Choices

February 11, 2008

ocean-garbage.jpgFollowing a college trip to Taiwan, a friend of mine decided on a vegetarian lifestyle after seeing the way animals, even sea creatures were brutally handled and killed by locals to sell. Upon returning to America, she promptly bought a copy of Diet for a New America and was maniacal about the food purchased and consumed. Fast forward 15 years and you will see my friend now jokingly refer to herself as an opportunivore, meaning, if she gets the opportunity to eat meat that smells good, she does it.

While I also strayed for a while from my college vegetarian days, I have returned to that lifestyle, and now work at incorporating a raw vegan diet into my world. It saddens me that with age, my friend has forgotten the reasons for embracing vegetarianism that were so important to us long ago, especially now that we all have children, now that the secret regarding global warming is out, now that the decisions we make each and every day may have disastrous effects on the world we will leave our children.

Being vegetarian is not easy, not to mention being vegan, or god forbid, raw vegan. But I cannot pretend my choices don’t mean that down the road, someone else will pay. Are we so selfish that eating a piece of bacon is worth the suffering of the pig in the contained feedlot, the methane rising into the atmosphere, the energy required to slaughter and process the pork, the fossil fuels used to truck the meat to market, the paper purchased to wrap the food in a neat little take away bag. All because the bacon smelled good.

I’m not a perfect vegan. I eat cheddar cheese goldfish with hummus when i’m ravenous and am laboriously chopping veggies for a raw salad. But i’m not laughing about allowing myself the spontaneity to choose what to eat as it strikes me. Just because I can choose to eat animal flesh doesn’t mean I should. There are a million things available to me that I would not think of consuming, why is it so hard for people to do the same with meat?

At the end of all this global warming, trash heaps mounting, fossil fuels dwindling state is just one person, making a decision many times each day, each hour, each minute, that will forever leave a mark on this planet. What choices will you make today that aren’t the easiest, fastest or yummiest, but will give our children a chance at a world of green lush forests and fresh air. A place where were animals are reverred, not beaten.

Whatever you choose, let’s not pretend it is no big deal. This is a huge deal, and may be the last deal whose ending we get to choose.

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