If you want to debate the reasons for or against vegetarianism, discuss that here. Otherwise let's stick to the topic.

Why did you stop eating animals?

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I originally decided to try vegetarianism to lose some weight (doesn't work!) as I come from a cultural background that was heavily influenced by the Portuguese and their love for meat transferred over. In avoiding meat containing dishes, I thought I could make healthier choices and be more in tune with my professional duties towards animals.

However, I didn't realize how that dietary change would affect my whole attitude toward that category of animals that never registered on my emotional scale despite having been exposed to them and all the various rearing practices through college and university, including post grad studies.

I went back to re-read evolutionary theory and other books on sentience and along the way, lost my faith. My journey is briefly chronicled here

Thanks for this forum.
I read your story on the Humane Society site, and it started me wondering about how many animal lovers may have actually become atheists because of speciest religious concepts. It would seem logical to assume that it would at least be a significant factor, but I wonder if the stranglehold is too strong for it to tip the balance of many believers' consciences.
I haven't found any others yet, although you would think it would be a natural progression. I now warn other 'intelligent' beings who are considering vegetarianism to proceed with caution as they may lose their soul with their meat.
Have you tried Daiya? It is an excellent vegan cheese substitute.
Because they aren't mine to eat!! It has nothing to do with if they are "legally mine" but with the fact that they are their own beings. I can't control anyone but myself and to impose domination and exploitation on the innocent isn't acceptable. I feel every living thing deserves respect and freedom. I have no right to "use" them just because I can and to try and justify it leaves me feeling selfish and ashamed. I realize no one, animals included of course, is perfect. But to continue on with behaviors that are harmful is keeping the cycle of vioence going. Just like with religion, I had to stop justifying and rationalizing, get accurate information, and spend A LOT of time thinking and working things out in my head.
Well, a dozen years ago on one of my trips (I´m an international truck-driver) to spain I met some transport of swine, standing in the parking-lot next to mine; when leaving my cabin, some of the pigs were looking at me in a way I couldn´t whitstand, as I knew, they were going to be slaughtered. So I came to an agreement with them, pretending something like " I know, that I can´t change your fate, but, if it makes it a little bit easier for you, I´ll pretend, that I not further will be a reason for your death; and now, please, let me go and have my coffee...". At this time, I wasn´t aware of the usually very long lifespan of a swine, if it doesn´t fall victim to something (like human carcass-eaters), and when I found out it was to late, as I´m a man who never breaks a given word, and there´s no evidence for not some or all of them still being alive (somewhere, if some of them had good luck). So I had to get used to be a vegetarian, and meanwhile it´s not even a temptation to me to smell some roast pork or a steak (or something similar) somewhere, in fact I wouldn´t even like to have some meat...even if the last remaining of those pigs would send me a postcard, saying "hey, man, the deal is off, as I´m the last one remaining and going to die now - go and have you a big, fat chop of pork, you idiot !".

`f course, there are some other reasons too, as meanwhile I grew some interest in the ways how meat-providing animals are handled, grown up and slaughtered, and found them disgusting and unworthy for sophisticated humankind; plus, I wouldn´t touch this shitload of chemicals and drugs sitting in every hunk of dead livestock for money, not to speak from the stress-hormones...

There´s only one exception in this : I wouldn´t have any problem in eating human meat, as long as there would be a garanty, that it had been grown up naturally and healthy...

I was born and raised as a Vegan.

I’m told that I never liked meat, (cow) milk, cheese or eggs. My parents were afraid I would be malnourished if I didn’t eat meat so they would force me to eat small amounts of meat. Finally when I was about 9 after a few weeks of letting me go without my mom took me to the doctor, got my blood work done and asked if I would be healthy if I didn’t eat meat. The doctor told her as long as I ate beans instead I’d be ok so I became a vegetarian right then. I gradually developed a taste for cheese but never milk or eggs. I thought that dairy and especially yogurt was healthy so I gradually increased the amounts I consumed until I learned to love it.

 

As an adult my reasons have changed. I never felt right about eating other animals but I use to be very unconcerned with what others ate. Through becoming an atheist my view towards other animals has changed and I feel strongly that is unethical to contribute to the needless suffering of other animals.

Reading ‘The China Study’ informed me about the nutrition side of things and watching ‘Earthlings’helped to push me all the way to veganism. I wish that I no longer liked the taste of cheese or butter but I struggle with it. Living in Spain makes it especially difficult as the country is not vegetarian much less vegan friendly. When eating at home I eat vegan but I’m still trying to completely eliminate cheese from my dining out meals. I know there is no excuse. I struggle with it. It’s still early days in my conversion to veganism so I’m confident I will eliminate all animal products eventually. I admire other’s ability to quit coldturkey but I’m finding it difficult to cut cheese out completely (though I have it very rarely).

 

I feel strongly about a whole foods diet. I avoid refined sugar, flour and processed foods. No artificial colorings, preservatives, sweeteners or flavorings in my diet. I don’t like meat and cheese replacements either. I don’t make meals that mimic omnivore meals with fake meat or cheese. I think it is unnecessary and counterproductive to the vegan movement.

 

If anyone can provide me with a good argument to eat or not eat honey I’d be very interested. Since I don’t eat refined sugar honey is my only sweetener. My brother who is also vegan is horrified that I still eat honey. I just haven’t been convinced that I should give it up. Convince me please!

 

There are so many reasons I’m an aspiring vegan now! Not to cause unnecessary suffering, I don’t like the taste or texture of animal flesh, the environment, health, cheaper grocery bills, not having the guilt (recognized or not) of a meal or lifestyle that depends on cruelty to other animals.  But my initial reason was I did not like the taste or idea of eating animal flesh.

My wife's co-worker was diagnosed with brain cancer just over a year ago. She was paralyzed on half her body, and was put in hospice care, since there was (apparently) very little that could be done. The woman was in her early 50's, and though I didn't know her very well, I had met her a few times at work functions. It struck me as hugely cruel that she could end up like that. I certainly didn't want to meet the same fate, so I started searching online for cancer cures. One of the first things I came across was the video, "Healing Cancer From Inside Out". In it was this quote from the January 1892 Scientific American: "cancer is most frequent among those branches of the human race where carnivorous habits prevail." I then realized I would have to give up my all-you-can-eat BBQ, triple-cheeseburger-lovin', chickenfried-steak-gobblin' habits for good. The more I read and saw about the effect of meat on the body, and how the meat industry is harming the environment (and it's patrons), the more determined I was to abandon my former ways.

 

I have been a vegan for nearly a year now, and I am still trying to better my diet. For a while, I was eating lots of soy meats & cheeses to soften the blow, eating lots of dark chocolate (85%), and making superfruit smoothies, but for the past few months, I have been moving more towards the 80-10-10 diet, and trying to eat tons of fresh, ripe, raw, whole, organic fruits and vegetables, while cutting back on fats. 

 

It's more for me than the animals. I want to live as long as possible, and do so with my health and sanity in good order.

I can't wait until the predominant question is, "how are you -not- a vegan?" (asked to non vegans).
I know! Like Neil deGrasse Tyson says about the 15% of the National Academy of Sciences who are religious. Sometimes these things just don't make sense, and I want to think that the world is coming around, but I get frustrated and impatient.
Easy- I love milk and cheese and eggs, and I think that the animals that provide these things can be treated humanely.

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