Why I Am a Vegetarian

Clare Ravizza, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

When people find out I’m a vegetarian, the most common question I get is: why? At least, that’s what my parents and my friends asked when I told them. I had been considering going vegetarian for a while, and at the beginning of this school year I just decided to go for it.

But here’s the most important part of my vegetarian lifestyle: I am not trying to force it on anyone. I don’t think I am better than anyone by choosing to not eat meat. This was my choice for my personal reasons, and that’s all.

Regardless, here are the reasons behind my choice to be a vegetarian.

  1. To me, it just feels wrong to eat an animal. It was easy to push that thought away because of how good meat actually tastes, but I kept coming back to it again and again. It just felt wrong to eat something that had once been living. It had once had a life, had blood flowing through its veins, had a heart beating in its chest. To not only cut that animal’s life short, but to eat its flesh after it has been killed strikes a chord with me that I can’t ignore.
  2. I also believe in animal rights. I know that, specifically on corporate farms, there are animals being horribly mistreated. There are hens being debeaked without anesthetic, animals injected with growth hormones, chickens raised and then slaughtered without ever seeing the light. I didn’t want to give my money to companies that destroy an animal’s quality of life in this way. I know that there are many farms that treat animals very humanely, and this corruption does not apply to them, but I still choose to avoid meat on principle.
  3. I feel better about myself when I’m not eating meat. I feel healthier, less bogged down after big meals. I eat many more fruits and vegetables, and I’ve taken up cooking more experimental meals. I feel like I can stand up for what I believe in without feeling like the world’s biggest hypocrite.

My life, in small ways, has improved since I went vegetarian. Whenever I’m questioning my decision, I think about these three things.

Being vegetarian has been much easier, in some ways, than I thought it would be. It helps to have the support of my family and friends, who are always looking out for me and making sure that I have options. Resisting the urge to eat meat gets easier every single day.