In my last post, I mentioned the process that got me to Vegetarianism. Now I want to talk about WHY I decided to do this... it started w/one reason and ended up w/many.
1. As I mentioned before, it all started from a book I was reading and my Spirit couldn't handle reading about what happened to a pig for our consumption. (See the book "Cleaving" by Julie Powell for more info) This lead me to my Pastors blog which lead me to the video mentioned in the last post. The video outraged me and I had to look away at times and was in tears by the end of it. How did I live this long and NOT know about this process? The farm factories are inhumane and unnecessary violence, torture and killing. Something I no longer want to be a part of or support.
2. The more research I did, the more I learned there were other reasons I wanted to be Vegetarian. As a Christian, I take seriously the responsibility bestowed on me, to take care of our animals and our earth. I do what I can, to the best of my ability and resources. I host recycle parties (we all bring things we no longer want and swap), I use environmentally-friendly laundry detergent and cleaning supplies, I recycle my plastics and paper and glass, etc. So, when I learned the truth about how the meat industry is affecting our earth, of course it was natural for me to chalk it up as another reason to go vegetarian. Consider this: Water needed to produce a pound of wheat = 14 gallons. Water needed to produce a pound of meat = 441 gallons. This is NOT the best use of our earthly resources. This is just ONE of many statistics. This also leads me to consider poverty in the world. If it costs less to produce plants for consumption, wouldn't that also reduce the rate of poverty in the world? This is again another command of the Bible, to care for the poverty-stricken.
3. Did you know that America is one of the only high-meat-consuming countries in the world? Why is that? And why is it that America is one of the leading countries in health-issues and obesity? “Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol...as well as higher levels of fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals. Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indexes than nonvegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.” --American Dietetic Association, June 2003 position paper. It's no secret that I've been fighting health issue after healthy issue for the past 3 years. My weight is a by-product of my insulin-resistance, a side effect of PCOS. So, the fact that vegetarian diets have lower rates of type 2 diabetes is a great appeal to me. Not to mention, vegetarians tend to thinner and overall healthier. I have to say, in the 5 days of not consuming meat, my energy level has increased significantly. I need less sleep and I'm finally getting QUALITY sleep (I used to never sleep through the night and often times have nightmares. I've slept through the night, nightmare-free almost EVERY night since giving up meat!) My mood has improved... I have more patience for my childcare kids (I own and run my own in-home childcare) and my husband. I haven't taken my anti-depressant medication in days and still feel happy! My sex drive has significantly increased and I just feel better overall. Amazing, isn't it? I'm interested to see how this change will continue affect my infertility and health issues... stay tuned!
Oh yeah, and so far, it's helped me to be more in tune w/my body... if I'm getting a headache or not feeling well, it's usually because I need to eat something. I think my body was so clouded by all the crap that I was eating, that I never really knew if I was causing my grief. Now, I know the issue and I know the cure! Amazing stuff!
4. The Bible and God are my source for everything. I never (or at least almost never) make a decision, without praying about it and feeling God's peace in my heart for the right decision. This decision has always been peaceful. I also believe that my goal in life is to mimic Jesus... be as much like Him as I possibly can, as a fallen human. Of course, I fail miserably and it's not w/o His daily help that I can even do this even minimally. So, when I started researching what Jesus ate and what the Bible says about food - I felt like my final decision needed to come from mimicking Jesus. Let me first be clear that the Bible does NOT say that we can't eat meat. In fact, it says the opposite. But, it's important to note that meat-eating wasn't "permitted" until AFTER the fall took place. This is hugely significant! In the beginning, our sole source of food came from plants. This was/is enough for humans to survive on and was God's original plan and final plan in the new world to come. But more importantly (at least for my purposes) was that Jesus was noted as eating milk, honey and fish. It is NEVER mentioned that he ate meat. It doesn't say that He didn't eat meat, it only says he feasted or ate a meal. It never specifically mentions meat. For me, since I want to mimic Jesus and I can't be fully sure that he consumed meat, I personally feel that I must only follow what I know is true... that would be that Jesus ate milk, honey and fish. So, that's what I'll do.
It also needs to be mentioned that in order for the US meat/dairy industries to keep up with production, they are injecting the animals with steroids and other unnatural hormones and chemicals. This is then passed into our food and when we consume it, it's passed into our bodies. Our bodies cannot operate at optimum if we are putting foreign, toxic substances in them, right?! So, the dairy I do consume, is strictly now organic (made w/o hormones or chemicals).
So, there you have it, in a nutshell. (No pun intended! Ha!) These are my reasons for why I became a Vegetarian. I'd like to end w/a disclaimer... these are MY reasons for making the choice to not eat meat. My reasons are for ME only and I don't necessarily think my reasons are right for every person or every Christian. It is a highly personal decision and one that each person needs to wrestle with on their own. There is no judgment towards those that disagree w/me or that choose to still consume meat. (My husband and child are amongst those still eating meat!)