We were talking the other day about looking back after getting out of a situation. It seems the phrase ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’ is taking on more and more meaning these days.
Since becoming almost completely veggie around the middle of 2009, i’ve steadily changed the way I feel about the whole issue, particulalrly the reasons for being veggie at all. It started off as an almost purely environmental thing, focussing on the massive inefficiencies and pollution that industrialised meat production causes. The effect on climate change is huge. Given the very finite resources of the world and the ever expanding population, this seemed like a big enough reason on its own.
What i’ve found in the last 6 moths or year has been the gradual shift from environmental reasons being at the base of the lifestyle change, to animal welfare issues. Having been veggie for a year and a half, it’s actually surprising that it’s taken me this long to fully shift my thinking onto this. I just can’t look at meat now as an acceptable food source, particulalrly given the wide range of plant-based foods.
As a society, we rank species in terms of their use to us as humans and disregard their right to life. A pig has the human equivalent intelligence of a 3 year old. It feels pain, fear and I just can’t accept the ridiculous ‘humanely killed’ arguments. It doesn’t matter how well you treat the animal if you’re going to take the ultimately most serious and final step of killing it – there’s nothing humane about killing.
The final step along the realisation journey has been a sharper focus on nutrition. This was actually more like the first one, but this dates back to GCSE biology and a general interest in this area. This led me to A-Level biology but it’s only fairly recently that the real focus has also taken in this element.
The idea is that plant-based diets are far healthier than meat-based diets, particulalrly in terms of saturated fats and animal protein, which has been directly and strongly linked with all types of cancer.
The other surprising result of being veggie is that i’ve started to eat less cheese! Given I love the stuff, this has been really surprising, but it’s the saturated fat and Casein animal protein which has persuaded me to alter my eating habits. The biggest thing has been to cut down a lot on the cheese and crackers as a late supper before bed!
So, having been away from eating meat (mostly, apart from the odd fish and chips!), for the past 18 months, I can now very clearly see the whole debate + I now have a lot more experience and knowledge.