Why I’m Eating More Fruits and Veggies

Lately, I’ve been reading up on becoming a vegetarian. I always do a lot of research before I make a life decision. Case in point, I’ve been thinking about becoming vegetarian since the end of the summer, but I’ve only recently decided to do it. At this point, I’ve been vegetarian for about a month and it’s going really well. It’s a lot easier than I thought it would be, and it helps that my awesome husband has decided to join me on this adventure. Nowadays, there are a lot of cold pastas, burritos, veggie wraps, fruit, soups, and salads coming out of our kitchen. The hardest thing has just been getting out of the habit of centering a meal around chicken or beef and finding creative ways to approach a new meal. But my reasons behind this life change, my love of a good adventure, and my increased health make it so worth it!

Reason number 1: I watched the film Food, inc. I actually didn’t even finish the movie the first time I saw it because I knew if I did I would never eat meat again! But I ended up finishing it eventually, and it raised some moral dilemmas for me. I realized that by eating most chicken and beef, I would be supporting an industry that feeds out of the hand of a consumer culture. Most of these animals are held in feeding bins with no room to move and fed a corn diet simply because they will grow fatter and faster. The few huge corporations that have contracts with several small local farmers get to produce faster and bulk up their wallets fatter, while these animals undergo a horrible way of life and the farmers are paid to keep them in these conditions. Anyways, after learning about this I decided I couldn’t ethically eat meat coming from these conditions and be a part of the culture that demands it.

Reason number 2: I come with a family history of gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and early heart attacks. After learning that I could reduce my risk of developing these things myself by even just getting rid of meat in my diet, I was set. I also saw Christianna Pierce’s blog Elegant Simple Vegan, where she posted an interview where Bill Clinton and his doctors discuss his plant-based diet and his reduction of his heart disease! I realized that if I work so hard to stay active and keep a healthy lifestyle anyways to avoid health issues, why not take one more step?

Reason number 3: I believe whole-heartedly in simple living. To me, that means not supporting the huge corporations that monopolize an industry by being a part of their consumer base. I can’t be a part of what allows them to raise their animals unethically and force farmers to work with them or be put out of business. It’s the same reason I work for a small hair salon instead of my previous corporate chain. It’s the same reason I’m shopping at thrift stores and starting to make some of my own stuff. I also believe in living on just enough, not in excess. So, by cutting out the meat in my diet, I don’t support wasteful corporations that produce way too much. If I am going to live a simple life, I have to live it in all areas!

Ignorance is not bliss, it’s blindly following what others are telling you what to do. I would challenge you to check out these resources for more information, and learn about how we can change this industry.

The film, Food Inc.

The film, Food Matters

This post from the blog, Minimalist Adventures

This post from the blog, Elegant Simple Vegan

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2 Responses to Why I’m Eating More Fruits and Veggies

  1. Felicia says:

    I enjoyed this, Kate! I admire this blog and this part of you very much. This posting/topic raises a question for me that I’ve had for many years…

    Is it that you are against animal slaughter for human sustenance, or is it truly the treatment on the animals up to their slaughter? If the cows were raised in free roaming pastures, fed a healthy diet, and herded, transported and killed in ideal Temple Grandin style, then would you feel differently and eat meat? Do you believe that by abstaining from eating meat that you are truly helping change the industry in which you are protesting?

    It is my opinion that mere abstinence does nothing. It’s campaigning, letter writing, protest, and public demand that changes things. What do you think about this? I was a vegetarian for 5 years but then later realized my heart really wasn’t in it the way I thought was. I didn’t care about the ethical treatment of animals, really. Sure, household pets and human companions but honestly–I didn’t care that chickens spent their life in cages or that cows moo-ed a lot before they were slaughtered. At least I must not have because I never did one thing to change it. I truly believe vegetarians will absolutely never get anywhere by protesting with abstinence alone. I think some people out there just have a psychologically affinity for life in a way that most meat eaters don’t. Every night I lay in bed with a veggie salad in my tummy, cows by the hundreds of thousands were still being slaughtered the same way the day I was eating cheeseburgers.

    If I was handed a brochure or pamphlet or if there was a protest or something I could sign to illicit change, I’d do it in a heartbeat. The public just isn’t demanding this change yet. I don’t think change will ever happen until that happens.

    So most vegetarianism, to me, seems useless when done as a sole measure. It’s got to be coupled with lobbying. If meat sales went down drastically in concert with public demand for change, then I see it possible. But it seems for every vegetarian out there, there are 10 meat eaters to take their place.

  2. Kate says:

    Good thoughts, Felicia! About the reasons behind this decision… I’m definitely not against the animal slaughter behind it. If it was done in a humane way, I would consider it to be okay. One of the biggest factors is the condition of the animals before they are slaughtered, not only for the animals, but for the way it changes the quality and safety of the meat. Also, the fact that I can survive without meat because of the mass production of so many other sources of protein. Why support an industry that I have found to be mostly unethical when I don’t need to? And of course, the health aspect behind it. These are really the major ideas I have about it.
    As far as the protesting and all of that goes, I feel like I’m still very much in the information stage. I’ve just delved into this lifestyle and I’m still learning about it everyday. I do agree that we should make change happen by creating change in our government and in the industry directly, but I do also believe that movements don’t happen unless people stand up to start them. And I feel like by making this decision, I’ve made my first step. And as I grow in this decision and lifestyle, I will definitely do my part in informing others and pushing for change at a government level. Thanks for your thoughts, Felicia! That’s such an interesting thing about you I never knew!

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