I’m sure everyone knew this was coming, but I’m trying to go vegetarian. I think by announcing it here I’m more likely to hold myself accountable. Some days it’s really easy and some days it’s hard. It mostly depends on what food I’m craving, which is often pasta anyway, but when you go to a restaurant and the descriptions of the bleu cheese burger make you hungry, it’s difficult.
I think I was semi-inspired by my friend/fellow rabbit rescuer Dawn, mostly because I can see it’s normal for her and not a big deal. I knew a lot of vegetarians in college, but the idea didn’t stick then (I’m sure it was planted). Unfortunately the list of veggies/fruits I like is probably smaller than the list of the ones I don’t like, but I do love grains so hopefully it’ll all work out. The big gigantic why-I’m-doing-it reason, of course, is because I can’t stand the thought of hurting an animal. The health benefits and environmental reasons are just icing on the cake. But not too much because I prefer plain cake…
Owning pets who were bred to be someone’s dinner, and knowing that the USDA regulations on killing a rabbit (or a chicken!) for food allow one to slaughter them while conscious, make me want to do whatever I can to help. It’s not much, I guess, but I feel guilty enough when everyone’s unwanted Easter bunnies are humanely euthanized at the shelter. I can’t handle more guilt just eating a chicken sandwich.
I found this interesting from the American Dietetic Association:
In 2000, approximately 2.5% of the US adult population (4.8 million people) consistently followed a vegetarian diet and affirmed that they never ate meat, fish, or poultry (7). Slightly less than 1% of those polled were vegans (7). According to this poll, vegetarians are most likely to live on the east or west coast, in large cities, and to be female. Approximately 2% of 6- to 17-year-old children and adolescents in the United States are vegetarians, and around 0.5% of this age group are vegan (8). According to a 2002 survey (9), about 4% of Canadian adults are vegetarian; this represents an estimated 900,000 people. Factors that may affect the number of vegetarians in the United States and Canada in the future include an increased interest in vegetarianism and the arrival of immigrants from countries where vegetarianism is commonly practiced (10). Twenty to 25% of adults in the United States report that they eat 4 or more meatless meals weekly or “usually or sometimes maintain a vegetarian diet,�? suggesting an interest in vegetarianism (11). Additional evidence for the increased interest in vegetarianism includes the emergence of animal rights/ethics courses on college and university campuses; the proliferation of Web sites, magazines and newsletters, and cookbooks with a vegetarian theme; and the public’s attitude toward ordering a vegetarian meal when eating away from home. More than 5% of those surveyed in 1999 said they always order a vegetarian meal when they eat out; close to 60% “sometimes, often, or always�? order a vegetarian item at a restaurant (12).
I guess I thought there were more vegetarians!
My first bunny, Luke, went from a life of being fed so he could be slaughtered to a life of whatever the heck he wanted to do: