Monday, July 24th, 2017

Why People Become Vegetarians

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Why People Become Vegetarians

Many nonvegetarians wonder what drives vegetarians to give up meat and adopt an entirely different lifestyle. There is no single answer to this question. Nonvegetarians become vegetarians for a number of different reasons – some even for multiple reasons.

Most vegetarians claim that they became a vegetarian for one of three reasons.

The first reason, which most vegetarians claim, is that they have ethical problems with eating meat. Most disagree with how chickens are debeaked, forced to live in small cages, and are then slaughtered when they do not produce eggs fast enough.

Most vegetarians also disagree with the crowded and stressful environments animals are forced into; and the hormone-laden feed used to make them grow faster and produce more.

People who become vegetarians for this purpose often draw ethical boundaries in different spots, depending on their personal beliefs. For instance, some staunch vegans wont consume yeast, wear wool, or even eat certain vegetables, such as carrots, that require killing the plant to harvest.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, some vegetarians– sometimes referred to as pseudo-vegetarians–will actually eat fish and chicken on a regular basis.

The second biggest reason vegetarians claim for not eating meat is that it conflicts with their dietary preferences. Some of these vegetarians simply do not like the texture and taste of meat; others do not eat it because it is high in cholesterol and often contains high concentrations of hormones and preservatives.

The third and smallest group of vegetarians cite environmental reasons for not consuming meat. They complain that consumption of meat causes farmers to continually deforest land to create grazing land for cattle.

In addition to these three major groups, there are a number of other smaller groups of vegetarians who stopped eating meat for entirely different reasons.

One farmer says to me, ‘You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make the bones with;‘ and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying himself with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle.
Henry David Thoreau

Behold I have given you herb yielding seed. To you it shall be for food.
Genesis 1:29

Be not among the winebibbers nor the riotous eaters of animal flesh.
Proverbs 20:23

Nothing more strongly arouses our disgust than cannibalism, yet we make the same impression on Buddhists and vegetarians, for we feed on babies, though not our own.
Robert Louis Stevenson

My situation is a solemn one. Life is offered to me on condition of eating beefsteaks. But death is better than cannibalism. My will contains directions for my funeral, which will be followed not by mourning coaches, but by oxen, sheep, flocks of poultry, and a small traveling aquarium of live fish, all wearing white scarfs in honor of the man who perished rather than eat his fellow creatures.
George Bernard Shaw

I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other….
Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thou shalt not kill” does not apply to murder of one’s own kind only, but to all living beings; and this Commandment was inscribed in the human breast long before it was proclaimed from Sinai.
Leo Tolstoy

To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body.
Mahatma Gandhi

It is far better to be happy than to have your bodies act as graveyards for animals…The unnatural eating of flesh meats is as polluting as the heathen worship of devils, with its sacrifices and its impure feasts, through participation in it a man becomes a fellow eater with devils…Those who use the most frugal fare are the strongest, the healthiest and the noblest…
“If any righteous man does not burden his soul by the eating of flesh, he has the advantage of a rational motive.

Clement of Alexandria, Saint. AD ?150-?215

The vegetarian movement ought to fill with gladness the souls of those who have at heart the realization of God’s kingdom upon earth, not because vegetarianism itself is such an important step towards the realization of this kingdom (all real steps are equally important or unimportant), but because it serves as a criterion by which we know that the pursuit of moral perfection on the part of man is genuine and sincere.
“[For] [i]f a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.

Leo Tolstoy


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