I've been vegetarian for almost 10 years now, but I would never tell anyone else that they should be vegetarian--except my fiance hehe. I feel like it's a personal decision and there are pros and cons to both sides. I think that choosing less meat, eating only sustainable meats that were raised and slaughtered humanely (and locally) is totally possible and makes a big difference in our health and the health of the environment. I am even open-minded to the idea that someday I may eat meat again, such as if I raised my own chickens. However, I can't imagine touching or eating meat, even if it was the happiest chicken on the planet who died of natural causes--simply b/c it seems so foreign to me now. But I digress...
For me, the decision was based on a few things.
1- The environment. Raising meat takes a lot of resources and results in a lot of environmental damage. There are ways around this, such as choosing local, sustainably raised meats, but that is NOT easy to do, often costs a lot more, and still doesn't mean there is zero environmental degradation as a result. I am also concerned about overfishing and the imbalance that causes to the ecosystem, so I choose not to eat any seafood (especially b/c seafood is far from local where I live).
2- Animal welfare. I am an animal lover and it simply bothers me to think that an animal would lose its life just to feed me--especially when I don't know what it's living conditions were like. The conditions of probably 95% of animals raised to feed humans are pretty appalling in terms of disease, discomfort, abuse and more.
3- Health. I'm not saying meat is unhealthy, but I do believe that abstaining from or limiting meat is better for us. With so many plant based proteins readily available, I do not need meat in order to be healthy. That coupled with the reasons above means I can still be healthy and have a lot of great tasting food without choosing meat.
Those are the main factors for me. I'd say environmentalism is the biggest.
Good luck on your decision.
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