My long story didn't really include why i am vegetarian, so i thought i would explain a little. Explaining things is not a strong suit of mine, i tend to babble and i don't have the ability to make it clear and ideas are a little disjointed. So bear with me.
I started becoming veg because i became grossed out by red meat and also just because my older sister was doing it. I also figured out that I am unable to actually kill an animal myself and i think that if you can't do it yourself, then you don't deserve to have someone doing it for you. Growing up in a "city" and not a farm, you don't really put the 2 together that what comes in a nice clean package first went though a disgusting slaughterhouse. It's just a nonmoving lump of "meat." The German word for meat is "fleisch" (pronounced "flysh"), literally "flesh." I think if i grew up calling meat "flesh" i would've been a little weirded out that i was eating it.
While i still lived in Florida with my parents, i started learning more and more about the dairy and egg industry and i didn't like what i found out. They are connected with the meat industry. Dairy cows produce male calves that are good for nothing, so they get sent to veal farms. (I have family friends that run a veal farm and i remember visiting the air conditioned barn when i was young. i didn't think much of it, just that it was dark and coo inside. the husband has mentioned that he thinks veal calves have an excellent life. i guess he just feels like just sitting without being able to barely move is a great life. i do believe he is nice to them, but the not being able to move is what gets me, and also that they are separated from their mothers...) Since male chickens aren't needed for egg producing they get disposed of or sent to farms that grow chickens for meat. Some of them get disposed of by being thrown into garbage bags and die by suffocation.
The way most of the dairy cows and chickens live just sucks. Like, for real, it's not what God intended. The standard American diet uses too much of these products. Years ago, before factory farming, people ate meat once a day and butter was used sparingly and you got whatever eggs your own chickens laid or whatever you could afford to buy from the local farmer. Chickens weren't "shocked" (put in darkness and not given food) so that their bodies would produce more eggs for awhile long before being killed.
Slaughterhouses are gross. Stun guns don't always work and animals are sliced open still alive. People that work in slaughterhouses get injured and die from falling into dangerous equipment. The speed they must work at to keep up with their quotas is mostly to blame.
And then there's the shit. Literally, shit. Animals produce a lot of it and it produces a lot of greenhouse gas. It gets into our water and even into the meat you eat. One of my favorite quotes from Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser is "The medical literature on the causes of food poisoning is full of euphemisms and dry scientific terms : coliform levels, aerobic plate counts, sorbitol, MacConkey agar, and so on. Behind them lies a simple explanation for why eating a hamburger can make you seriously ill: There is shit in the meat.
Some people aren't fazed by killing an animal. I don't, personally, understand that, but i realize it's why the motto "meat is murder" and the like are not going to change someone's mind to stop eating meat. I am not like a lot of Portland vegans and vegans worldwide in that i'm not eating vegan for animal liberation. I don't mind people owning animals and i don't think animals are just like us humans. I don't put them on the same "level" as humans. But I do have compassion for them and animal cruelty is something i find despicable. It's a living creature and if you're a christian or whatever and believe that God put you on this earth and you have dominion over all the animals, it doesn't mean you can treat animals like shit. Shooting squirrels for the hell of it with your bee-bee gun is something i'll never understand. Putting a lizard in an emptied tennis ball and lighting it on fire....these are things boys, like my cousin benji, did. I don't know where they get this from....
I always find it humorous when people find out your veg and they get all worried about your protein intake or whatever. It's like, hello, my diet even if low in protein (which it's not) would be 10 times better than what you eat. i eat plenty of grains, legimes, veggies, fruit, nuts, etc. You, with your white bread devoid of any nutrition, your 40 oz of soda a day, your processed cheese and your red meat full of saturated fat is not healthy and you're not getting all the nutrition you should be getting......We don't need as much protein as some might think and i eat tofu and beans, i'm just fine. So just lay the fuck off. Thanks!