Sunday, 14 August 2011
In all my 16 years of life I have always been a vegetarian. My parents brought me up in a healthy vegetarian lifestyle that I have always appreciated, however I feel I should consider my own personal reasons for being a vegetarian. For now that I am growing up, I know that I am following a meat free diet because I want to and not because that’s how my parents raised me.
When I consider other peoples reasons for leading a carnivorous life, the most plausible explanation I have found is the claim that eating meat is natural. It’s the natural flow of the food chain. However, I find that there is something very unnatural about the meat industry, and when you buy food containing meat you are directly fuelling that industry. Everyday animals are injected with hormones, fed special diets to fatten them up to abnormal proportions and locked up in cruelly small and disgusting cages. How is this natural? Surely it’s more natural to feel compassion and empathy for our fellow living creatures, because after all, what’s more natural than to feel love and care for the innocent and vulnerable. At the hands of our ruthless machinery and intensive farms, a human child would be just a vulnerable as an animal.
Why is an animal’s pain and enslavement any different to humans? People are truly naive enough to believe that we are more important than any other species and can therefore do what we like with animals. We can use them as a tool, whether this is for a taste and sustenance or a source of entertainment. Just because we speak a different language, live in a different society and are more technologically advanced does not make us all powerful or any more important. In the same way that a mentally handicapped human wouldn’t be considered of lower worth than a healthy human being, I don’t feel a cow’s life should be considered less than a human life, just because we may have a different IQ or way of thinking. All animals are still living, feeling and loving creatures. A mother sheep feels emotionally attached for her lamb, as a human mother would feel for her baby. Animals scream too.
Some people refer back to our carnivorous ancestors who hunted animals for sustenance when explaining why they eat meat. They say eating meat is a tradition; it’s in our genes and as I’ve motioned before, part of the food chain. However I find this argument flawed. Years ago, our ancestors would have found it understandable for humans to kill each other from squabbles over land or religion. As we, as a race, have grown and developed, our animalistic habits of the past have diminished. No longer is it acceptable for a person to kill another because of religion, so why do we still murder animals for the pleasure of a taste? Meat is no longer necessary for a healthy lifestyle. There are now so many foods available to provide people with all the correct nutrition to be intelligent and strong, without the use of meat. Also, if the land used for intensive farming all over the world were used to grow crops, millions more starving people in Africa and Asia could be fed. The statistics are shocking. More methane is produced by cows used for the meat industry than all of the worlds transport put together!
People who merely say that they eat meat because it tastes good are clearly ruled by their gluttonous, selfish and hedonistic whims. Where does emotion and responsibility come into that flimsy argument?
Many other people who follow a carnivorous diet refuse to listen to points put across by vegetarians and documentaries revealing the horrors of the meat industry and intensive farming. These people choose to bury their heads in the sand because they know they could be moved and inspired by the reality of murder. These people often choose not to investigate what part of an animal’s corpse their consuming as the truth would probably revolt them. I find this irresponsible and weak. Isn’t this similar to walking down a street, seeing a homeless man being kicked and punched by a group of more powerful people, and turning away. Turning a blind eye. You refuse to look too closely as you’re unprepared to put the effort in to help and in the end the street will be a better looking, easier place to be without the homeless people anyway. You benefit in an obscure way so you might as well not investigate too closely to avoid a sense of guilt that would surely occur if you were fully aware of the pain and suffering that is necessary. This brings me back to my previous argument, why is a defenceless animal’s pain any less important than a defenceless human’s pain?
For me, being a vegetarian is all about knowing that my conscience is clear. I am strong and healthy and obtain all the necessary nutrition I need to be, yet I am not fuelling the corrupt meat industry and I am not paying a middle man to slaughter innocent creatures in a cruel, surgical and detached manner. I live in the beautiful Devon countryside and I know I can walk by fields of cows and sheep and look them in the eye and enjoy their presence. I can do this wholeheartedly and without any guilt because I know that there is no way their bodies will ever be lying on my dinner plate.
Monday, 22 February 2010
It is in beautiful Snowdonia, with stunning views of Portmeirion and Snowdon. This picture is a view from our bedroom window!
We were there to celebrate my husband’s birthday and we couldn’t have made a better choice. Our hosts were charming and very welcoming. When we arrived we were welcomed with fresh home-made vegan cake (moist and light) with tea. Our three course evening meals were exceptional. Breakfast was also amazing. We won’t forget those lovely freshly baked muffins, which came after our cooked breakfast, they were divine.
We will definitely be back! This is the kind of vegetarian luxury we have been looking for. A relaxing, satisfying, beautiful break – thank you Tremeifion, thank you so much!
Monday, 8 September 2008
See full article on http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/07/food.meat
Thursday, 31 July 2008
We have just had the most fantastic holiday ever at Country House Montali, a vegetarian paradise in Umbria. The setting, pictured left, is stunning. Close to Lake Trasimeno, Perugia and Assisi there are many beautiful and interesting places to visit just a short trip from here.
The food is heavenly! Imaginitive and extremely tasty 4 course dinners that we will never forget. We came home with a copy of the proprietors book 'The Vegeterranean' and have started experimenting with their recipes already.
Our stay was luxurious, the swiming pool divine. The proprietors, Alberto Musacchio and Malu Simoes and their team of chefs and staff did us proud. We can't wait to return and would highly recommend this holiday to anyone, especially us vegetarians who are usually disappointed with holiday food. This is the place we have been looking for, this is heaven.
Monday, 23 June 2008
"A University of Chicago study argued that the average meat eater in the US produces about 1.5 tonnes of CO[squared] more than a vegetarian per year. That's because animals are hungry and the grain they eat takes energy, usually fossil fuels, to produce. It takes 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce a single calorie of plant protein, according to researchers at Cornell University. And lots of that plant protein is required to make animal protein. For chicken, the ratio of energy in to protein out is 4:1. For pork it's 17:1. For lamb, 50:1. For beef, 54:1."
For the full article see:
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Eating meat leaves behind an environmental toll that generations to come will be forced to pay.
While 40 million tonnes of food would eliminate the most extreme cases of world hunger, 540 million tonnes are fed to animals in Western countries every year. The world's cattle alone consume the same amount of calories as it takes to nourish 8.7 billion people - more than the entire human population on Earth.
It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of meat, but only 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat. A totally vegetarian diet requires 300 gallons of water per day, whilst a meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day.
Of all agricultural land in the UK, 90 per cent is used to raise animals for food, and we still need more food, so we import it from developing countries which often cannot even feed themselves. Using precious land to raise animals for food is wasteful. On 10 hectares, you can produce meat to feed just two people, maize to feed 10 people, grain to feed 24 people or soya to feed 61 people. Overgrazing of livestock has led to desertification around the globe.
Raising animals for food causes water pollution as slurry leaches into the waterways. In some parts of Europe, slurry is the single greatest cause of acid rain. The methane produced by the world's cows is a major contributor to global warming.
Since 1950, half of all the world's rain forests have been destroyed to make way for grazing animals. After just six or seven years, the soil is so damaged that it can no longer support grass. It turns to dust. Tribal people are forced to move on as their habitat is sold off to the meat industry. In the UK, hedgerows are being cut down for the same reason, and 98 per cent of the forests that once covered most of the British Isles have been cut down.