I still remember the moment I decided to be a vegetarian. I was sitting in my grade 10 marketing class and for whatever reason, one of the presentations involved seeing inside a slaughterhouse. What a horrifying thing to witness. Seeing all of the animals squirming and full of fear, it was such a defining moment. I decided from that moment on that I was going to make a conscious effort to cut meat from my diet.
Every vegetarian / vegan has their own motives for making the switch to a meat free lifestyle. Originally, I assumed every vegetarian / vegan had the same motivation for ditching meat from their diets. I assumed every one of us was in it for the animals and their well being. It was our way of protesting a torturous, despicable industry by abstaining from meat. This is not always the case.
As you all know, I am currently employed in the kitchen of a Vegan restaurant which has been a fantastic learning experience. I've met a fabulous group of people and enjoy being there every day. I've also discovered through working there that despite all being vegan / vegetarian, our motives are all different. Some of the girls choose this lifestyle for the health benefits. Their health is their motivation for engaging in this lifestyle and perhaps animal welfare might fall a little lower on the importance list. The end result is the same as mine despite both getting there for different reasons.
I find it interesting that there can be so many different reasons for becoming a vegetarian / vegan. I do know however that the reason has to be important enough to us as people to stick with the diet. I've known a few people whose motivation was health or weight and they eventually found themselves back in the arms of a steak because they were not passionate about the lifestyle. We have to be passionate about our reasoning otherwise it is too easy to fall back in to old patterns.
I have been a vegetarian for almost 14 years now and I can confidently say that my love for animals and desire to see them treated better will always be my motivation. I could never go back to meat after all of the years I have fought for animal rights. I could never turn my back on their suffering for my own gluttony. People do not NEED meat, we are trained to think that meat is great and meat is required but it's all to boost sales for these industries. No animal deserves to be slaughtered because we are hungry. We have access to an abundance of fruit, vegetables, and grains that can nourish and provide necessary nutrients. The "need" for meat is an illusion, something ingrained in us as children to keep us consuming these products but there truly is no need.
Whatever our reasons are for becoming vegetarian / vegan are irrelevant. For every one of us that quits meat, animals live. For every one of us that quits meat, the meat industry takes a hit. For every one of us that quits meat, our health improves. As long as you are passionate, regardless of your motivation, you will succeed. My passion for animals motivates me every day.
What motivates you in being a vegan / vegetarian ?
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Jonathan - Happy Veg
Dedicated Foodie. Proud Vegetarian. Recipe Creator. Friend to all Animals.