The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Vegetarianism is ethical, delicious

December 13, 2017

When I was in 5th grade, my class dissected pig fetuses. It was fun at first, a bunch of little kids getting grossed out and finding unconventional ways of getting to the brain, but after it was over, I felt bad, guilty even. When I went home that day, I asked my parents why we weren’t vegetarians. They made some half-baked excuse about how meat was too important to our diet to cut it out entirely. This happened again in 7th grade, then again in 8th. My family was unrelenting. We ate too much meat as it was to cut it from our diets. This is the case for so many American families. The lack of convenience they face when they think about taking meat off the dinner plate outweighs the health and environmental benefits of it.

Last summer, this urge to remove meat from my diet flared up again. I had noticed that the steak my dad cooked for dinner just wasn’t appetizing anymore. It didn’t have anything to do with ethics or morals, I just suddenly didn’t want to eat meat. So, one day, the family had to grab a quick lunch and I opted for a black bean burger. It was delicious and afterwards I felt great; usually after eating at this particular restaurant I feel awful and stuffed to the brim. After that, I tried to eat as little meat as I could, eventually not eating it at all.

Now, my motives for vegetarianism are mainly ethical. I know way too much about cattle slaughter than I think I should. Meat still isn’t very appetizing and I don’t think if I were offered some chicken tenders I’d chow down happily. I enjoy vegetarianism. Meatless food alternatives are great. They can be creative, healthier and better than their meaty counterparts. General Tso’s cauliflower is honestly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

The low number of vegans and vegetarians in this county stuns me sometimes. Most Americans can afford meat, which is often the most expensive part of the meal, and most Americans worry about their health and weight. If more Americans cut meat from their diets,

they’d have more money on their hands and they’d be healthier. Everyone knows that America has its health issues.

Vegetarianism is great. It’s healthy. It’s cheap. It’s ethical. I’m honestly surprised more people don’t eat meat. What surprises me more, though, is the reaction I get when some people first find out I don’t eat meat and are surprised because I’m not pretentious.

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