I really do love the taste of meat, but meat is flesh. In order for me to eat a steak, plate of ribs, bacon, chicken wings, burger, a living, perfectly intelligent creature has to be killed. I became a vegetarian because I don't want to be involved in the cycle of suffering and death that is factory farming which provides for the vast majority of our meat.
I don't quite care so much about the health benefits of being a vegetarian, it's more the principle of eating that matters to me. Animals, which with the capacity to suffer (including less intelligent animals) should not be forced to live their entire lives (mostly 3-12 months) in a factory where they will never feel the touch of grass, be raised by their mother, or see sunlight purely for the sake of my taste buds. I love steak and bacon and thanksgiving turkey as much as everyone else, but we don't need this food to live. There is so much other food out their in the world that provides just as much protein (eg lentils, beans, grains) that it's an insult to the species that we (especially Americans) base most of our meals around a slab of meat. Meat is flesh. People should not be forced to make a living by killing.
[To the argument of "going vegetarian isn't going to change anything about the suffering of these animals"] :
Meat companies like Tyson and others do not sell meat because they like to kill and sell animal carcasses--they do it because they make money. But without the vast demand for meat with people who eat meat and go to restaurants, supermarkets, and delis to order it, these companies would supply less and less products.
While people should become vegetarian and vegan (and this isn't some religious rambling--this is something that people chooses to do), people should NOT eat factory farmed foods. If for some reason the moral and philosophical reasons not to eat animals that live their entire lives in unnatural environments (and are fed other species of animals who lived like that who were in turn fed other species) doesn't change your mind, the abundance of health benefits for not eating flesh should.
Another thing: If we NEEDED to eat meat still for survival, and still lived in a hunter-gatherer culture (which still exist today), we would be eating meat for survival, but living in 1st world countries we have the luxury of not being forced to eat for survival. But if after watching this and seeing the conditions most meat comes from, you are still going to eat meat, you should at least eat animals that were raised in a natural lifestyle--free-range.
Please read Peter Singer's book "Animal Liberation" -- this was what convinced me to become a vegetarian.
Also, I highly recommend the movie Food, Inc.
And check out the wealth of internet sites about vegetarianism, just google it
Meat.org | The Website the Meat Industry Doesn't Want You to See
Edited by redhotblazer, 01 January 2012 - 06:05 PM.
added a link