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Picture an overpopulated, 1800’s jail where it’s dark, cold, and rundown–prisoners cramped in a disease-ridden dungeons, weakly surviving through days on limited rations, wallowing in their own filth. While our prisoners today might be treated better, these horrid conditions still exist.
Modern day meat sources like cows and pigs suffer these conditions daily for people’s enjoyment. People everywhere sacrifice animals for a juicy medium rare steak, crispy, steaming chicken tenders, or grilled pork chop. And while most of society might see a juicy, smothered cheeseburger, oozing with hamburger goodness, I can only envision the bruised and battered living being, between the two sesame seed buns– the cow.
Contrary to the 96.8% of other adults in America, I am a vegetarian (Vegetarian Times). I have been living under this philosophy for almost five months. Now you are probably thinking to yourself great, here’s an activist speech waiting to happen. But, that’s not what this is. By definition, a vegetarian is someone who does not consume meat; however, many people make claims past my eating habits and more onto who I am physically and mentally. Such claims are untrue. Chances are, you’re probably a meat-eater like the nine out of ten people in the United States of America. My view of the other 3.2%, is what I experience daily (Vegetarian Times).
Stereotype #1: I am malnourished and in constant hunger.
For five months, I have never been so satisfied with my eating habits. Not only do I feel cleaner and energized, but I have opened up to many new foods. I eat more vegetables, more fruit, and more vitamin nourished food. I have to look past the usual items on the menu and search for something else, which in more cases, is healthier, too. I surround all my meals around protein, making sure that I balance my intake. Now that I do this, I feel I get more protein than I ever have before. With the right strategies, vegetarianism can be more beneficial for your health.
Stereotype #2: I am a hippy.
A hippie is described as an unconventional person with long hair, rejecting societal values and taking hallucinogenic drugs. If you can see by reading this, it does not mention anything about non-meat eating. Although most hippies don’t eat meat, it doesn’t mean all vegetarians are hippies. And it also definitely doesn’t mean we all have long hair and drop acid.
Stereotype #3: I miss the meat because all I eat is salad.
I’ll admit it. Sometimes I do crave some honey barbeque wings and some McChickens. However, I don’t crave them enough to drop five whole months of hard work. Sometimes it’s tough, but I can tell you the benefits outweigh the suffering. And for the what I eat, salad is not on the list. The last time I had a salad was probably months ago. My new diet consists of the shakes, lots of fruits and veggies, and still like anyone else, a ton of carbs.
Stereotype #4: You are what you eat.
We don’t eat meat and we like it that way. Think it’s barbaric, think it’s naive, that’s okay with us. We may seem to be protein deficient but we are strong minded people and healthy humans.
After all is said and done, I can say on my behalf, I am not confined to my eating habits… unlike the animals you eat. So enjoy your juicy, smothered, oozing burger of death, and I will enjoy myself with a bland, colorless salad.
Vegetarian Times, and Photo via Shutterstock.com. “Vegetarianism In America.” Vegetarian
Times, 16 Apr. 2008, www.vegetariantimes.com/uncategorized/vegetarianism-in-america.