For the Love of Food… and Animals!

If you know me personally, you’ll know that I’ve never been into cooking. My entire life, people have either cooked for me or I’ve gotten takeaway, some kind of precooked meal or a cold sandwich. And why would you learn, if you’re fine with these options? As a result, I cannot walk into a kitchen without accidentally burning something, cutting my own fingers or smash a plate/glass/bowl – you name it. What’s worse is that I have absolutely NO imagination, when it comes to putting ingredients together.

Vegetarianism isn’t a just a choice of lifestyle, it’s an awakening

However, in the last six months or so, I’ve really tried to make an effort, and I must admit that I’m pleasantly surprised that most of my dishes turn out great (except for one smoothie bowl that had unripe bananas and broccoli – yuck)!
One of the reasons I’ve started taking cooking seriously is that I’ve become vegetarian. I’ve thought about converting for ages now, because the thought of eating a dead being made me feel sick. This New Year’s, I finally got my act together and ditched meat for good. I’d go as far as saying that my conversion to vegetarianism isn’t a just a choice of lifestyle, it’s an awakening.

My reasons are many: Firstly, the environment and the climate changes are more than valid instigation to me. I don’t want to get too much into numbers, but ONE cow emits as much methane gas through burping and farting as a car does – per day! The UN proclaims that the livestock sector is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” Now you’re probably wondering why I think it’s okay to travel so much, but I’ve already briefly commented on it in a different post. If the environment doesn’t mean anything to you, maybe you’ll like my next reason more.

Because, secondly, being vegetarian is so much better for your body. Research shows that the risk of getting cancer, heart diseases, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes decreases significantly. You may even lose weight and have more energy, naturally. (You may also have to eat an extra meal a day to avoid getting hangry, but eating often is also healthy, so it’s win-win!)

Plants have proteins and fats too, guys and girls

Lastly, and most importantly, I do it for the welfare of animals. Do you think, if they had a choice, they would want to be eaten? Do you think cows would voluntarily be inseminated – repeatedly – and have their calves taken away from them to become veal on a plate or a burger and steak? Do you think chickens would want to never see actual sunlight and have antibiotics fed to them? I sure as hell don’t.

Now, you may not feel responsible for the deaths of these animals, because you don’t kill them yourself, but you’re buying the meat, which as a consumer makes you even more responsible. If you didn’t buy it, farmers would no longer raise livestock. Sure, humans have eaten meat for millennia, but we no longer have to. Whatever we can’t grow in our respective countries we can have imported. Plants have proteins and fats too, guys and girls, so don’t worry about not getting enough of it.

If you can raise it, you can eat it. If you can’t, leave it.

In all fairness, however, and as a closing note, I read this really interesting article, from The Scientific American, on man and meat consumption, in which it’s argued that we were built to eat meat, and that the only reason we’ve evolved to such a degree is that we’ve always consumed it. In fact, the article states that it doesn’t make sense to end all meat consumption, but rather that it should be moderated immensely. Back in the day, people had to hunt down their own meals and could easily go without for quite some time. Back then, there was no need to force-feed and cross-breed to boost production. So, my suggestion is: if you can raise it, you can eat it. If you can’t, leave it. Let’s put an end to the mindless meat production and live off the other wonderful edibles that the Earth provides for us.

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