i have decided tonight that i am a vegetarian.
it is impossible (for me) to know the realities of the food industry as it stands now and continue to eat meat. i have always been aware that the food industry was messy and that i wouldn't want to go to a slaughterhouse, but i never allowed myself to think beyond that. i convinced myself that animals were put on this earth for humans to eat and that i needed to eat meat in order to get all of the nutrients i need. (but really, when have i every cared about "nutrients"? was it when i was pulling into the mcdonald's drive through to order a big mac?)
today, my mom and i were passing the horse drawn carriages in central park. she felt so bad for them because they have to pull those heavy ass people through the congested streets of new york city. i refused to believe that they were sad or hurt or abused (hint: they are). i told her i would prove her wrong and look up evidence online. after several hours of googling, i found terrible terrible things and the carriage horses were the least of it.
i forced myself to watch chickens, cows, pigs, turkeys, getting killed for our eating pleasure. they were needlessly tortured. just for absolutely no reason. it could be done in a much much much much more humane way, but we have a good thing going, don't we? (no.)
if i'm speaking honestly, which i am, i knew this all along. but i never watched the footage. i never read accounts of the investigations. seeing it for yourself is entirely different. you can't explain away something that you have just seen for yourself. it is reality. it is much easier to ignore the horrors of the world, because then you don't feel accountable for them. if you think you can't do anything, that you are just one person and really what can one person change, then you are not going to do anything.
by being vegetarian, i can reduce the amount of animals that are violently killed (about 100 a year). i can refuse to buy products that are needlessly tested on animals (really there is no purpose). i can educate myself (and others) on the reality of animal abuse.
i don't want to seem preachy. i am the last person to preach about anything, especially animal rights. i am 21 and am just now (except for a brief stint of vegetarianism in childhood) realizing that it is morally wrong to eat tortured animals. i just can't wait for someone else to end animal suffering for me, i have to do my part.