The reason is quite a simple one, see, I've worked in retail for seven years and a month or so ago I became aware of just how much meat was in the store I work in. There are just six aisles in the supermarket I work for and yet as I stood in the store one day I realised there were hundreds of dead animals around me in different forms. It made me feel sick. Especially as I see the amount of products that are thrown away because they go out of date or get damaged.
Rennet which is made by extracting enzymes from the stomachs of young calves. Yikes.
I began looking into how giving up meat would effect me and the world around me. I read lots of literature about how becoming a vegetarian can have benefits on the environment and that seemed like a rather good reason alone, let alone the ethical reasons that had promoted me to make the decision in the first place.
I've had many people tell me that I'm a hypocrite for becoming a vegetarian, or that it wont make a difference. In fact, an old school friend of mine Andrew sent me 'defencive omnivore bingo' when I first announced I was becoming vegetarian and this is the progress so far (click for full size!):
I thought, as a good way to mark the two week stage I would make a list of the best bits about becoming a vegetarian, as a way to re-inspire myself should my brother taunt me with chocolate I can't have - or bacon sandwiches. So here goes.
10 good things about starting out as a vegetarian
1 - Over the last two weeks as I've given up meat and many animal by-products I've read about just how much of a difference I am actually making, even though it seems that one person wont make much of a difference.
2 - I have discovered some amazing food that I've never tried before. An example would be a leek and mushroom crumble that I tried which was just lush!
3 - There are hardly any calories in vegetables!
4 - Eating as a vegetarian has made me more aware of the impact I have on the environment around me.
5 - I've been able to surprise my family by offering them pieces of the food I have which they've liked.
6 - My family, as a whole, has started to eat a much healthier diet (even though they still eat meat.)
7 - I've chosen to be moral about what I eat because I care, not because the bible told me to, and it makes me feel like a good person. The god in the bible doesn't care much about suffering. I do.
8 - I haven't tried to force anyone I know to give up meat, but by becoming vegetarian I've made them consider it.
9 - Becoming vegetarian has brought me closer to some of my friends and family who are also vegetarian and that can only be a good thing.
10 - I don't feel guilty anymore, because I know a brussel sprout or a carrot doesn't have a nervous system and doesn't go through suffering to end up on my plate.
I also recently discovered this video from the Richard Dawkins.net youtube account in which Richard Dawkins talks to Peter Singer. It really helped me to think about the stance I have taken on what I do and do not eat. It's a long video but there are some absolutely amazing points make in it.