So I've spent enough time and participated in enough conversations that I guess I should introduce myself. My name's Richard, I'm a single guy living in Boynton Beach, Florida, land of hurricanes and butterfly ballots.
I just decided go vegetarian a few weeks ago. I'd been slowly cutting the amount of meat I eat for a while, because I feel bad for the animals. But I'd been so trained to make meals revolve around meat that I didn't really know what to eat instead, so it took me a while to go all the way with it.
The final straw for me was reading an article on the internet a few weeks ago about how chickens are more intelligent than most people think. It talked about them having different types of clucks to mean specific things, and how each chicken has a distinctive personality. I have a pet cockatiel, who has been one of my best friends for over 20 years now. So the chicken article made me think of him and how he has different chirps to tell me different things, and how I can read his body language to know when he wants to be picked up, given a treat, cuddled, or just left alone. He may be a bird brain, but he definitely has his own personality, and we communicate pretty well without verbal language.
So that's when the concept of taking the lives of animals hit me on an emotional level. I've known for a while it was wrong, but this made it less of an academic argument and made me really feel it. I swore I'd never eat chicken again. And I figured it would be silly to keep eating other animals if I swore off birds, so I took the plunge and decided to stop eating all meat.
The next step was trying to figure out what to eat instead. I was impressed with the selection of veggie burgers, tofu, and stuff at my local supermarket, so I started there. Then I went to the internet for information, wanting to make sure I was eating the right nutrients to stay healthy while doing this. Most of the sites I found gave lots of reasons to go veggie, but not much practical advice on how. So I specifically searched for a forum where I could ask specific questions, and here I am.
And since I got here, I've learned about the evils of the dairy and egg industries. I've already discovered the joys of soy milk, which is great after years of limiting my milk intake because I'm becoming lactose intolerant with age.
So far, being vegetarian is actually much easier than I expected. I haven't told many people, though, because I figure it's not worth mentioning unless it comes up. So I've managed to avoid all the stupid questions and arguments. I've read those threads here about the dumb things omnivores say and quick comebacks, though, so I'm prepared.
Sorry for the long post. I tend to ramble.
Btw, I like the juggler smiley. I attach it to every post, because I really am a juggler.