Just over 10 months ago I made an important decision about my lifestyle and ultimately the things that I believed to be ethical. Above all I would initially like to distinguish that living a vegetarian lifestyle is a choice that does not aim to affect people around you but purely your own self. It is also not only the case that vegetarians are animal lovers, I know many people who are/have been vegetarian for other reasons, (eg) health, taste, environment. But for my own personal reasons I became vegetarian because I finally realised that I am not above any other species.
“Earthling” definition – An inhabitant to the Earth.
This simple word is not just used by aliens to describe the human beings on this planet but also to describe anyone and anything living and breathing in our world.
To me this creates no distortion that all living creatures are equal. Humans, other mammals, reptiles etc. so how could I justify the killing and eating of these creatures? All of my life I have been a big believer in the protection of human rights. I see very human being as equal. No matter your ethnicity, gender, religion, social class, age or sexuality. So how could I, as someone that could now see that animals are our equal condone the killing and eating? The killing of a human has always seemed barbaric to me. Even in regards to public safety. I still see it as inhumane. What right to we have to EVER take someone’s life?! There are those we see as ‘bad’ in the world. I think this is wrong. No one is born ‘bad,’ some just develop ‘bad’ behaviour.
A somewhat off topic point, but why is a murderer seen so much more negatively than an executioner? Both have taken a life. Both have taken a soul. Therefore both are equal in my eyes. (I would just like to point out that I am not condoning murderers before conclusions are jumped to). I think we may need to look into government plays here.
Anyway, I digress, the day I decided to become vegetarian was within my first couple of weeks at university. I think the idea of independence; cooking and fending for myself made the idea a lot more attractive.
Anonymous flat mate, “YOU WILL NEVER LAST A WEEK!” which makes me chuckle because at the time I didn’t think I would last two days. But 10 months down the line I am still fully dedicated to my lifestyle decision. And to say I am proud of myself I find somewhat insulting. To me I think I have just done the ethical thing which is to not condone killing of any kind.
So when people ask me why I became a vegetarian I have a simple answer: “I don’t wish to kill and eat something I consider my equal.” But for me there was a bigger turning point that made me realise I needed to do this…
My tattoo commemoration.
As I was growing up I had always wanted a dog. I often begged a pleaded with my mum because secretly I knew she felt the same. When I was around 10 or 11 the day finally came when we decided to get a dog. A beautiful retired greyhound which got the name ‘Nooby.’ No one really remembers how this name came to be but I think it’s pretty quirky. I grew up with this dog, through my teens; through some difficult times and to me this dog was my best friend. I know for some people it seems implausible to be so attached to an animal but I know anyone who has been blessed to live with these furry menaces feels the same.
Over time she became very ill and we knew that she was coming towards the end of her life. It was one of the most horrible memories I will ever have. I hated seeing her in pain.
Last year my dog passed away and I knew I had lost my best friend. It was difficult; painful. But all the best memories I have are when Nooby was here with us, so that’s something nice to hold onto. About a month after her passing I had an epiphany. If you could call it that.
– ‘MY DOG WAS MY BEST FRIEND.’
– ‘MY DOG WAS MY EQUAL.’
– ‘MY DOG WAS NOT HUMAN.’
– ‘MY DOG IS EQUAL TO ALL ANIMALS.’
So if I view my dog as my equal why should I view other animals as anything less?! I suppose the simplest way of saying this is that I wouldn’t eat my dog. (Although I’m sure many people wouldn’t for that matter).
But in my eyes it took a terrible moment in my life; that being the death of my best friend to save others. And of course I am aware that the meat industry will always be present. This generation had been brought up consuming these animal products and I would like to re literate that becoming vegetarian was my own PERSONAL choice. And as it was MY choice I would never discriminate against anyone with opposing views to me.
But my view states that I cannot condone the killing of any living creature.
Unfortunately we live in a world where everything we do is under scrutiny. In my opinion I have made a great choice in changing my lifestyle. But I know there are those who would say that my views are hypocritical. Maybe they are?
“What about other animal products?!”
I agree that the farming industry can be considered ridiculously exploitive. (Eg) dairy; milking and egg collecting. But at this point in my life I have been focusing on the taking of lives. There is nothing to stop me saying that in time I may wish to alter my diet further but for now I am content. And for what I deem as right in the world, I think I am aiding.
I am happier since the day I took on a vegetarian lifestyle. I will never look back.