Monday, August 11, 2003
I have been a vegetarian for just about 3 years, but I’ve been devoted to animal welfare as long as I can remember, probably since my 3rd grade teacher read to us the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell, now before anyone says wait a minute that novel is about politics not pets I just want to point out, how would 3rd graders know, we just enjoyed listening to a story about animals, if a little politics sank in during the process so much the better. Now I do not think of animals as pets or even companions just as fellow creatures; some of whom choose to live among us, and some who do not and in any circumstance it should be their election, maybe animal politics is not as far fetched as we thought.
We enjoy being vegetarian on a number of levels and for a number of reasons they are in order of importance
1. Ethical: I am not aware of any ethical standard that would incorporate as one of its tenets the deliberate mistreatment of a living, sentient creature. Ethic can be skewed to condone bad behavior but I do not believe that ethics may contain it, that would render the concept of ethics useless.
2. Health: Not always as obvious a precept as ethics but still an important benefit. Shortly after we started the journey toward vegetarianism I was perusing some bulletin boards on veg web sites and I came across a posting by a young lady (she had just begun college) who asked for help; in ill health for a variety of unstated reasons throughout her life she had recently fallen in with a group of vegetarian friends at school, these people were sympathetic to her plight and eagerly suggested she change her life style and try eating vegetarian, she did and her health improved. That in and of itself proves nothing, maybe her mother was a bad cook, maybe she was allergic to something in her previous environment. Cause and effect are rarely joined at the hip in that manner. What was important about her letter however is what followed: she went on to say that although she was feeling better and now she was happy, she was worried that if she fell ill from this new diet and had to be admitted to the hospital that the doctors would force her back on to a diet of the 3 basic food groups, including meat.
I thought about this for a time realized that what this woman had done was to take a leap of faith in herself i.e.: that vegetarianism was her choice, not her parents, not her friends, nor societies, not even in the face of renewed illness would she willing return to eating meat. This is the only provable health benefit that I can muster; making your own choice …is good for your health! Iv'e added a new link to my sidebar VegRd if you have health concerns, it's a good starting point.
3. Domestic environment; We got rid of our hood fan and we no longer
Have to use powerful chemical toxins to clean work surfaces in and around the kitchen (this is a personal benefit – it doesn’t work for
4. Dogs and Cats: That’s right I claim vegetarianism is a benefit to me
Because of our dog and cat live-ins, they still get their regular dog and cat food, we benefit because for the most part they have quit begging for table scraps … cats hate carrots and that makes life in the kitchen much easier. We have three, cats, not carrots and three dogs all from various pounds or shelters. One shelter in particular that I admire is Animal Rescue in Maryland Line, PA, If you go there Duncan would like to say ‘HI’ to his alma mater.
We live on the inner coastal waterway, gulf coast of Florida and while we do not own a boat we do enjoy breathtaking sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico and an astonishing variety of water fowl, one in particular the Moorhen, that inhabit the inlet and our back yard. bfn