WHY are you a vegetarian? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-12-2015, 02:21 PM
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WHY are you a vegetarian?

Hello everyone. I can think of six reasons that one may abstain from meat:

1) Prevent animal suffering
2) Help save the environment
3) Health
4) Personal preference/food phobia
5) Religion/culture
6) Help prevent animals from being deprived of their natural right to life and liberty

I chose to abstain for the first three reasons. However, I've noticed that most vegetarians consider meat consumption to be unacceptable, even outside of these five reasons. I'm curious to know what these other reasons may be.

Of course, no one is responsible for having an explanation for why they don't eat meat. But I want to know what your reasons are.

Stay healthy
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Last edited by leedsveg; 05-16-2015 at 07:44 AM.
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#2 Old 05-12-2015, 02:51 PM
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Number one and two.

"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form." - William Ralphe Inge

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#3 Old 05-12-2015, 03:08 PM
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1 first and foremost but 2 and 3 are a bonus and after over a year this way 4 is now true. I'm not Buddhist (I'm a Christian) but Buddhist authors helped to influence my decision. I was persuaded by their compassion based arguments for it....so I'll claim a little bit of 5.
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#4 Old 05-12-2015, 09:31 PM
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(NOTE- This post has been edited for content that is against our posting rules.)

I consider eggs and milk to be rent money from the animals on my property. It's something they give back to me for providing them with security and shelter.

Last edited by Capstan; 05-13-2015 at 09:53 PM.
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#5 Old 05-12-2015, 09:56 PM
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Number 1, and number 2 because one can't separate environmental concerns from animal suffering.
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#6 Old 05-12-2015, 10:23 PM
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For me, it's always been a combination of 1 and 5. I don't think it's morally responsible to cause unnecessary suffering (whether it be calling someone names, not stopping to let a squirrel get out of the street, etc.). I don't necessarily believe all meat eating is wrong, but obviously the current culture of factory farming and excessive meat consumption is deplorable.
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#7 Old 05-12-2015, 10:33 PM
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Always been 1 , as soon as I found out what I was eating from 6 yrs old, I said I'm not a cannibal! and was determined not to continue being part of killing life for food.

I was encouraged that 2 was also true, and in recent years I'm glad for 3
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#8 Old 05-12-2015, 11:32 PM
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I would add a sixth reason to the poll.

  • Help prevent animals from being deprived of their natural right to life and liberty.

When we say, suffering, is this based strictly on the human capacity to experience such a thing, or do we admit the possibility of animals knowing about life from a point of view we can't even conceive? Can human science even investigate such a thing, given that all our experiences are confined to our own species? Where do we look for it? Or do we simply dismiss this, because it seems far-removed from our ken, and we lack the imagination, or it's too inconvenient to be considered. Is the human experience the gold-standard, by which all animal life is to be considered? Why is "pain" the line we draw in the dirt to define suffering? It can be argued liberty is an intellectual concept, suitable only to those who can understand it, but this isn't so. Being confined to a farm or condemned to execution are not intellectual concepts, but 3-dimensional, flesh-and-blood realities, no matter who experiences it.

So I think the poll should be amended, in order to be answerable. I would then list all six reasons as being good ones to not eat meat.
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#9 Old 05-13-2015, 12:27 AM
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I don't like the taste of meat.

Anytime I think I'm perfect, I remember that my cousin lives on an island, and I've never walked over to visit her.
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#10 Old 05-13-2015, 03:36 AM
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Why not?
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My usual answer: I have never heard a convincing reason to eat meat.
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#11 Old 05-13-2015, 04:11 AM
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For me, it's primarily #1 with a bit of #4 thrown in for good measure-- after decades of vegetarianism, meat doesn't strike me as something edible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedPill View Post
I consider eggs and milk to be rent money from the animals on my property. It's something they give back to me for providing them with security and shelter.
I don't want to know which bodily fluids you'd take as "rent" from your children...
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#12 Old 05-13-2015, 06:30 AM
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I don't want to know which bodily fluids you'd take as "rent" from your children...
You can never have enough spare organs.
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#13 Old 05-13-2015, 07:16 AM
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I have always enjoyed vegetarian and vegan food, so taste is a big reason for me.

Also, I appreciate the low cost of eating this way. Even at a restaurant, the veg*n dish tends to be less expensive.

((recent example, I was buying groceries last night with a friend. I bought rice milk, cereal, hummus,apple juice, fruits and veggies, sunflower seeds, dried fruit,dried beans,animal crackers and a few loaves of bread. My bill was $42.00, hers was $100, and I got way more food))

I am not an "animal lover", but I do respect animals. I think they should be able to live in peace. We dont need to eat meat, so why do so?
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Last edited by melimomTARDIS; 05-13-2015 at 07:20 AM.
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#14 Old 05-13-2015, 08:00 AM
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1, 2, 3, I feel cleaner
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#15 Old 05-13-2015, 08:09 AM
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Number 3 is the main reason I switched and the main reason I stick with it. Though unlike a lot of people turning to vegetarianism for health reasons mine had very little to do with weight or 'general well being' and more to do with meat makes my joints swell up and seems to be actively harming me. (I also have a few other health issues that are adversely affected by meat). Frankly the health thing alone would easily keep me vegetarian for the rest of my life.

Number 2 is also important to me but I do wonder if I'd stick with this if it were my only reason. However, this is one of the main reasons I started to reduce milk & egg consumption and will eventually phase them out completely.

As for number 1, I'm not much of an animal lover - though I have serious concerns about how current farming practices affects number 2.

Number 4 only in respect of number 3. Number 5 - am broadly speaking atheist.
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#16 Old 05-13-2015, 08:54 AM
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#1, 5, and Capstan's #6.
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#17 Old 05-14-2015, 02:34 AM
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Why not? (as an answer on "WHY are you a vegetarian?")
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My usual answer: I have never heard a convincing reason to eat meat.
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#18 Old 05-14-2015, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capstan View Post
I would add a sixth reason to the poll.

  • Help prevent animals from being deprived of their natural right to life and liberty.

When we say, suffering, is this based strictly on the human capacity to experience such a thing, or do we admit the possibility of animals knowing about life from a point of view we can't even conceive? Can human science even investigate such a thing, given that all our experiences are confined to our own species? Where do we look for it? Or do we simply dismiss this, because it seems far-removed from our ken, and we lack the imagination, or it's too inconvenient to be considered. Is the human experience the gold-standard, by which all animal life is to be considered? Why is "pain" the line we draw in the dirt to define suffering? It can be argued liberty is an intellectual concept, suitable only to those who can understand it, but this isn't so. Being confined to a farm or condemned to execution are not intellectual concepts, but 3-dimensional, flesh-and-blood realities, no matter who experiences it.

So I think the poll should be amended, in order to be answerable. I would then list all six reasons as being good ones to not eat meat.
Perhaps I'm just very dull, but I couldn't find the button to edit my post o.O If I get that sorted out, I will add your sixth reason.

However, I must admit that I do not understand your reason. If a loss of life and liberty did not lead to suffering, then why would it be bad? I'll go as far as to say that if I could be a slave for the rest of my life, but be happier than I am as a free man... Well then, I guess I would be better off as a slave. I'm curious to know what your reasoning is.
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#19 Old 05-14-2015, 02:54 PM
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Yerm... 1,2,3,4, and 5?
¤ Causing suffering is bad.
¤ Trashing the environment for my own amusement and frivolous gratification is bad.
¤ I dont want to cheeseburger myself to death. We all die, but I've watched enough crapatarians die from heart disease and diabetes to know that the last 10, 20, sometimes 40 years of their life is harder than it should be.
¤ Aside from a few food intolerances (chocolate, processed meats, and eggs) I've found my preferences and partialities are easily malleable, I can like or dislike things at will if given a bit of time. So preference isnt a matter of taste. However I like having backup plans. Currently, as a vegan with a big garden, it would be trivially easy to make a few changes to my garden layout and be able to thrive indefinitely buying nothing but flour or rice. I dont even need fertilizer, I produce that on site. I like my food security that comes from eating a diversity of plants.
¤ My religion is a funny one, strictly speaking there are no rules unless I become a monk. There are recommendations tho. Many, many recommendations stratified into levels of training. Its that way because the ideal is to become advanced enough that no rules are even needed... anyway, biggest recommendation is to try not to kill and eat your own parents [really], it quickly goes to dont kill people, then dont kill anything with conscious awareness- so no killing those happy little meat creatures. Before long your told that its unskillful to induce other people into unskillful acts. If its unwise for me to kill animals, and unwise for me to support others in doing so, whats left? Plants.
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#20 Old 05-14-2015, 03:06 PM
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I say simply that humans have evolved and eating and using animals not only negatively affects the animals, but the land, the air and humans themselves.

To enslave animals for food would be like cutting the floorboards out of a Corvette in order to drive like Fred Flitestone! (hope the reference doesn't go over too many heads!)

and as arno so perfectly words it: Why not? There is no GOOD answer.
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#21 Old 05-14-2015, 03:57 PM
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Just to annoy people when I eat with them !


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#22 Old 05-14-2015, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack View Post
Perhaps I'm just very dull, but I couldn't find the button to edit my post o.O If I get that sorted out, I will add your sixth reason.
No, you're not dull. Once you make a new post, you have 24-hours to edit it; after that, it becomes set. If you like, I can make the edit for you. Let me know.

Quote:
However, I must admit that I do not understand your reason. If a loss of life and liberty did not lead to suffering, then why would it be bad? I'll go as far as to say that if I could be a slave for the rest of my life, but be happier than I am as a free man... Well then, I guess I would be better off as a slave. I'm curious to know what your reasoning is.
My point was, that suffering, in it's usual definition (physical pain,) by itself, is not a comprehensive enough criteria for adjudging the worth of life or liberty. Life and liberty justify themselves, and require no further validation for the sake of human philosophy, uncertainty, or ignorance. This is based on my own personal belief (non-religious) that life is better than death, and freedom is better than servitude, without regard to suffering or physical pain.. Of course, these are two separate subjects. Neither was covered in your poll, so I thought I would mention them.
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#23 Old 05-15-2015, 10:02 AM
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Health mostly, I've had food poisoning 3 times all from dodgy meat dishes and it's made me warey because I've never been ill from non-meat dishes so I thought why not? Cooking and keeping meat is risky and I'd rather be relaxed that what I'm eating will be cooked and good to eat but if it's not cooked it won't give me a bad belly. Also because of environmental reasons.
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#24 Old 05-15-2015, 08:09 PM
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No, you're not dull. Once you make a new post, you have 24-hours to edit it; after that, it becomes set. If you like, I can make the edit for you. Let me know.

My point was, that suffering, in it's usual definition (physical pain,) by itself, is not a comprehensive enough criteria for adjudging the worth of life or liberty. Life and liberty justify themselves, and require no further validation for the sake of human philosophy, uncertainty, or ignorance. This is based on my own personal belief (non-religious) that life is better than death, and freedom is better than servitude, without regard to suffering or physical pain.. Of course, these are two separate subjects. Neither was covered in your poll, so I thought I would mention them.
Yes, please add your sixth reason.

The difference is semantical, though. When I refer to suffering, I generally include in that every form of psychological torture or sadness that may exist. So I simply consider the loss of life and liberty to be a part of suffering. Of course, not everyone defines things in the exact same terms that I do.
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#25 Old 05-15-2015, 08:57 PM
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this does not mean that I dont care about the animals, I do, Im just not going to be in a picket line in front of a farm anytime in the near future.

Oh, and I really love the veggies, and I out right hate fish, and meat has a bitter taste so, its also a matter of taste. Why eat it if you dont enjoy it.
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#26 Old 05-15-2015, 09:32 PM
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My reasons in order of importance:

1. Prevent animal suffering
2. Help the environment
3. Raise compassionate children who grow into adults who understand that there are more important things in life than their own desires and appetites
4. Health
5. Finances... although this one isn't that important and I suspect there is no overall financial benefit. I spend less on groceries but I spend more on household products and restaurants
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#27 Old 05-16-2015, 01:54 AM
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I didnt think of finances. My food and household products expenses dropped radically after going vegan.
Not an initial reason for me, but another reason to continue.
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#28 Old 05-16-2015, 04:58 AM
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World hunger is also a concern for many vegans and vegetarians, though this intertwines with environmentalism and suffering. Our world population has exploded in the last century. Raising or hunting enough food animals to feed the world is vastly more inefficient (let alone cruel and has caused extinction of some animals) in terms of space, energy, and toxicity than growing more plants to go around. Even if every human on the planet ate only plants, we would need to grow less of them than we do now to feed the billions of farm animals we will slaughter or manipulate for food and other goods.

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#29 Old 05-16-2015, 05:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppi View Post
3. Raise compassionate children who grow into adults who understand that there are more important things in life than their own desires and appetites
I'm wondering : will those children even have desires or appetites for omni's food if they've been told since toddler age that it's a bad thing (or any other fitting adjectives) ?

Meat and most dairy have such a special smell that I doubt they smell edible to people who grew up without getting used to eating them. Or do you give them the occasion to eat meat... at school maybe ? I don't know any vegetarian kid so my question is completely innocent.


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#30 Old 05-16-2015, 01:58 PM
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World hunger is also a concern for many vegans and vegetarians, though this intertwines with environmentalism and suffering. Our world population has exploded in the last century. Raising or hunting enough food animals to feed the world is vastly more inefficient (let alone cruel and has caused extinction of some animals) in terms of space, energy, and toxicity than growing more plants to go around. Even if every human on the planet ate only plants, we would need to grow less of them than we do now to feed the billions of farm animals we will slaughter or manipulate for food and other goods.
Can't believe I forgot to add this as a reason. It basically falls under suffering & environmentalism like you said, but is an important end in its own.

To the people mentioning finances, that technically is a reason. However, I felt okay not including it as a reason to be a vegetarian. In theory, if finance were your ONLY reason for going vegetarian, then you would still gladly eat meat whenever it is free, or cheaper than an alternative. Which would mean that you're not a vegetarian at all. One of the other reasons must apply in order for you to actually be a vegetarian.
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