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How I Became Vegetarian
Stories of How it Happened
Once a girl told me a story about how she had to walk through puddles of blood by a slaughterhouse in order to walk to school. Some of our stories are dramatic, some aren't. But all of them are unique and interesting. If you wish to share your story, please post it in the comments box below.
I believe the next evolutionary leap for humans is in the compassion realm. Human animals have come so far from scavengers, used fear tactics and our brains, and become so advanced in our domination and secured ourselves so well,that we now have the room to look at what we are doing for its necessity, ethics, and alternatives. Which is amazing!
There may be a lot of killing of animals by other animals, but we are moving beyond that. If I am human, not animal, then I don't have to kill animals and create unwanted deaths and suffering. This, to me, is what it means to be a superior being.
Gene sequencing - turns on and off due to environment. I'm fascinated to see what the results of the evolving brain driven, compassion being's diets will be on the evolution of the human being.
A cow waits for slaughter
When I was 12, I read a book on slaughterhouses that my brother's girlfriend had "accidentally" left lying on my bed. After skimming one chapter, I threw it against the wall, so horrified at its "lies" I couldn't bear to look at it, and I closed my mind to it. I was 12, sensitive, and I loved animals. I never saw the book again. I think my dad threw it away. He used to take the animal pamphlets about vivisection and rip them up when I cried, telling me they were lies. Ah, Dad. How sweet, protecting me. And how funny that later on I worked at a non-profit helping distribute the very same thing, developed friends in undercover work to uncover truth, not lies, and did (legal) undercover work myself. Little did I know, that I would learn to love people who ripped up the pamphlets, knowing that if they cared, they hurt, and hurt makes them scream at me and rip things.
In Memory Of Rusty, The Horse
We raised rabbits and chickens, dogs, and had a horse. I loved animals. I felt horrible at how we had to keep the rabbits in tiny wire cages in a dark shed while they slowly went crazy from boredom. But I loved my meat.
I recall when one of my friends in high school stopped eating pigs.
"Why did you do that?" I asked her. She had no answer. She just looked disgusted and said "it's gross." It was only in later years that she could articulate, and when I could understand being grossed out by a slab of dead animal rather than hungered.
I remember when another of my friends became a vegetarian. He did it for health. We went to Subway. No way in hell would I even try a bite of his! I wanted the turkey and I refused to even try his "weird" probably "tasteless" veggie sandwich.
A few years later, I was at USC in my ethics class. I had taken it because my counselor had pressured and cajoled me into it. I had said "why a class on animals? It's not that interesting to me." He said "its fun, good reviews. very little homework." I was more than happy to take an easy class at USC! Little did I know...
So there I was in the first day of class. My teacher was saying "some of you will walk out of here vegetarians, some of you won't. I don't care, I just want you to be able to justify your position to me in a well presented case, we will do debates and more in here." My head jolted back, I was filled with ANGER! I heard what he said, but for some reason all of my defenses were coming up!
"I will NEVER be a f**king WEIRDO vegetarian! I like my meat!" I screamed at him silently. My eyes felt watery and I was red as a beet. He calmly passed out our first reading: a single sheet, a one page paper on the economics of pig farming. Now, I find it crazy that one single sheet on pig farming economics would make me vegetarian. But that's what did it. It wasn't the images of cruelty I had seen which opened my mind, it was the cold hard facts of reality. Suddenly, even though I did not KNOW it, I could not close my mind. I now had a REASON that people would torture animals: MONEY.
My mind secretly and silently shot back to when I was 12, throwing a book on animals across the room and saying inside "that's not real. People wouldn't do those things" as it splattered against the wall. It went back to our rabbits going insane in the dark little cages, how easy it was so easy for us to put it out of our minds, to get lazy and forget about the lives they could never forget about.
A Pig and Her Piglets
I went to lunch. Quickly I ordered a pepperoni pizza and sat down with my new friend. I put it up to bite and - my mouth didn't close. I picked off the pepperonis and apologized.
"I'm sorry, I had a weird paper I had to read in class about animals, I feel weird. I don't know what's going on. I think it messed me up somehow. I'll be better at dinner."
"It's ok," he said blithely, chomping on a burger. "I used to head up the animal rights club at my high school. Of course I did it with a pen in this hand and a burger in that hand!"
I laughed with him even though I had NO idea what he meant. Animal Rights? that was the first time I'd ever heard those words.
We went to dinner that night with a group of friends. Long gone and forgotten was the dread paper on pig economics. Chinese ALL YOU CAN EAT! Right in that nasty fast food area by USC (OH..... UCLA is so lucky!) I ate plate after plate piled high. Soon, it was an obsession. House chicken. I was on plate three, I dove right through it. Unreal, as I can't eat such large portions. I don't know where the chicken was going. I kept on. I felt like I was on plate five. Who knows? Everyone had gotten quiet, or maybe my mind had just silenced everything except for me, my breath, and the sound of me eating the chicken. Clink - clink - something was nagging my brain and I wouldn't look at it. Clink - I looked up, everyone was staring at me. Obviously, something was wrong. Clink - finally, a small voice inside my head said "there is something you are trying to avoid. You don't want to look at it. What is it?" Then it felt as if I was turning my eyes to something in my brain I didn't want to see. It was a yellow burning spot. I heard "you know you are doing something wrong. And you are doing it anyway."
CRAP! After that, I thought to myself "Oh no. Now that I know I'm doing something wrong, how can I keep doing it? I can't." I looked up at my friends and said in a small, sad voice, "I think I'm a vegetarian now."
A Happy Pig!
OH they started laughing! Wouldn't you? They thought it was a joke. I had just consumed plate loads of chicken. But my eyes teared up, my chopsticks fell on my empty plate with a clatter.
"No," I whispered. "I mean it. I think I'm a vegetarian now. Is there something wrong with me?"
My friends comforted me. They told me I would feel better in three weeks. I felt a bit better, hoping this terrible feeling of pain for animals would go away soon and I would be normal again. But it did not. Three weeks later, I knew it was likely my choice for the rest of my life - if I could make it, as many kids now started torturing me - mooing my face, telling me I would die. I was so afraid that it would make me die, I spent the next years thinking about my decision, researching nutrition, and justifying my side to my ethics teacher, who made us all work very hard no matter which side we were on. And this has continued for the past ten years.
Needless to say, I got an A.
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