It has been one week since I declared that I’m a vegetarian again. And while reasons such as compassion for other living creatures, concern for the environment, and personal responsibility for my health are factors, they can best be summed up as one reason: I don’t believe in cutting corners.
I’m a firm believer that cutting corners, i.e. taking the path of least resistance, is not the right approach to life. When people don’t follow the rules or do what’s right, I shudder at the karmic retribution they’ll potentially suffer. Scratch that, I know when I cheat a little or do what’s easiest instead of what’s best, I always think, “I know I’ll end up paying for this somehow later.” Eating meat is taking the easy way out–being lazy instead of being conscientious. It requires no thought or effort, and for that carelessness the ramifications are huge. “Not responding is a response – we are equally responsible for what we don’t do,” Jonathan Safran Foer pleads in his book Eating Animals.
“Just how destructive does a culinary preference have to be,” he asks, “before we decide to eat something else? If contributing to the suffering of billions of animals that live miserable lives and (quite often) die in horrific ways isn’t motivating, what would be? If being the number one contributor to the most serious threat facing the planet (global warming) isn’t enough, what is? And if you are tempted to put off these questions of conscience, to say not now, then when?”
By continuing to eat meat, I was willfully contributing to environmental pollution. I was spending my money on products that are manufactured via cruel and inhumane factory farming. Thanks to those same practices that foster filth and disease, I was ingesting toxic substances and dangerous chemicals. The consequences of eating meat are both short and long term, personal and widespread. I’m not a person who is apathetic to the plight of animals or the consequences of being careless with my own health and well-being; it was time that I stopped acting like I didn’t care because I didn’t want to do a little work.
And so, I’m vegetarian again. What say you?
What steps do you take to reduce your impact on the environment and maintain a healthy lifestyle? –Casandra Armour