So, what are your reasons? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-09-2008, 11:25 AM
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I would just like to know more about some reasons as to why you decided to choose to become a veg*an.



I have been questioning what I really believe, as I had been vegetarian for about a year, and then went back to eating fish and occassionaly meat just recently. But something that I find interesting is the value some vegetarians place on the animal life. In that, they say the life of a cow is equal to that of a human. So, if a cow is killed, it is like a human is killed. For me, I don't follow that concept, because I don't see the value of a mouse's life to be equal to my sister or my brother. Yes, I realize that mice have siblings themselves. But if there was a burning building, and a human was in the building along with a mouse, I would without a doubt save the human over the mouse.



Either way, I am still questioning my morals as to what I am and should follow. I do understand that really, we could survive without unnecessary killing - so we don't have to have meat on our tables nor do we have to consume animal flesh in order to have a source of protein. And the killing of animals is evidently unnecessary suffering.



Anyhow, why did you choose to become veg*an? Can you explain your moral standpoint?
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#2 Old 07-09-2008, 12:49 PM
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My decision to go vegan was a pretty simple affair, really. The meat/dairy/etc industries cause suffering in a variety of ways. I don't need to support them to survive, so i don't.



I don't concern myself with hypothetical burning buildings or with wondering if some life is valuable than others; rather, I just trust that compassion, pragmatism, and common sense willl guide me to the right decisions.

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#3 Old 07-09-2008, 01:00 PM
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My first reason was for my health. I found out that not only do I not need animal foods to survive, I'm healthier without them. Now that I've been off meat for a while, I've decided that I'm not comfortable with the idea of killing animals for food. And the idea of eating a dead body totally grosses me out.
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#4 Old 07-09-2008, 01:11 PM
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I think it's ridiculous to use burning house hypotheticals to justify the exploitation of others. If I were in a burning house, I would rather save my 5-year old son (no, I don't have one) than some unknown 102-year old man. Does that mean it's okay to exploit senior citizens for food or other purposes? Of course not. These burning house hypotheticals are irrelevant and misleading.



My reason for being vegan is AR.

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#5 Old 07-09-2008, 01:40 PM
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My reason for veg*nism is about as simple as it gets: I'm fond of animals and don't wish to get them killed if I can avoid it. And since I don't need foods of animal origin to even be healthy, let alone to live...



For me, it has nothing to do with valuing animals as much as humans. (I'd save my cat or rabbits before a murderer, but that's a special case which probably won't ever confront me.) It's unnecessary for me to have to choose between them, at least as far as my food goes. How would any human beings be saved if I chose to eat meat again?



You wrote:
Quote:
....I am still questioning my morals as to what I am and should follow. I do understand that really, we could survive without unnecessary killing - so we don't have to have meat on our tables nor do we have to consume animal flesh in order to have a source of protein. And the killing of animals is evidently unnecessary suffering.



I guess I don't understand what you're questioning your morals for. I've known people to try vegetarianism for a time and then drop it, but it was apparently because they just got tired of it or lost their commitment to the reasons they initially went veg. (Then again, some people DO have difficulty staying vegetarian because of their circumstances, but they're the ones who eventually come back to it after taking a break. More power to them!)



It's a drag when you're passionate about something but don't know too many people in real life who share that. That's why I come here!

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#6 Old 07-09-2008, 02:28 PM
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I'm vegan because I refuse to support the exploitation of animals.
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#7 Old 07-09-2008, 04:34 PM
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I became a vegetarian because I couldn't bear the thought of eating a corpse anymore. I also hated the way that the meat industry is treating their animals (especially the chickens). I really love animals. That's all there is to it
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#8 Old 07-09-2008, 05:14 PM
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We have no dominion over animals....therefore I am vegan. And a life is a life, from the smallest sea dwelling animal to a human being.
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#9 Old 07-09-2008, 05:39 PM
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I'm vegan for selfish reasons - I feel better, physically, morally and spiritually, when I eat causing as little harm to other creatures as possible.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#10 Old 07-09-2008, 05:57 PM
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Animal husbandry is bad for the animals and bad for the environment. I've got no interest in supporting that when there's perfectly good alternatives.



I'm also in the camp that animal rights supporters call 'speciesist' in that I value human life over other animals; just as I value animal life higher than plant or fungal or microbial life. But not eating meat is not about making that choice. Vegetarianism benefits all species.
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#11 Old 07-09-2008, 06:03 PM
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I am vegetarian for several reasons (I occasionally eat organic dairy products and organic free range eggs from small family farms here in the midwest, however I plan to go vegan again soon and I am raising my girls vegan). First of all, animal agriculture and all that comes with it, is one of the biggest if not the biggest offender to our precious environment. So called "environmentalists" who frequently support the meat industry really confuse me. Second, if enough people stopped eating meat, we could collectively end world hunger, yes it would take a lot of organization and more action and less talk but we could do it. Third, it just makes sense. Why kill and eat the animals who eat the plants that grow from the ground when we can just eat the plants too. Fourth, it's just plain better for us. I think it's pretty much common knowledge anymore that vegetarian and vegan diets are better for us than a meat based diet, unless of course you are my grandpa who insists that meat is a food group that we need. I think most importantly though, I am vegetarian because it's just not cool to kill living creatures! Why smash a bee or a spider who has gotten into your house when you could just catch it and take it outside? Vegans who kill bugs confuse me too. It doesn't want to be in there anyway! It always annoys me when people use the argument that some animals eat other animals too. Well, we're humans, we're different, we're not an essential part of the food chain. The world would function pretty well without us here to "keep the cow population down". That was sarcasm if you didn't detect it. Humans should be protecting and helping animals not exploiting and killing them just because they taste good. Ok, I think I have ranted quite enough (my annoyance builds up, I live in meat and potato country...I do love potatos)....anyway, meat is bad.
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#12 Old 07-09-2008, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _sharon View Post

I have been questioning what I really believe, as I had been vegetarian for about a year, and then went back to eating fish and occassionaly meat just recently. But something that I find interesting is the value some vegetarians place on the animal life. In that, they say the life of a cow is equal to that of a human. So, if a cow is killed, it is like a human is killed. For me, I don't follow that concept, because I don't see the value of a mouse's life to be equal to my sister or my brother. Yes, I realize that mice have siblings themselves. But if there was a burning building, and a human was in the building along with a mouse, I would without a doubt save the human over the mouse.



So are the animals you are eating the remains left in a burning building, as you were escorting Hitler and Dahmer out?



It's certainly one kind of morality to always save a predator because he's human, and always sacrifice an animal, because he's not.

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

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#13 Old 07-09-2008, 09:31 PM
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We have no dominion over animals....therefore I am vegan. And a life is a life, from the smallest sea dwelling animal to a human being.



You bring up a word I've been contemplating lately: dominion. It's a word used in the Bible to describe how God intended man's relationship to nature to be: to have dominion over them. People use that to excuse all sorts of atrocities to animals, and I can't help thinking how wrong that is.



Dominion comes from domain, obviously. My home is my domain, therefore I have dominion over my home. How foolish would it be to sit here and destroy my home? To exploit it and to just ruin it to the point it was inhabitable? I have dominion over my home, but that doesn't mean I should do all sorts of atrocious things to my home and treat it like crap. I could, but I would be an idiot if I did.



So perhaps when God declared we have dominion over the animal kingdom and nature, he meant to take care of them as we would our own homes and those within it. Actually, that is absolutely, without a doubt, what I believe.



I realize people think dominion is equal to domination, and equates the word domination to an overpower, suppressing government or military force. But if you followed dominion theology, that simply is a belief that people should be governed exclusively by the law of God. It came to mean something else by the perversions of man, and the abuse of the control and power people have over animals and nature.



And because of that, I have a huge distrust of "Christians" who use the Word of God to justify their abuse of animals and disregard for life. They are no better than the pharisees and hypocrites that Jesus derailed during his Earthly ministry, and I reject their teachings outright because of that.



To answer the OP's question: I became a veg man because of animal rights. It's something I've gone in and out of here and there for several years, but I am here to stay.



And I absolutely think that life is equal. We all get the same breath from God. Even if you don't believe in God, we all breathe the same air, we all bleed, we all feel. Burning building analogies aside, in our day to day life we have a responsibility to respect all life. And for me that means (in part) to not consume said life.

"I used to hate dogs 'til I saw one kill a kid." W.C. Fields
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#14 Old 07-09-2008, 09:36 PM
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I got a job at an animal hospital as kennel help when I was 15. I'd bust my ass all day walking dogs and cleaning cages, and also got involved in rescue work and TNR.



I just felt weird working all day with dogs and cats--animals people consider "companion animals"..........then go home and eat chicken for dinner. Needless to say, I became vegetarian shortly after getting into a lot of rescue work and eventually transitioned into vegan.

"you know, nowhere in the bible does it say that jesus was not a raptor"


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#15 Old 07-09-2008, 09:42 PM
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Just gradually began cutting meat out of my life.



I never liked the way meat made me feel after I'd consume it, it was a heavy, lingering feeling and I'd always feel bloated.



I stopped eating meat when I was 14 and have never gone back since. I stopped just to see if I could, then as I progressively became involved in the vegetarian lifestyle it became for the animals, too.



It may sound sick and wrong, but I value animal life FAR more than human life. I guess because there are a lot of humans out there who I feel like deserve whatever has coming to them, whereas animals are always so innocent.
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#16 Old 07-09-2008, 09:51 PM
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For me, it started out for health reasons. I just wanted to eat better. At first, I just gave up beef and pork, then chicken and seafood, and most recently dairy and eggs (just a couple of months ago). I started to get really worried about all the additives/hormones in milk and thought it was a good time to give that up. Also, in my continuing effort to be more "green," I just felt that following a vegan-style diet would help reduce my impact on the environment. Through all of this, I've become more compassionate about all living things, and being an animal lover, it seemed incongruous to eat animals and/or food made with animal products. I'm hoping to extend my veganism to more than just my diet, but I haven't made that leap yet.
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#17 Old 07-09-2008, 11:14 PM
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I would never describe myself as an overly compassionate person, but I became aware of the unnecessary exploitation of animals just for what I regard as entertainment eating. I am happy to try and live my life with the least possible impact on other living creatures as can reasonably be expected. I don't look at animal life as a value being higher or lower than humans, I think all life should be treated with respect and not just seen as something else to pour gravy on.



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#18 Old 07-10-2008, 06:08 AM
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My whole life I did not much meat, just occasionally. Past school year I spent in Texas, and I ate as much meat as I haven't eaten in my entire life (though I am still able to say that I have never eaten at mcdonalds. why? different story). Due to that fact I told myself that I should not eat meat for the next year or so to get my health back up again (even though it didn't get noticalby worse, I knew that that much meat couldn't be healthy. Eventhough I ate less meat than most people I know over there).



So when I got off the plane back to Germany, I put the challenge on for myself to not eat meat as long as I could. I like challenges because I am addicted to being successful. That's why I did the exchange. I also put the challenge up for myself to not drink alcohol since I am back. And I decided to prove to myself that primitive flesh-lust does not control or influence me in any way so I decided to not masturbate as long as I could (but I cheated a week ago so the stop-watch got set back. I managed it for a month about a year ago.) You think that's weird? Well, if I was a female, I would like to know for sure that the boy I'm talking to is not going to sit back at home, put his hand down his pants, play with his body while thinking of me (from the point of a female) masturbating or having sex with him.

Unlike many others I've heard of I do respect women a lot, I do not use them and I don't take advantage. I do also not take just any chance there is just to have sex.

But I got a bit off-topic there.



I am vegetarian mainly for the environment. All this energy and space wasted for poor animals that wouldn't even exist and have such miserable lifes if it wasn't for (some) humans... (i could go into details for awhile. One is, that, if noone would eat meat anymore, we would have enough food to feed all humans on earth).

Secondly I do it for health reasons (because I don't think that I have the skill to live healthy as a vegan, I'm just vegetarian. Part of those 5 % of Germany's population that lives way longer than the average) that I have learned more and more details about since I made my choice.

Thirdly I do it for the animals. I have seen all the videos and it stuns and disgusts me and makes me feel sick. But still, health and conserving our planet (by not wasting energy and space) are more important to me. But that I have seen the videos and that the knowledge delivered through them hits me so painfully helps not to get tempted or miss flesh on a plate in any way.



I can explain that point of view with another, maybe brutal sounding truth about me. If I was to choose who I'd spend my money on (children funds or wwf/other environmental organizations) I probably would give it to the environmental organizations. That's not because I don't have a heart for children and I do think that they need help, but in my eyes, others should take care of the kids. Those who they are the primary priority.



There is also another issue.

Human fathers are not allowed to kill their child after birth. That's right, noone will disagree.

The humans that take care of that a cow gets pregnant, are the ones that are closest to the father of the baby-cow because they have the obligation of producing it. The mother cow cannot decide.

The "father" of the cow then kills "his child" to be eaten by others. He kills it because others, those who don't allow him to kill human lives, allow him to produce a living animal and then slaughter it, just because they think its just.

What kind of a sick logic is behind that?



Another intend that I just recently discovered for myself:

I would not kill a dog or a cat or a horse. Why would it be just then to kill any other animal? Non-vegetarian pet-owners are some kind of weird hypocrites to me. Just like anyone else who would not kill a dog or a cat. Actually, most sea-animals and some birds that are being eaten by humans are a lot more intelligent than dogs and cats. What judges this making a difference based on prejudice as right?



My intends may vary some time (since I am just vegetarian for about 3 weeks, 6 days, 2 hours, 49 minutes, 43 seconds) but I don't have any influence on that at this point in life.



hf, gl

:P
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#19 Old 07-10-2008, 06:40 AM
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I became vegetarian because its wrong to kill animals just to eat them.



I agree with you Sharon that a human life is more important than an animals life. If you only had time in a house fire to rescue a human or a pet animal then the human would have to be your choice.
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#20 Old 07-10-2008, 08:42 AM
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So are the animals you are eating the remains left in a burning building, as you were escorting Hitler and Dahmer out?



It's certainly one kind of morality to always save a predator because he's human, and always sacrifice an animal, because he's not.



Wow, it was just my train of thought, in that I don't necessarily see killing a cow is equal to killing a human being. But I understand that it is killing nonetheless. Maybe I am just reading your words differently, because it comes off to me in a negative way.
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#21 Old 07-10-2008, 08:47 AM
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I got a job at an animal hospital as kennel help when I was 15. I'd bust my ass all day walking dogs and cleaning cages, and also got involved in rescue work and TNR.



I just felt weird working all day with dogs and cats--animals people consider "companion animals"..........then go home and eat chicken for dinner. Needless to say, I became vegetarian shortly after getting into a lot of rescue work and eventually transitioned into vegan.



I see what you mean, because I wouldn't eat a dog or a pet, but what deems the life of a dog to be considered as a pet? In other words, why can a dog be considered as a pet, and not a chicken or a cow? Actually, some people do have pet chicks and such. Either way, I guess it follows the idea that you wouldn't eat a dog, but you would eat a cow. You wouldn't eat a human but you would eat a cow...



That was one of my rationals, and I guess for me, when I went back to eating meat, I was tired of being criticized for my choices, because evidently, not everyone was supportive of my choices. I have stopped eating meat recently, but I did not tell anyone about it.



Is it bad to be a vegetarian secretively? It was just so difficult to have my friends and family question me every day why I decided not to eat the meat.
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#22 Old 07-10-2008, 08:56 AM
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you could show them some videos and tell them the health issues coming with meat and the advantages of not eating it. you could also tell them how eatin meat destroys our planet because it unnecessarily uses loads of energy. or tell them that parts of the world population don't have any food because some people think it should rather be used to feed the animals that they want to eat. generally, those who eat meat are some of the most selfish people on earth's face, whether they want to or not. they take food that could help humans survive and use it for their own excess.
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#23 Old 07-10-2008, 09:17 AM
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Why did you start eating meat again Sharon? I think youre thoughtful. Wasit more than people not being supportive? I could never see myself eating meat again. Even if my Mum didnt want me too Id still be a veggie. Id vomit out of disgust at myself. Maybe youre more experienced?
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#24 Old 07-10-2008, 09:22 AM
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you could show them some videos and tell them the health issues coming with meat and the advantages of not eating it. you could also tell them how eatin meat destroys our planet because it unnecessarily uses loads of energy. or tell them that parts of the world population don't have any food because some people think it should rather be used to feed the animals that they want to eat. generally, those who eat meat are some of the most selfish people on earth's face, whether they want to or not. they take food that could help humans survive and use it for their own excess.





The problem is, I don't want to advocate it. I know that sounds strange, but for me, I hate it when people push their religion on you, saying that their religion and choices outweigh others. I find that it is disrespectful to "talk down" to someone, and by advocating to others that, "Hey, you're eating animal flesh, you're a killer!" I think that is kind of extreme. Yes, killing animals is extreme, and killing animals is unnecessary. I merely tell them that I am not that fond of the taste of meat, and I don't find that I need to enforce unnecessary killing when I can eat my lentils, quinoa, nuts and seeds and be happy. In fact, I am a crazy nut person - give me some almonds and cashews, and they will be gone in no time.
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#25 Old 07-10-2008, 09:26 AM
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Why did you start eating meat again Sharon? I think youre thoughtful. Wasit more than people not being supportive? I could never see myself eating meat again. Even if my Mum didnt want me too Id still be a veggie. Id vomit out of disgust at myself. Maybe youre more experienced?



I think a part of me was just tired. Tired of people looking at me like I was some kind of freak, and that everyone had to cater to me. When it came supper time, my parents would have to make sure that the vegetables were separated from the meat in the stir-frys, or that the places we went to had a vegetarian option. But really, I didn't mind eating a salad at those places. In fact, when I did go vegetarian, I didn't eat those veggie burgers or vegetarian fake meats. For me, it wasn't rational for me to substitute the taste of animal flesh when I didn't feel it was right to eat it in the first place.



Anyhow, I think I am just going to keep it low key in terms of being a vegetarian. I actually had troubles sleeping when it came to thinking about my consumption of animals, so I think really, the choice of being a vegetarian is right for me. I just don't follow how if someone says the doctor told them it they need to lay low on the meat, it is deemed acceptable. But if someone says they are a vegetarian or a vegan, they are given these strange looks like they are from outer space.



Overall, I think for me, a vegetarian lifestyle is the way to go.
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#26 Old 07-10-2008, 09:37 AM
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I suppose you mean tired of being yourself under pressure from others?



I might be an idealist but I think one day everyone will be veggie. And some have to start the process. It must have been harder years ago when it was very rare to be a vegetarian.



I also have never gone for eating fake meat. If youre veggie because of morals it doesnt seem to add up.
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#27 Old 07-10-2008, 09:39 AM
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well, is reading a book about another religion an attempt from someone to push his believe onto you?



when you show videos about cruelty against animals, you are not pushing your believe on them unless you tell them that this is why it's right to be vegetarian. you are only providing knowledge. and when they listen and watch the videos to the ende, you have it pretty easy.

you could show them the videos as an explanation for your lifestyle. no matter whether they'll change theirs, they won't question yours again.
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#28 Old 07-10-2008, 09:51 AM
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Their lives are not mine to take. I believe in the value of life, and I realized something, that animals are alive. I'd never, ever kill a cat. Why should killing a cow be different for me? While I may not like all animals, it doesn't make it okay for them to die for no other reason than to feed me.
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#29 Old 07-10-2008, 09:58 AM
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well, is reading a book about another religion an attempt from someone to push his believe onto you?



when you show videos about cruelty against animals, you are not pushing your believe on them unless you tell them that this is why it's right to be vegetarian. you are only providing knowledge. and when they listen and watch the videos to the ende, you have it pretty easy.

you could show them the videos as an explanation for your lifestyle. no matter whether they'll change theirs, they won't question yours again.



For me, I think showing the videos is a little pushy. I don't think I feel I would be considerate if I was doing that. Instead, I think I am more comfortable verbally explaining my choices, although, ultimately, killing animals is not a pretty picture on its own. But I just don't want to give off the vibe that I am advocating vegetarianism. If someone merely asked me why I didn't want to eat the meat, I could just give them a simple reply, rather than going into detail. Because if they were interested, they would thus ask more. I guess that is my logic behind that.



In terms of religion, I don't want to come off as those that canvas door to door about their religion. Because lots of people are annoyed with those people. I don't want people to feel uncomfortable around me, because everytime I hung out with my best friend, she would ask, "Is it okay if I eat this burger in front of you, is it okay if I eat this chicken in front of you?" It was as though I would be sickened by her choices, when really, I am not one to judge.
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#30 Old 07-10-2008, 10:01 AM
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I suppose you mean tired of being yourself under pressure from others?



I might be an idealist but I think one day everyone will be veggie. And some have to start the process. It must have been harder years ago when it was very rare to be a vegetarian.



I also have never gone for eating fake meat. If youre veggie because of morals it doesnt seem to add up.





I agree, that one day, everyone will be vegetarian too! I think, you just need to give it time.
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