In many circles, proclaiming yourself a vegetarian is opening the door for ridicule. Even if the people are respectful and manage to bite their tongue while you’re in their presence, chances are the criticisms will fly when your back is turned.
You may recall, not too long ago, hearing some news about a man that had gone blind. The cause: it was due to his vegan diet. It is reasonable that a poor diet could lead to blindness, but it’s quite odd that so-called experts would attribute blindness to his being a vegan, especially since this particular individual neglected to include fresh fruits and vegetables (or any common sense for that matter) in his diet. It’s also peculiar that there was no mention of the tens of thousands of blind people in the world who eat meat. Why aren’t the reports showing the countless ill effects of a meat-based diet making the headlines?
It seems to be that there is a bit of prejudice in our society against vegetarianism. In many circles, proclaiming yourself a vegetarian is opening the door for ridicule. Even if the people are respectful and manage to bite their tongue while you’re in their presence, chances are the criticisms will fly when your back is turned. Even hearing the word “vegetarian” will put some people on edge. This is not simply because vegetarians are a small minority in our society, but it is due to guilt. In the back of their minds, and deep within their hearts, people are guilty for their addiction to meat and for the immeasurable suffering and environmental destruction they are both directly and indirectly causing. And when somehow or other they are faced with this, they feel threatened. They don’t even want to consider that eating meat may be “wrong,” and simply want to remain in ignorance, so they can go on enjoying the taste of blood.
Even the word meat is used to hide people from the reality of what they are eating. “Meat” is just a nice way of describing dead animal flesh. You’re not eating a murdered cow, that’s beef. That’s not a baked pig’s ass, it’s a ham. What kind of animal does salami come from? Who knows? And who would want to know? Do you really think people could enjoy their hotdogs if they read the ingredient list of ground up animal intestines, tongues, testicles and other miscellaneous body parts that are in them?
And that’s only half the story.
What if you walked into a McDonalds and they had a video playing illustrating all the rainforests that were clear-cut to bring you your Big Mac? What if you went to KFC and they showed you pictures of the genetically engineered “things” (they aren’t allowed to call them “chickens”) you are about to eat? Or, what if on the menu at the local steakhouse there were pictures showing the history of the cow you were about to eat. First grazing out in the field, then being herded to the slaughterhouse. Then waiting in line hearing the screams and cries of other cows being murdered. Finally, getting whacked over the head with a sledgehammer, then gutted, chopped up and sent to Joe the butcher (that’s the nice censored version).
But because meat-eaters (or dead animal flesh-eaters, to be more specific) disregard the consequences of their dietary choice, their hearts become hard, and their conscience becomes covered. We should feel very fortunate if we have been able to push through all the propaganda and disapproval of our society, and eliminate flesh from our diets.
The choice to become a vegetarian is the natural decision to make for someone who is willing to see things as they are. When one’s eyes are opened to the pain and suffering caused to billions of animals, to the pollution of our water and land, to the destruction of the rainforests, and to the deterioration of one’s own health caused by a meat (flesh) centered diet, the obvious step is to stop eating animals. So yes, there may be a couple blind vegans out there, but vegetarians are the only people who are seeing things clearly and choosing a lifestyle that benefits themselves, the animals, and the entire planet.