Article written

You are what you eat 0

Dear Bradshaw,

            In your last letter you asked how long I’ve been a vegetarian and why. That’s a question in a half so forgive me in advance if this letter is long.

            I’ve been a vegetarian since I was seventeen years old (over twenty years) but, as you know, I eat fish (doctor recommended because my ‘bad’ cholesterol is alarmingly high) so I’m not a genuine vegetarian. The main reason I don’t eat animal meat is because I don’t like the taste while I’ve always loved fruit and vegetables, and also bread, peanuts, pasta and rice. To me, the taste of watermelon, strawberries, apples, oranges, cantaloupe, avocados, coconuts, papaya, mango and almost any other fruit is divine. Meat, to me, is mud. Meanwhile, think about all the vegetables there are, which you can eat either raw or cooked, right? But you wouldn’t sink your teeth into a live cow or a chicken, would you? I hope not, and if you would, then we’ve got other issues to discuss.

            With the exception of sushi, most humans don’t eat raw meat. Meat contains harmful bacteria and microbes, which must be killed with heat, and also most civilized people prefer the taste of meat only when it’s cooked and seasoned with spices and sauces. So, in my opinion, regarding flavor, one tastes the spices and sauces more than the meat. Meat, in that case, is superfluous. If I eat a sandwich with tomatoes and lettuce, it’s the tomatoes, lettuce and bread I like, and want, to taste. For me, meat ruins the flavor. Also, I feel healthier and happier as a vegetarian. Some people argue that when you eat meat, especially in the United States, you’re eating fear, i.e. the fear-released adrenaline or hormones or enzymes an animal’s body produces when it knows it’s about to be slaughtered and, well, after all, you are what you eat.

            I’ve never liked meat. When I was young and my mom served meatloaf or hamburgers for dinner, I always covered it with ketchup to drown the taste. Once, at a restaurant with my parents when I was six or seven years old, I bit into a chicken leg and it started bleeding. Disgusted, I refused to take another bite. There was another leg on my plate and my mom insisted it was okay, going so far as to slice it open with knife and fork to prove it, but I was adamant. Another experience that likely contributed to my being a vegetarian (fishetarian, if you will) happened when I was eight or nine years old. I was arguing with my sister and, in order to shock me, change the subject, and/or end the argument (though it had nothing to do with our fight), my sister said, “Oh yeah? Well, do you know what chopped liver is?” My mom happened to be passing by at the moment, and though she ran into the room, screaming, “Lisa, no!” my sister said, “It’s chopped LIVER!” Making the connection, I looked up at my mom and said, “I’m never eating chopped liver again.” And I never did.

            In my twenty years as a fishetarian, I’ve never once heard or read any evidence that favors eating meat while libraries of information promote the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Whenever I discuss the merits of vegetarianism with someone who disagrees, I always challenge them to provide me with facts from an up-to-date book or reputable source that supports eating meat. So far no one has ever shown me anything.

            When I decided to become a vegetarian, I went to the library and read up on vegetarian diets in order to placate my mom who was concerned about my health. Nothing I said eased her worries, until I told her that Gandhi had been a strict vegetarian and had died at the age of 78, not from malnutrition or a poor diet, but because he was shot.

            So that’s it, Bradshaw. Of course, I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Nevertheless, here are a few quotes in favor of vegetarianism, in case you’re unconvinced:

“Behold I have given you herb yielding seed. To you it shall be for meat.” -Genesis l:29

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as a vegetarian diet.” -Albert Einstein

“To become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana.” -Buddha

“The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.” -Leonardo da Vinci

“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite.” -Leo Tolstoy

“I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals.” -Henry David Thoreau

“Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends.” -George Bernard Shaw

3 people like this post.

subscribe to comments RSS

There are no comments for this post

Please, feel free to post your own comment

* these are required fields

Scott Sussman is powered by WordPress and FREEmium Theme.