food choices are life choices.
This week we celebrated the day of the female writer, and there have been some inspiring events taking place. Natalie Portman’s speech at the EMA awards (Environmental Media Association) was one that caught my eye. She produced a documentary on factory farming and she said something that really stuck with me “We get to make decisions 3 times a day in what we do with our planet and you can make a difference by doing something once a day or once a week which is choosing not to eat animals or animals products”
Every time I refuse a meal, a scone, a latte, I get the same questions. Why do you refuse it? Is it for the benefit of animals? Is it something else? Are you allergic? Don’t you like the taste? It doesn’t matter if I say something or not because I know my decision will receive an unasked lecture about why what I’m doing is wrong.
The top 5 reasons people give me for having the audacity of having a choice when it comes to what I put into my body are the following:
1. We are carnivores, we need the meat to stay healthy.
Sorry to say but we actually don’t need meat to be “healthy”. If you live in the arctic maybe you’re excused but a plant-based diet is proved to be the healthiest diet there is. Vegetables not only have all of the vitamins needed to stay healthy but they even have healing properties. Caveman used meat as a sign of power. The greatest hunter was the strongest men which translated to being the leader of the pack. Later on meat was considered as a sign of wealth where the richest men of the village could afford to eat meat and host meat feasts for the less fortuned. It became a very profitable industry and they needed the public to believe meat held an important health componente in order to stay profitable.
2. If we all went vegan, deforestation
would kill the planet too.
WHAT? Factory farming pollutes the air, water, and land. In the US, 260 billion acres a year are used to grow food for livestock which is the equivalent of feeding 9 billion human beings. Maybe instead of putting out produce into the hands of meat industries we could supply food to those whose need it and solve world hunger.
3. I know what you mean. I only eat fish
That’s fine but keep in mind that the oceans are dying too. Trawling is a very common method for fishing that means wiping out the marine ecosystem, plus the nuclear waste in the ocean doesn’t make it even a healthy choice for anyone. And have you ever seen the chicken farming industry up close? Absolutely cruel of them al
4. Well, I have to eat something! Plants are
Oh, thanks, Sherlock! Actually, there are studies that show that trees are able to communicate with each other and many other things, vegetables, however, are not. I’m not ending a life because I like the warm fuzzy feeling of satisfaction in my stomach I’m ending a cycle in order to stay alive, healthy and productive.
5. Yeah but that is in the US the EU is not
To which I say: Rule number one of being a decent human: The fact that it is not happening to you does not mean it’s not happening. We all live on the same planet and people need to snap out of the entitled privilege mentality that they live in.
My very private and personal reasons to have a plant-based diet started after watching some documentaries about evolution and the creation of the earth. I lived with two cats back then and I often observe them. I saw joy, anxiety, boredom, and a sense of tiredness in their furry little bodies, and this sense of awareness made me understand that they were much more intelligent than I have them credit for. They knew the consequences of their actions when they did something they were not supposed to, and they knew when there was more room for them to do as they wished when I planned on going out. I began to wonder what the difference between these cats that I love and the unknown animals that were killed somewhere for me to eat a burger, and the answer was none.
The main reason for my decision to change to a plant diet happened to be due to that fact that I realized that the sacrificed animal has feelings. They can suffer, feel anxious and scared when they are about to be herded to the slaughterhouse and that fear is imprinted into their flesh. In my head I can’t get the thought out of my head that I’m eating scared anxious animals. It is no wonder why there are so many illnesses. We are eating emotions of fear.
Another reason for my diet revolves around the idea of respect, and how I respect myself, other people’s lives and all the living things on this planet. This sense of respect includes caring about the environment and minimizing my carbon footprint on it.
And last but not least my health, I know this is the best diet I can have to be as healthy as possible and to live a happy and long life.