I think eating animals is just plain gross. Even before I cut meat out completely, it always made me kind of sad to eat it. I'm not a vegan, but am working on becoming one someday. I love animals, and am a very strong animal rights activist.


How about you?

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Despite everyone else not feeling like arguing I think I'll reply to your post (although a discussion of this sort would probably better belong in the forums)

"Oh. My. God. (pardon my French) how can one honestly look upon the eating of an animal as "gross"? Sure, discard millions of years of evolution, involving the ability to consume both meat and vegetable."

Our closest relatives are frugivores with whom we share a common ancestor around 3 million years ago, so I don't know how many millions of years of evolution you're talking about, but nonetheless I think any of us would consider the consumption of another human animal as being gross. Take into account as well that you're eating the slowly decaying flesh of another sentient creature, that is frequently home to all kinds of parasites and bacteria (e-coli, salmonella, campylobacter...) from merely the perspective of one's own health it is pretty gross as well. Take into account as well the links to heart disease[1], cancer[2], diabetes[3][4], multiple sclerosis[5], and many other diseases and its clear that even the most selfish brat would have to be incredibly ignorant of the facts to consider eating a high flesh omnivorous diet. For the rest of us who don't believe the rest of the human race should be ruthlessly slaughtered, the environmental effects are pretty gross as well[6].

"It's only THE most natural thing to do besides breathing and drinking... It also contains a bunch of rather important vitamins that are hard to get from anything else than supplements and it's a good source of iron."

If the above health reasons aren't enough, it is the official position of the American Dietetic Association that, "Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence."[7]

Lets see, your next few paragraphs are you talking about how you apply social Darwinism to your life, so skipping past that since I really don't have a reply:

"A little note to the vegans around: you dó realise that large portions of rainforest are cut down to make way for soy fields to fulfil your ever growing demand for soy, right?"

I hear some very ignorant statements every day coming from those opposed to changing their lifestyles, but this is right up there at the top. Lets take the facts from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, "Expansion of grazing land for livestock is a key factor in deforestation, especially in Latin America: some 70 percent of previously forested land in the Amazon is used as pasture, and feed crops cover a large part of the reminder."[6]

"So. Instead of telling you why I'm a vegetarian, I told you why I'm not. I reckon it's good to give both sides a voice. =)
Oh, and if you háve to be a vegetarian, don't dare to keep eating fish. They're animals, too. =)
(and I love eating them, heh.)"

Well I suppose we agree on one thing, one shouldn't eat fish; although your reasoning is wrong at least from an animal rights perspective, it isn't the status as an animal that matters (I use sponges and there are single celled members of kingdom animalia as well that I'm sure I can't avoid harming) rather the ability to suffer/feel emotions both positive and negative is what allows us to attribute value to life, and that value should be in proportion to the amount it is capable of this sort of feeling.


[1]Esselstyn, Caldwell B. "Resolving the Coronary Artery Disease Epidemic Through Plant-Based Nutrition." 2001. Cleveland Clinic Foundation. 12 July 2008 .
[2]Campbell, Colin T. "Dietary Protein, Growth Factors, and Cancer." June 2007. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 12 July 2008 .
[3]Bernard, N D., J Cohen, D J. Jenkins, G Turner-McGrievy, L Gloede, B Jaster, K Seidl, A A. Green, and S Talpers. "A Low-Fat Vegan Diet Improves Glycemic Control and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a Randomized Clinical Trial in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes." Diabetes Care (2006): 1777-1783. PubMed. University of Puget Sound, Tacoma. 12 July 2008.
[4]Piccoli, G B., and Et Al. . "Low-Protein Vegetarian Diet with Alpha-Chetoanalogues Prior to Pre-Emptive Pancreas-Kidney Transplantation." Rev Diabet Stud. (2004): 95-102. PubMed. University of Puget Sound, Tacoma. 12 July 2008.
[5]McCarty, M F. "Upregulation of Lymphocyte Apoptosis as a Strategy for Preventing and Treating Autoimmune Disorders: a Role for Whole-Food Vegan Diets, Fish Oil and Dopamine Agonists." Med Hypotheses. (2001): 258-275. PubMed. University of Puget Sound, Tacoma. 12 July 2008.
[6]"Spotlight: Livestock Impacts on the Environment." FAO. Nov. 2006. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 12 July 2008 .
[7]"Vegetarian Diets." Eat Right. June 2003. American Dietetic Association. 12 July 2008 .
As an educated vegan, allow me to correct a few points.

As a species we did not start eating meat in any significant quantities until we learned how to play with fire. Humans, like most herbivores, can handle a certain amount of cooked flesh—which is arguably unnatural—but we cannot eat raw flesh for very long without getting sick. This is especially true in the case of eating raw stomach and intestines, and shows a major evolutionary difference between us and true carnivores and true omnivores.

The only nutrient that is particularly more difficult for vegans to get without supplementation is B12. B12 is not made by any animal, but rather a bacteria that lives in the digestive tracts of all mammals (and possibly all animals; I'm a little fuzzy on that one). In humans it lives too far down to provide an adequate amount. Before we figured fire out (and for most of the time since before the industrial revolution) we got most of our B12 from inadequately washed root veggies, as this bacteria is also in soil. Of course it's less available now that we've polluted and degraded so much of the soil now...

The vegan ethic is such that taste is an inadequate defense for antisocial behavior. Saying that eating meat is OK because it tastes good is like saying forcing Africans to be slaves is OK because it makes farming easier. Not to mention that there is no way to raise animals with the intention of killing them—in a large enough scale to feed large numbers of people—and still fully provide for every physical, mental, emotional, and various other needs.

Failure of a species is called extinction. Have we caused a lot of problems? Yes. But we still have a chance to fix those problems, and getting more people to acknowledge that all animals—human or other—exist for their own reasons and have the right to exist outside of the confinement of a farm or slaughterhouse will be a big step toward fixing those problems.

I assume when you say biological you mean organic cattle farming. Organic farming regulations to nothing to prevent many factory farm abuses. Most Organic cow's milk, for example, is still produced using feedlots.

A little not from the vegans around: you do realize that the soybeans that are the result of massive rainforest destruction are used as cattle feed, right?

In all honesty, every vegetarian and vegan here has probably heard all of your silly arguments in one form or another. We're just more informed, apparently.

One thing you are absolutely right about: one cannot be a vegetarian and eat fish, as they are animals (and I respect their right to live their lives too much to kill them, heh).
Can we start a new thread?
Go ahead.
Better yet, can they start a new thread so we can have the appropriately titled Why are you a vegetarian/vegan? thread back?

Oh, the hazards of trying to stay on topic...
I'm vegetarian for all the reasons already listed: environmental, animal rights, health.

I have been vegetarian for about 20 years. The first 5 years I was vegan, but when I met my husband (who was a meat eater) we "compromised". He gave up meat and I let milk and cheese come into the house.

We have a 4 y/o daughter that is vegetarian and has never eaten meat. We recently read one of her books "Benji Bean Sprout Doesn't Eat Meat" and she suggested that we stop drinking milk 'so the baby calf can stay with his mommy'. When I told her that milk is also in cheese and ice cream she said 'Well, maybe we can just stop drinking milk for now'. YES! Baby-steps. And if she decides to give up cheese then I'm hoping hubby will go along.

Glad to find vegan AND atheists! We're an unusual group!
I first became vegetarian with my wife (after reading an article about "downer" cattle). This was about...hmm...seven or eight years ago I think.

I've since been vegan for a year on April 29, 2007 (my mom's birthday coincidentally and easy to remember, lol)

Laughably, I became ever more adamant than even my wife (she only recently became vegan; maybe two months ago I think).

I don't buy new animal clothing, attire or accessories and all the wool ivy caps I wear will eventually be replaced by non-animal textile-made ivy caps. I've replaced my wallet, shoes, boots and all my belts thus far.

There's only one thing I am not particularly "adamant" about and that is honey (which a friend of mine does not partake of). Though I don't use honey for anything (I can't remember the last time I purchased any anyway) right now I don't have an ethical dilemma regarding this.

So aside from the environmental impacts and the health issues I, first and foremost, became vegan for ethical reasons entirely. All the rest just fell right in place.
I'm vegan because I value compassion over killing. And yes, it really is that simple.
I went vegan a long time ago after reading Peter Singer's book, Animal Liberation. I felt that my life to that point had been a hypocrisy. I had been living my life calling some animals a friend while calling other animals food. Right after this the March for the Animals in Washington happened. I volunteered for the event and realized that there were a lot of others who felt the same way. John Robbins cemented my new found beliefs with a connection to the environment and I've been vegan ever since.
I went vegetarian about 20 years ago after seeing a "48 Hours" news special on animal rights and being horrified at the images of cats with contraptions in their heads. A year or two later I went vegan.

In simple terms, I'm a vegan because I don't like seeing animals suffer and because I live in a place where I don't need to eat meat to survive and be healthy.

I've always been kind of amazed at the people who equate being vegetarian with being wimpy. Having the resolve to act in accordance with one's beliefs takes more strength than shrugging off moral reservations to avoid giving up a favorite food.
My turn!
I always figured that if i could get by without ending the life of another creature, why not? I apply the same philosophy to most aspects of my life. i can get by without supporting exxon, walmart, kraft, and all the other companies that harm animals, habitats and people, so i just shop elseware.
I've been a vegetarian for my whole life. I've always had an aversion to meat. I think that is partly because my mother is also a vegetarian (actually, she's one of those pesky pescetarians), so I didn't eat meat very often. If I did eat it, I got ill. The final time was at the age of 5 when my dad forced me to eat a tuna sandwich. I got sick and purposely did so everywhere but the bathroom. He never tried it again. I was a very stubborn child.
I've had people tell me that I'm a "natural" vegetarian, but I'm not sure what that means. All I know is that I've never liked it. Since I was very young, I've found the appearance, texture, and smell of meat to be very off-putting. It just seems nasty to me.
Around age 7, I realized that meat was dead. It dawned on me that meat was composed of the very bodies--the flesh, the carcasses--of the animals I loved so well. Needless to say, that really grossed me out. When I was a child it was simply gross and wrong. As I've gotten older, I've reexamined why I feel that way and come to several different conclusions: it's bad for you, it's bad for the environment, and it's bad for animals. I can't see anything good about it. It would be different if I needed it to survive, but I don't. No animal needs to die so that I can live.

My reasons for remaining a vegetarian are numerous--but my primary reasons are ethical and environmental. I've never missed meat because I don't even remember what it tastes like. The idea of eating it is a foreign concept to me. I've never needed to live and I've never felt like I was missing out on anything. I've lived my entire life without it and I've always been in preposterously good health. I went vegan for a couple years, but found that I had a very difficult time maintaining a healthy weight (which was my own fault, I simply didn't know enough about nutrition. I've since taken several classes and educated myself). I hope to go vegan again soon.

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