Why do you eat meat?

Edward

As a vegetarian it is hard for me to understand why people eat meat.
Through asking a few, I have come across different types of answers. Some which leave no hope for change, others that would consider it.
I am interested to know truly why people do it, so below are a few answers. Please choose the one that most closely matches your views.
Thanks!

Why do you eat meat?

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9 Responses to “Why do you eat meat?”

  • Zed Says:

    The proper answer for me is not given as an option:
    “Because it’s hard: I worry about getting enough protein, and protein supplements cost money; plus, going vegan or vegetarian means we consume more plants; I’m not sure which plants are safe to eat anymore.”

    [Reply]

  • Rob Kendrick Says:

    As a fellow Vegetarian, I can understand the allure of meat…for a split-second. After all, I still enjoy the smell of a steak, and my mouth still waters. However, I then automatically think of the taste of a steak: of cutting up the cooked flesh of an animal and putting it in my mouth, and am immediately disgusted. All allure is gone.

    My wife and I had to move off of meat gradually. From giving up steak 12 years ago, forgoing hamburgers shortly thereafter, chicken & turkey 5 years ago, to giving up fish and shrimp this year, it’s been a long time coming. But we both feel better and cleaner for having done so.

    I’ve been relatively fortunate in that having a confident, strong-willed personality makes it easier to deal with criticisms for being a vegetarian, and I’ve come to earn the respect of my omnivorous peers. However, I believe many meat-eaters, especially men, do so because it makes them feel more masculine.

    The bonus to being an open vegetarian at work? Someone else in my office, besides me, is now buying Boca burgers. Spread the word! Spread the love!

    Take care,
    Rob Kendrick

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  • Lindsey Says:

    I feel the need to expand on my answer a bit. Over the years, we’ve greatly cut back on our amount of meat consumption. I’m the one between my husband and I who has the biggest problem with it. Mostly because I’ve spent deployments without him not eating meat and I felt fabulous!

    However, we have also been turning toward a more self-sufficient lifestyle along the way and now we only eat meat that we’ve taken down ourselves or that comes from a local butcher, thereby supporting local agriculture as opposed to the big beef industry. It’s more difficult on our budget, but we make it work because we make most everything from scratch at home anyway.

    It’s made us think about where our meat comes from as well as made us that much more aware about our level of consumption. It also makes me feel better because when we hunt, we use every viable part of the animal taken down. So for us, it’s not just food. It’s food, maybe a blanket, a new knife, or a little bit of extra income if we can sell it.

    I hope some of that makes sense. It’s difficult being married to such a hard core carnivore. I could easily make the switch myself, but with two children (who are self-made vegetarians, which has caused plenty of argument at our table), it’s so much easier and cost effective to make a single meal for the whole family rather than separate meals for each of our family members.

    What I would love is a way to talk to someone who eats copious amounts of meat that doesn’t involve deprecating them for their lifestyle choices. How can a vegetarian present their case in a more amicable way that would be better received by meat eaters who most likely eat that way because that’s how they’ve spent their entire lives?

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  • admin Says:

    Rob,
    Thanks very much for your reply.

    I get pretty anxious about the cause and feel frustrated when people don’t “get” it straight away.

    So it’s good to hear about your gradual transformation. I guess it’s often the easiest way to stop for some people. In the same way that some smokers can quit overnight and others take years of wearing patches and chewing on nicotine gum.

    I myself stopped eating red meat when I was 11 and then all meat when I was 14. I was too young to really make the connections or understand, there was not much reasoning behind my decisions, I just knew it was the right thing to do since I loved animals so much.

    All the best!
    Edward

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  • Rob Kendrick Says:

    Lindsay,

    I think a lot of meat-eaters feel the way you do. A great many vegetarians have chosen our lifestyle for purely ethical reasons, so many of us view the eating of meat as an act of cruelty.

    This is why, unfortunately, many vegetarians with whom you speak will refer to meat-eaters disdainfully.

    Many frozen meat alternatives are VERY easy to make. Morningstar Farms, Boca, and LightLife all make great, high-protein meat alternatives. Kroger and Ingles are in my area and frequently have plenty of these in stock. Target has also started stocking vegetarian “veats,” as my wife and I call them.

    How about this:
    You guys can all have the same veggies; there’s no need to deviate from the course. However, if it’s a country-fried steak or porkchops night with some mashed potatoes, corn & peas, applesauce, etc., why not get some Morningstar Farms Chik Patties for you and the kids? These go pretty well with this kind of meal. The Chik’n nuggets are a good alternative for the kids, and the Buffalo Wings have a nice kick to them if you want some spice. More info here: http://www.seeveggiesdifferently.com/products.aspx?coid=23|59&family=365|635

    I’m a vegetarian who wants to save animals as much as possible, but realize that demonizing ALL meat-eaters is not the best way to go. I want to represent a kind, intelligent, helpful generation of vegetarians who help those who are unsure what lifestyle changes they can make.

    That said, I hope this helps. Give it a shot; it may be easier than you think, and because your husband will be the only one eating meat, the meat you DO have to buy will last longer, and help to offset the cost of the veats.

    Take care,
    Rob Kendrick

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  • Rob Kendrick Says:

    Hey Edward,

    That’s awesome. It’s so much easier to develop good habits when you’re younger!

    Thank you for your understanding!
    Rob Kendrick

    [Reply]

  • admin Says:

    Lidsey,
    I was about to reply to your message when I saw Rob’s.

    His response is pretty good and I agree with all he says.

    But to answer your specific question:
    “What I would love is a way to talk to someone who eats copious amounts of meat that doesn’t involve deprecating them for their lifestyle choices. How can a vegetarian present their case in a more amicable way that would be better received by meat eaters who most likely eat that way because that’s how they’ve spent their entire lives?”

    And it’s a tough one to answer. You don’t want to demoralise them… most people don’t to be made feel guilty for their past actions. Some are big enough to admit their mistakes and correct them. Others need a bit more “honey” with their medicine.

    I would say for him it would be a slow process, not an overnight thing.
    Rather than making affirmations such ash “eating meat is wrong”, present him with questions like “do you need meat in order to stay alive?”, “can animals feel pain?”, “is taste a good enough reason to make an animal suffer?”
    And slowly, by making him think about it for himself, as well as trying to use meat alternatives, you may be able to at some point persuade him.

    Different tactics work for different people, but on most this quote applies:
    “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help them find it within themselves.”

    or

    “Men must be taught as if you taught them not.”

    I recommend reading through my “must reads” section if you believe you lack argument. It’ll allow you to better discuss the subject with him and counter argue any of his points.
    http://www.veganise.me/i-love-meat-too
    and
    http://www.veganise.me/7-reasons

    Are the best ones to start with.

    All failing, have him watch Earthlings, http://www.watchearthlings.com

    Good luck and keep me posted! :-)

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  • Rob Kendrick Says:

    I just realized the link I tried to post got borked. Here’s a shortened version: http://bit.ly/16kh9

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  • Lindsey Says:

    Oh, wow! Thank you for all the helpful advice! Our two young girls are pretty much self-made vegetarians. If there’s meat on their plates, they’ll eat around it. I’m not doing anything to stop it and I’m certainly not going to force them to eat it.

    I’ve gotten more into coupon shopping, so I’ll have to start looking for some coupons for vegetarian alternatives. A friend gave me what looks like an amazing recipe for chili with tofu that I’ve been wanting to try for some time now. And now, too, I’m wondering if I can make up recipes for my own homemade veggie options. For me and this kids, the switch will definitely be something we have fun with.

    I’ll definitely keep you all posted, and thank you so much for the links. I hope we’re able to transition – I can be patient for my husband.

    [Reply]

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