I DON'T EAT MY FRIENDS
I have been a vegetarian since May 5th, 1991. I had considered it for a long time, as far back as childhood even, when I had seen Dr. Doolittle. I love animals, and it made sense that animals raised for meat are no different than my pets. Unfortunately I have always liked the taste of meat, and my knowledge of options for non-meat meals were just too limiting to even attempt the transition, which really was not much of an excuse in hindsight. I just did not have the courage of my convictions. Fortunately I know better now, and also there are a lot more options available, as this type of dietary choice has grown in popularity in recent years.
For years I had read various things about the absolutely horrible conditions and abuse that these animals are often forced to endure and it sickened me. Yet, I still did not have the fortitude to give meat up.
It was not until this day that I finally managed to make one of the most meaningful decisions in my life. It was the actual witnessing of such treatment that finally made me see that I had no other option but to stop eating the animals I love so much.
It was an unusually hot day. We were experiencing an early spring heat-wave. Hubby and I were driving through crowded downtown Toronto traffic on our way out of town. We were stopped in traffic not too far from an abatoire, and up comes beside us a big truck on its way to that very slaughterhouse. The truck was the size of an 18 wheeler, with small air holes from top to bottom and from front to back. The trailer was crammed full of pigs, and I mean full. There wasn't an inch of space for these poor and extremely intelligent beasts to move. It was so hot and these poor animals were trying to get as much breeze as they could, which was next to nil, because it was so humid a day. It brought me to tears and even writing this now, my eyes fill up with moisture. Even more so, because I know that this is one of the least tortures that farm animals are subjected to, from lives lived entirely in cages not much bigger than themselves to outright violence in order to subdue unruly animals.
Later that day we ate at Burger King and I had a hamburger. As I was eating it I thought back to the pigs and it was at that very moment that I decided that I must become a vegetarian and make it stick this time. Within in the first year I cheated a handful of times, but since then I have never intentionally eaten meat, fowl or seafood. I am not completely vegan, although I would hope that someday I might be. Until then, I rarely eat dairy and the occasional egg I eat is free-range. When I do eat cheese it is without rennet whenever possible. I do not eat gelatin, which means no jello (although there is a veggie substitute) and no marshmallows or Rice Krispie Squares.
I truly love food, and greatly miss a lot of things, but spiritually I feel I am better off for it. Now, this is not to say that I look down at people who still choose to eat it. I am not one of those militant vegans who believe that someday everyone will be vegetarian, whether they like it or not, (although I think it would be nice). I try not to preach to people about it in my day to day life, because I myself find those kind of vegetarians annoying and detrimental to the cause, which is not to say that I won't defend my beliefs against anyone who decries the vegetarian lifestyle out of ignorance, and vigourously so.
Often people will use the Bible to back up their anti-veggie rhetoric. Adam & Eve were vegetarian, but after The Flood God allowed the consumption of flesh. I believe that this parable relates to what scientists have discovered about man's early history. It has been shown that the teeth of the oldest skulls found, prove that earliest man did not eat meat with any regularity. It would be natural after a catastrophe such as a major flood for vegetation to be scarce thereby necessitating the need for a change to an omnivorous diet. Just because The Bible says we can eat meat now, does not mean that we should or need to though. North Americans especially eat far more meat on average than is healthy - for them or for the environment. Furthermore, in regards to the treatment of animals: Matthew 25:31-46 - 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' I truly believe that if Christ were here today to witness the horrors of farm animal abuse he would apply this condemnation to the farmers who engage in it.
In lieu of world-wide vegetarianism it is my hope that people who continue to eat meat would do so in a manner that respects the animals. Please support organic and free-range/free-run farming by buying these types of meats and animal products. It is more expensive and harder to come across at the moment, and unfortunately it is also inadequately regulated in many areas. But the only way to circumvent all of these problems is by enabling the practice to grow and expand through consumer support and awareness.
It is beneficial to one's health not to be carnivorous. The strongest animals, such as the bull, are vegetarians. Look at me. I have ten times as much good health and energy as a meat eater. My hearse will not be followed by mourning coaches but by herds of oxen, sheep, swine, flocks of poultry and a small travelling aquarium of live fish, all wearing white scarves in honour of the man who perished rather than eat his fellow creatures.
-- George Bernard Shaw
Some Food Links
The BEST Brand Of "Regular" Soy Milk and Soy Yoghurts!
Another Excellent Brand Of Soy Yoghurt!
The BEST Brand Of Chocolate Soy Milk!
The BEST Veggie Dogs And More!
The BEST Veggie Turkey Slices And More!
The BEST Veggie Chicken Patties And More!
Organic Macaroni & Cheese!
Rennet Free Macaroni & Cheese!
Kosher Vegetarian Gelatin
I have yet to try these Vegan Marshmallows...
The BEST Vegan Ice Cream Bars And More!
If buying soy "block" cheeses, keep in mind that VeganRella
is the ONLY brand of that contains no dairy whatsoever.
Their site appears to be down for some reason...
There are some Vegan Parmesan cheeses, though...
The Best Veggie Salisbury Steak Dinner!
And Veggie Pot Pie...
YUMMY Corn Dogs!
Some Recommended Burgers...
Amy's California Burger