Why am I a vegetarian?

June 09, 2013

I’ve been a vegetarian for almost seven years. This whole time was enough to convince myself that vegetarianism is the right path for a better world. But people often ask me: why don’t you eat meat? Well, why do we need to eat it, in the first place?

Living in a place like Brazil, where barbecues are commonplace, becoming a vegetarian was really a hard task. My family doesn’t understand the choices I’ve made, my social group is comprised of friends that love to get together for a “bloody” meal, and even the martial art that I practice (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) - which has a strong healthy eating lifestyle behind it - sometimes, puts me in the barbecue situation.

When did it start making sense? Before getting married (around 2005), I bought a little Yorkshire Terrier female named Mel, as an engagement gift to my future wife. I’ve always loved dogs, but also have always been afraid of them (for no rational reason whatsoever! - since childhood, dogs were as lovable as scary).

alt Mel

Mel’s changed it all. We lived together all by ourselves, before my marriage took place. And this was a really tough time. Back injuries and other problems made my days really hard. But Mel was there for me. My small friend, that’s taken the fear I had from dogs away, and left just the love (I’m often amazed by Mother Nature‘s power).

After watching the documentary “Earthlings” (strong content, not recommended for the faint of heart), vegetarianism started to grow inside me. As an animal lover, the cruelty that we impose them stopped to make any sense.

We live in the 21st century. Is it really necessary to inflict so much suffering and pain on animals, sacrificing our charity and kindness beliefs, just to satisfy some (questionable) “needs”? (don’t even get me started about the economic implications of meat food industry)

I don’t believe so. In fact, I believe we got so much better food technology nowadays (and even better to come, in foreseeable future), that, for new generations, eating animal flesh will be considered a barbarian act, just like we consider murdering a crime today.

For those that can understand Portuguese, INR‘s documentary “A Carne eh Fraca” (something like “the meat is weak”) can’t be recommended more.

Was it easy to change eating habits learned since I was born? Not at all, of course. It was not until 2007 that I realized that the journey had to start. For once, and forever. Ever since, I have been a happy and healthy vegetarian, that’s learned a lot along the way (like having a balanced diet, and avoiding nutrient deficiencies).

From deep in my heart, I recommend this lifestyle for everyone.