The blood had come from an animal that had been killed in cold blood without ever having a chance to grow up. And why? So I could eat. A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat poultry or any slaughterhouse by product such as gelatine, a jelly-like substance made from animal bones.
Becoming a vegetarian is a personal decision, but one of the key reasons people become one is because they don’t morally approve of the killing of animals, or the way in which they are kept, treated and killed before being turned into food.
Others become a vegetarian because of concern over the environment: using land to raise animals wastes precious resources that can be used to grow crops to feed us more directly like, for example, potatoes.
The oldest stereotype about vegetarians is that because of our diet, we’re all pale and unhealthy. But medical studies suggest that vegetarians are less likely to suffer from illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diet related diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. So if all the other reasons don’t suit you, become a vegetarian for the good of your body.
It’s not hard to be a vegetarian. Vegetarian food is available in all leading supermarkets and restaurants. It’s easy to cook and you get the satisfaction of knowing that animals aren’t being killed to make the food you eat. There are also a range of burgers. sausages and chicken style fillets that taste just like the real thing but aren’t.
There are many famous people who you may look up to who are vegetarians, like Tobey Maguire, Pamela Anderson, Josh Hartnett, Emily Deschanel, Orlando Bloom and Natalie Portman. Being a vegetarian has changed my life for the better. I eat a healthy diet of my favourite foods whilst knowing that I’m helping animals to lead a longer life.
One way you could think about it is to put yourself in their position: how would you feel if you were an animal being brought into this world with the sole purpose of later becoming food? You wouldn’t like it, so why should they be any different?
When I was younger and we were taken on school trips to zoos and farms I used to just stare at the animals for ages and feel so guilty deep down inside. They were soaking up my attention without knowing what we’re doing to them.
So the next time you look at a ham on sale in the supermarket, think about where it has come from – a pig on a farm being fattened up ready for the slaughter house – and then ask whether you can live with the guilt of their lives being on your plate.