Current and former vegetarians share their thoughts on why they made the decision to “Go Veg!”

By Emma Kerbyson

A little 7-year-old boy on his way to Wendy’s, excited for his toy along with chicken nuggets and fries. Average, right? Not for senior Nate Slavin. His mom, as any normal mom would, took him to Wendy’s for a treat. It was his turn to be a big boy and order but instead he said that he blurted out “I’m going to be a vegetarian.” Then Slavin proceeded to get a salad which was “absolutely terrible”. He made his big boy decision and has stuck to it 10 years later.

Vegetarianism can affect many different aspects of your life. Some that you might not pay close attention to that effect parts of your life from physically to the everyday world you live in. The life style of Vegetarianism seems to be growing more and more. Students are choosing to lean this way for reasons from saving the environment to health and moral.

The process involved in meat production isn’t a simple one. Feeding the animals, giving them water, housing them, killing them, cleaning them, processing them and more. Timothy Rutherford wrote an essay about vegetarianism and said that “Land + Water + Crops = Livestock… The world’s population is increasing. Adding another fact: those humans need a place to live, water to drink, and food to eat.” Vegetarians, despite the common stereotype, aren’t always animal lovers, sometimes they’re tree huggers instead! Some could care less about animals and do it for the sake of the world, the one world, we live in. Junior Sophie Lee, a current vegetarian, stated how “It’s incredible how large an impact you can make just by changing up your diet and food preferences.”

Some questions you may want to ask yourself the next time you sit down for a meal: Do you feel okay with what you’re eating? Do you think you’d still feel okay if you saw the process animals like cows, lambs and pigs go through? It is indeed a cruel process and there is no denying it. Lee said “I get to sleep at night knowing I’m not contributing to animal cruelty…or freakin’ world starvation!” Slavin similarly said “My mind is at ease knowing that what I’m not eating the remains of poorly treated and slaughtered creatures of this Earth”

Of course meat is healthy but how necessary is it to have at every meal? Or even at one meal but with no vegetables? Fruits and vegetables are also a very important ingredient to your health. As a vegetarian it will force you to focus more on what exactly you’re putting into your beautiful body. Vegan- even more. A former vegan, Elizabeth Krause said “…most of my meals were centered around fruits and veggies.”

Being vegetarian forces you to eliminate a lot of foods from your diet. When you’re a vegan it eliminates even more foods. Vegan foods are generally organic. Organic foods tend to be a bit pricier than other foods. Thus leaving the cheaper foods to eat, a lot of which include vegetables and fruits. The food pyramid puts meat under proteins which you can obtain from a simple pill rather than an animal. There’s even a certain vegetarian that doesn’t eat meats except fish which has plenty of protein, zinc and iron.

Physical Education and Health teacher Kelly King said, “If the individual eats dairy and isn’t a vegan then all the essential amino acids can be obtained.” Lee said that “..there are hundreds of other (more humane) ways of obtaining proteins and whatever…We truly do not need meat.” Those including ways of pills, dairy or certain meats.

A meal that’s healthy, environmentally right and seems morally right sounds better. There’s always a compromise- different types of vegetarianism- some don’t eat red meats, some don’t eat dairy products at all, some don’t eat animal meat. As a vegetarian you’re able to mix it up how you want. Possibilities such as cutting back on meat are always a possibility too. Krause believes that “There is no reason for people to eat meat at every meal like they do. You can be perfectly healthy with only a couple servings of meat a week.” What do you believe?