Why I Am a Vegetarian
In October of last year I finally became a vegetarian, meaning that I chose to not eat meat products anymore. Technically, I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian because I do eat eggs (ovo-) and milk (lacto-) on occasion and not a vegan-one who doesn't eat any animal products. My first year as a vegetarian has been very revealing. Since adopting this new identity, I have learned a lot about myself as well as others. Here I write about why I am a vegetarian and what I have learned since becoming one. In doing so, I hope to dispel some misunderstandings about vegetarians and to reveal some unappreciated aspects about what it takes to become and remain a vegetarian. Please understand that I speak for one vegetarian and not for vegetarians in general.
Although vegetarians come in many forms, they are often thought to hold to a few set positions. Unfortunately, as is often the case, ascribing all (or most) vegetarians to specific camps is improper. One suspected position claims that it is wrong (or immoral) to eat meat-an act that obviously requires the slaughtering of the animal in question. Though some vegetarians hold to this position, I do not. While it is problematic that people eat excessive amounts of meat, eating meat isn't immoral in my view. And while I don't think meat eaters are somehow wrong, I certainly can understand and respect the position that eating meat is immoral. A second stereotypic position holds that vegetarians despise meat eaters. While there are certainly vegetarians that have issues with meat eaters, I suspect they are no more than the number of meat eaters that find vegetarians objectionable for some reason or another. I believe there are many acceptable ways to think and act and, thus, I don't begrudge those that eat meat or those that choose to think that it is immoral to do so.
The two primary reasons I choose to be a vegetarian are out of consideration for health (mine and others) and a sense of obligation to...