A Case for Vegetarianism

TATIANNA BURKETT Contributing Writer

Becoming a vegetarian was not an easy decision for me, in fact, it was rather difficult. See, I really enjoyed meat. I took pride in finishing a full rack of ribs and thought it was blasphemous to get a steak cooked over medium rare. Truth be told I still struggle with the fact that I don’t eat meat.

My choice to become a vegetarian was motivated by the fact I’m a huge environmentalist. The impact that the meat industry has on the environment is ridiculous. Just think about how many resources are taken by raising a massive number of cows, feeding the cows, watering the cows and not to mention how much manure they produce. The numbers are quite staggering. If our society wants to substantially reduce our impact on the environment it would be a good idea to stop the enormous intake of meat that we eat.

But alas, most people aren’t extremely worried about our planet’s inevitable doom. Meat has another detrimental effects on our society. When most people imagine the animals raised for meat they typically picture animals roaming free in large green pastures or enjoying plenty of clean food and water- inevitably meeting their demise in humane and painless ways.

Unfortunately, many of the animals that are being raised for your dinner aren’t treated like living creatures that have feelings and can feel pain. Chickens are given steroids that make it nearly impossible to walk, pigs live in quarters that are so small that they can’t even turn around and cows are slaughtered upside down by having their throats cut. The reality of the meat industry isn’t the fantasy most people would like to live in.

No, I didn’t write this article to persuade you to drop all meat from your life. But it is important to see that there is a problem. The sad reality behind the meat industry is that they wouldn’t have to take such extreme measures, especially when it comes to animal treatment, if there wasn’t such high demand for their product. Nothing will happen if everyone blindly ignores these sorts of issues.

Trust me, being a vegetarian is not easy, especially when dealing with the lack of options in everyday life. Sure, I might want to eat a burger or some wings, but my meal isn’t worth destroying our dying planet and killing innocent animals. I may be just one person, but if every person does something, we can all make a huge impact. Our planet and our animals have no say in the way they are treated so someone needs to be their voice. It’s the least we can do. We are the most powerful species in the history of the Earth. Don’t we owe something to the things around us who can’t do anything?

Maybe the next time you eat that burger, think about the cow who lived life in pain and fear. Think about the countless resources that could’ve been used to help the poor and hungry overseas. Think about the millions of other people eating a burger and thinking that their burger really doesn’t matter. I can’t change the world by myself, I need your help.