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A Lifestyle, Not a Diet
By Jocelyn Olivares
"Whoever called you fat must be crazy!"
When I became a vegetarian, people failed to see why I became one. I received, and still receive, thousands of concerns from people who assume my decision is based on body image. It was NOT for my weight -- I'm not as self-conscious as the average girl can be about her body.
But I did do it to save all the animals I could possibly save. That doesn't mean that I just stopped eating meat so a few hundred animals could be saved. I go out of my way to save all the animals I can when I get the opportunity to. I feed stray cats and dogs, and rescue spiders and flies instead of killing them. Once I even got free ducklings off of Craigslist to ensure that someone else wouldn't get them and make them their meal.
Being a vegetarian isn't easy, especially when you have to face a handful of arguments from meat eaters.
One of the most common arguments I receive about meat is that there's no point in abstaining -- the animals are already dead, and there is nothing to be done about it.
What some people may not realize is that the less meat that is bought, the less demand there will be for more animals to be slaughtered. The meat industry obviously doesn't want to lose money due to people like me. So, they use propaganda to glamorize the supposed health benefits of meat. When meat is not bought and is left to rot, the company loses money. Now, the company won't provide as much meat as before. Hence, not eating meat could save more than simply the animal that is on your plate. According to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the average vegetarian saves more than 100 animals a year.
When confronted with the apathy of my peers, I would love to reply with the reality -- could you imagine the painful cries of animals as they plead for their life? But I respect their opinions and just keep quiet to myself in an attempt to make them realize that what I'm doing is a thoughtful action for all animal life, and that's all that should matter.
Ever since I became a vegetarian, my point of view has changed. I'm a happier person knowing that my actions don't account for the animals being slaughtered and prepped with growth hormones and carbon monoxide, which is poisonous to humans. Becoming a vegetarian wasn't for a diet. It was for a new lifestyle.
With a perspective, I'm Jocelyn Olivares.