You know, I really try to sneak the vegetarian thing under the radar, because it seems a lot of people give me crap on this! “Come on Doctor, it’s NATURAL to eat meat”, or “Well, where will you get your PROTEIN”, and most importantly, “WHY do you not want to eat meat????”
Well, I’d like to take the easy way out, and talk about health benefits. I’d like to talk about how Ultrarunners like me and Scott do just fine without meat (except I don’t), but the real, honest answer why I don’t want to eat meat is simple, and admittedly corny. BUT, I believe it to the bottom of my heart. Wanna’ hear it? Fine, I’ll tell you. Since in all honesty I lost what was left of any sense of pride, self esteem and humility at mile 78 in Vermont two years ago, I’ll just lay it out there:
I believe that God, or whoever you believe set up this entire “life” system, made a terrible mistake by requiring that many animal types have to cause great pain, serious harm, and likely death to other animals to survive. Be it a coyote eating a rabbit. A shark eating a seal. Fill in whatever example you want here; this is the ultimate violation of one’s self, even if that one is an animal. And don’t tell me “Well that’s just the way it is”, because that’s what someone says when they either choose to ignore an issue, or not fully consider it. Personally, it brings me great pain to think of any living thing being eaten by another, and yes, I do blame whoever designed this system.
Now some animals eat only vegetables, and do not harm others; rabbits, cows, etc. So the fact is that animals can be designed that don’t need to harm others just to survive. So what about humans? Do we REALLY need to slaughter millions of animals for food? The simple answer is NO. In fact I believe that if humans are around 1000 years from now, we’ll look back and tell our children “there was a time when we actually bred animals for slaughter…. To eat!” I believe at that point we’ll all be repulsed by the idea. Don’t believe me that it can become socially unacceptable to eat animals? Well how about as we speak, the idea of cannibalism in our society is repulsive – we would NEVER consider our fellow humans as food; why could we not as a species evolve to the point where we would never consider other animals as food as well? I believe we can, and will.
So now we go to McDonalds, and frankly that Big Mack looks nothing like a cow. Sausage looks nothing like a pig, and really KFC barely even looks like chicken! Yep, it’s easy to disassociate what you’re eating with the actual animal – it’s a very distant thought. And frankly, a big steak or even a burger tastes GREAT! No question there, we’ve been brought up as a culture to totally accept that (Although some cultures have been brought up to believe that Cat tastes GREAT. Hmmm, if we in our culture can believe that Cat’s are not something that we would want to eat, then why can we not evolve to thinking that any living creature is something that we would not eat?)
So there you have it; this is my belief, and I plan to keep working at the vegetarian approach. I think that if we, as a species, use the intelligence we have to realize the truth behind our everyday meals, and further call on the compassion that will help us evolve as a species, that eventually I won’t be in the minority on this argument.
There you have it. Oh, the Trail Slammer took me up on the challenge, even though I have to give him 8 miles credit for a 1 hour Stair Stepper walk, and I get nothing for Yoga’ing! 10 Hard tonight……