Turning to vegetarianism is a choice that more and more people are taking. I myself, a few months ago, decided to convert to this new “way of life”. By becoming vegetarian, an individual decides to abstain from the consumption of meat and/or fish. In this article, I will explain the main reasons, summed up in 5 points, for which I believe you should take the same choice I took.
- One of the primary reasons put forward by vegetarians for not eating animals is an ethical stance against factory farming. It is almost impossible nowadays to not be aware of the inhumane degradation happening in commercial intensive farms. Most of the meat that can be found in supermarkets comes from factory farming, and therefore one can be sure that the animals where mistreated and harmed in multiple ways. By becoming vegetarian (or vegan!), one can stop this process, recognizing that animals’ lives and dignity count less than the variety of our diets (which can still be incredibly diverse) and our own personal enjoyment.
- The second consideration to make is that we, as human beings who love to emphasize our difference from other animals, have an incredibly developed ability to make ethical choices. We are therefore also capable to balance out the different options and choose the best one according to our values. Now, if those values include the preservation and respect of nature, wildlife and other animals, then we may choose to eat plants and not animals. Although there is a narrow possibility that plants experience pain, animals are more probable to suffer more than plants, since we know for a fact that many of them feel agony and suffering. So, since we, as opposed to other animals, can make this choice to let animals live naturally, why not take it?
- Another idea not mentioned enough behind the choice of vegetarianism is the preservation of the environment. Raising animals, especially in factory farming and other intensive farming, is extremely costly in terms of energy use and the exploitation of national resources. As I have stated in one of my previous articles, retaining water, soil and fossil fuels’ use is essential for the life of future generation. Becoming vegetarian could, among other things, help to conserve wildlife.
- Health is important, we all agree on that. Now, although recently a study seemed to prove that meat (if consumed a certain number of times per week) is unhealthy, I won’t even start talking about how because of this you should become vegetarian. However a clever, structured and regulated vegetarian diet can be very healthy, and also may bring an individual to somehow feel better and ethically coherent, reducing stress and other negative states of mind. So, whilst vegetarianism isn’t necessarily a healthy diet, if one remains vigilant over his protein consumption and has a varied and well-balanced diet, it can be, and will be.
- Finally, vegetarianism can (and, in my opinion, should) also be lived as a rejection of the nature-dominated-by-men mentality. That means also becoming more connected to nature as a whole, respecting it and recognizing that we are simply a part of the beautiful and mysterious process that is life on earth. So, by becoming vegetarian, you can also counter a way of thinking ingrained in society, and give a very small contribution to a more thoughtful society which values the consequences of its actions on nature and human beings.