If you are a carnivore or new to vegetarian or veganism you might not totally understand why people choose to live this type of lifestyle. There are endless reasons why people choose to become a herbivore but because I get asked this on almost a daily basis I wanted to clarify exactly why I've chosen this lifestyle AND maybe, it will resonate with you.
For the Animals. I've always loved animals and from a very small age I felt very connected to them. I've had family pets my entire life and have bonded very deeply with all of them. Molly, our family dog was my best friend for a good chunk of my adolescence. My mom was my idol and constantly rescuing injured, abandoned and down on their luck animals. I still remember one day after working a long day my mom drove by and witnessed a man trying to kill baby skunks after he had poisoned their mother. She stopped, made a deal with the man to come get the skunks if he promised to spare their lives. She quickly came home, grabbed the cat carrier and missioned back to the murderer's house. My mom and sister took turns bottle feeding the baby skunks every couple of hours for months until they were old enough to be released back into the wild.
At this time my family was not vegetarian. In fact, I don't think we knew what that word meant or how to incorporate that into our lifestyle. BUT the three of us were always more compassionate towards animals than the "average" person. My mom and older sister were incredible role models to me in this aspect and still are.
My compassion towards animals slowly started shifting as I started to make the connection between the animals I loved and the one's I ate. Now, I'm not religious but I believe in peace, love and all that other hippie stuff. I believe every living being on earth has the right to live their one life in peace. The thought of killing someone else and ending their life just for me to eat one meal is not something I can participate in. I don't need to eat an animal to survive, so why would I do it?
For the Environment. Eating meat is not eco-friendly, like, at all. If you think it is, you need to do some research on the subject and get educated. With two acres of land, you can feed 50 vegetarians or 2 meat eaters. Not to mention, the 775 million tons of soy and corn that are used for animal farming could be used to feed humans. Think about it, you can save animals, save humans AND save the environment just by cutting out one dietary preference. Adapting a vegetarian or vegan diet is one of the easiest ways to reduce global warming. Methane produced by industrial farming is the main contributor to global warming. It even beats out CO2 caused by transportation. I could go on about this for the rest of my life but I think you get what I'm saying. It's a big deal. A better environment means a better life.
For my Health. Let's face it, you can be healthy or unhealthy on any diet. Yes, I get enough protein. No, I am not deficient in important nutrients. I have personally found it easier to choose healthier options since becoming a herbivore. My health and constant desire to stay healthy has improved. I love trying new veggies and fruit, ones I didn't know existed and I'm genuinely enjoying what I eat. I rarely feel like shit after a meal and I feel good about what I'm eating. Don't get me wrong, I'm not eating salads all day everyday, I still eat pizza, burgers and poutine quite regularly. And one more thing, I never feel like I miss bacon, not ever.