood where my food was coming from and I couldn't have gone for trips to the farm to look at all the animals with school or my mum knowing I was eating them when I got home.
Now I'm older I can't even imagine eating meat again, nor have I been at all tempted in the last 14 years. I've seen the way some of the animals are treated just for our consumption and it's disgusting. I know that some of the places which slaughter animals are ethical (if you can ever call slaughtering ethical), but I just think to myself "could I have killed that animal myself?", and as the answer is 100% always no, I know I'll never be able to eat meat
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