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Vegetarians are NOT Aliens!!|
by Krystal Hawkins
I am so sick of people’s reactions towards my personal choice to be a vegetarian. I am sure that there are other vegetarians in this school that share my frustration. When someone finds out that I do not eat meat, they usually look at me as if I am some sort of alien from another planet. Not only is it the looks that bother me but the series of questions that follow. Sometimes I feel like I should just not say anything at all just to avoid the whole conversation. The question most commonly asked is, “ why would you not eat meat?” Let me translate that question for you to: “ why would you not eat poor innocent animals?” The answer seems pretty obvious to me. I don’t get pleasure from knowing that I add to the slaughtering of animals.
Just for human consumption approximately eight billion animals have to live miserably in slaughterhouses. The animals are kept in such small spaces that they cannot even turn around. Chickens are kept crammed up in small wire cages, and then are hung upside down and placed into water where they are electrified. After all that they get their necks slit by the butcher and than thrown into scalding hot water. Without anesthesia pig’s tails are clipped, their ears are notched and the males are castrated. All the animals have to suffer and are crammed together to save space and costs. Over crowding causes madness and disease. Not only that but they are routinely fed antibiotics, sprayed with pesticides, and are fed growth hormones to improve productivity. All this plays a role in my decision to be vegetarian.
Another comment often heard is that I “cannot be healthy eating this way.” That is not the case as all the nutrients needed by the human body can be found in a vegetarian diet. In fact, research shows that vegetarians are healthier than omnivores in many ways. First of all, all the drugs used to make the animals meat just the right color and any other chemicals they take in will than be passed down to the consumer. Not to mention that eating meat can raise your cholesterol and clog up your arteries, which cause coronary artery disease. Other illnesses linked with eating meat are: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, strokes and obesity.
So, I think that these are good enough reason to be a vegetarian. However not all people choose to be a vegetarian for environmental, health, or animal welfare reasons some are vegetarians for spiritual or religious beliefs. I do not agree with omnivores but I do not question other peoples beliefs, so please don’t question mine. Either way we are all normal and do not deserve the odd looks and the many questions just because of the way we eat or believe.
Comic by Jessica Vihvelin