I like the taste of meat, its texture and flavor, but I don’t like where meat comes from. It’s more than a year now since I stopped eating meat and don’t worry, this isn’t the kind of post that will enumerate the benefits of the vegan diet in an effort to persuade you to stop eating meat. It’s only a request that you take the time to consider what you put in your mouth.
Eating meat sustains the systematic slaughtering of animals. We can’t pretend that the meat is just out there for us to consume, that the animals have been already slaughtered before we buy it from the store. Yes, we needed meat to survive as a species, and without meat we wouldn’t be here now, but we have reached a stage in our evolution where we have the awesome power to change our eating habits. Maybe not all of us, but at least some. You and me, who can afford the luxury to blog and read blogs, and who can walk into a store or restaurant and make a conscious choice about what to buy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Deciding not to eat meat is not a simple choice – we are addicted to meat. In my case, it wasn’t. Faced with unexplained weight loss and other health woes, I had to analyze my lifestyle, including my eating habits, to which I had not given particular consideration before. I found out that processed red meat isn’t particularly healthy, that white meat and fish are. For a time I kept eating white meat and fish.
But then I had a bit of a spiritual awakening, and with it came a reverence for life in all its forms – I decided to stop eating meat altogether, in spite of the fact that I was experiencing an unexplained weight loss at the time. Now I ask of the cows only milk, and of the hens only eggs. I haven’t yet figured out the weight loss mystery, but since I stopped eating meat I feel better, and my blood results are better, too. No signs of anaemia or vitamin deficiencies. Should they appear, there are ways to compensate.
Our Pleasure, Their Pain
I know that for many people in this world, eating meat is one of the everyday pleasures of life. It wouldn’t be right for me, or for anyone, to tell them they should become vegetarians. It’s not as easy as that. Processed meat is indeed bad, as most processed foods, but other types of meat seem okay. From a health perspective, meat isn’t bad. But what about the animals?
Do you remember the last time you cut your finger? Or scraped or scratched your hand? Well, multiply that pain by a hundred and you’ll probably still not have a good idea of half of the suffering animals must be put through for our sake. I don’t mean only the physical suffering of butchery. I mean the long-term suffering of being raised to be butchered. Cows, pigs, or hens may not be self-aware, but they feel pain, if not that of the knife, then that of confinement.
If you will reply that God invented all things for man’s use, animals included, I won’t say anything, I will let silence answer, and if in that silence you don’t hear at least one quivering doubt and have no second thoughts, then I commend your faith, yet I politely disagree.
Please Consider This…
Being a vegetarian is healthy, affordable, and good for the environment. But we must not forget that from an evolutionary perspective, as a species we have thrived on meat. Meat-eating is so deeply-ingrained in us that to abandon it we have to rescript ourselves, to challenge ourselves, to be proactive in our approach to eating healthy, of making up for the proteins, calories, and vitamins meat so abundantly offers. Vegetarianism is not for everyone. In our society, it’s easier to eat meat than it is not to. But we can try, if not to quit eating meat altogether, then to order only one steak instead of two. The animals would say thanks, if they could. And our children would be grateful, too.
Have you thought about giving up meat?
If yes, do you think you could do without it?
If you don’t, what made you stop eating meat?
18 thoughts on “Have You Ever Thought About Giving Up Meat?”
Great post. And not full of the ‘you shouldn’t eat meat!’ desperation that pisses people off.
I’m a pescatarian, entirely from an ethical standpoint, although arguably fishing isn’t ethical either, but at least fish aren’t generally kept in a slaughterhouse.
Where meat comes from and how it is processed is a revolting, cruel practice, that’s undeniable and there’s a reason few people dare to watch chicken factory documentaries or those of slaughterhouses. If meat were humanely killed in a way a subsistence farmer would have done it a couple hundred years ago I wouldn’t have an issue.
Have you been a pescatarian for long?
Hmm about 5 years or so.
I don’t eat pork, only maybe once every 5 years when I’m eating home made sausage. Rarely eat beef because it’s harder to cook and a little expensive…can’t eat chicken anymore – I had some sort of over saturation of chicken meat, makes me sick to my stomach now. Fish – maybe twice a year…MAYBE. And now and then when I just crave some meat, I buy a few “virsli” :). But, yeah, it’s easy giving up meat.
You sound quite vegetarian. Do you have to eat a lot of cheese/milk products or eggs or nuts to compensate? Or do you compensate with Nutella? 😛 A trebuit sa caut “virsli” pe Google… “carnaciori traditionali din carne de oaie.” Cred ca merge cu mamaliga, which I like and which I make every now and then. 😀
Yes, virsli is representative for Transylvania, Bucharest doesn’t know virsli that well, but I buy them from the Sibiu specialty stores ;). And yes, there’s probably no day without some sort of milk product and eggs also, if we’re in the mood. And I make my own peanut butter, with Nutella, or course, and I make my own hummus, cause chickpeas are also full of protein…so yes…I try. 😀
I haven’t visited Sibiu. but it’s probably the town I want to see the most in this country.
There’s this great 100% natural peanut butter from Solaris, should you want to try it. It’s only 250ml, but it’s well worth it, and not very expensive, either.
Chickpeas for the win!
Great post, thanks for bringing awareness to this subject
This was a great, informative post Vincent. Also strangely calming! 🙂 I suffer from a mysterious digestive ailment that causes me much discomfort in my daily life. I have been considering going vegetarian and eventually vegan for some time now, and along with the other benefits you have highlighted, it is looking pretty inevitable. Both for health reasons, as well as environmental reasons. When you actually stop and think about what you put in your mouth and how it got there, it can make you feel a little sick. So, after having given up meat for a year, how do you feel physically?
Lighter and calmer. And my tummy seems quite contented. Of course, giving up meat isn’t necessarily the best way to compensate for weight loss, but I eat more often now, and have added nuts (pistachios and peanuts) and seeds to my diet, together with other protein-rich foods.
As a side note, one friend of mine has given up meat in recent years – it has had a very positive impact on her health. She was beautiful before, but now she is even more beautiful.
Do try, even if it may feel a little strange at first.
I like that, ‘now she is even more beautiful’. I too want to feel lighter and calmer with a contented tummy. I think I will try this. Thank you for an enlightening post. 🙂
Great post, animals have as much right to live as we do, it’s been 8 years since I quit meat, it’s not really difficult like some people make it out to be if you stop and listen to your conscience, Yours is the only blog i visit regularly, your writing inspires me, Thanks Vincent.
I am very happy to hear that. Eight years is quite inspiring – I tip my hat to you.
I have been vegetarian now for eleven years for ethical and philosophical reasons – animal husbandry practices and inhumane slaughtering, etc.
I tip my hat to you.
I have actually and am slowly adjusting my diet to get rid of all animal products. Cheers! Not just because of where it comes from (though I absolutely get more and more disgusted with meats as time goes on), I also have helped some health concerns with adjusting eggs and milk out of my diet. It’s worth a try guys 🙂 I will update everyone on how it goes! Today I take away whey (dairy) protein powder COMPLETELY out of my diet. Let’s see if I keep all my gains :)))))
The only diet I’m on is a seafood diet: See food and eat it. 😂