I enjoyed this post from Mama Pea: Going Veg: The Why and The How. (I really want to get her new book!) It's a short and simple post about her family's reasons for being vegetarian, and some of the benefits they've seen.
I'm not one to preach about my dietary choices being better than somebody else's; for one thing, I don't necessarily think that's true. I have family members that have benefitted tremendously from different dietary lifestyles than mine.
But I do hope that people can respect my choices as I respect theirs. I have a few tiny pet peeves about the things people say to me about being vegetarian when this mutual respect doesn't seem to be happening. Here are two I've heard recently:
1) "Well, you think animals are cute when they're little, but those piglets grow up into big ugly fat pigs who just need to be eaten!" (I actually heard this within the past week.)
This is all kinds of weird... where do I begin? For one thing, I never said "I'm a vegetarian because animals are just too cute to be eaten." (I never give people any explanations unless they ask.) So this person presupposed my reason, and came up with a ridiculous one, at that. Does this person think that cute things shouldn't be eaten but big things should? Should we cannibalize large unattractive adults but not cute babies? Whatever my stance on animal rights and the quality of life they deserve, it stems from my belief in the value of life, not in cuteness.
2) "Well, I just can't worry about animals when there's ______ going on in the world." (Fill in the blank: human suffering, slavery, abortion... I've heard 'em all.)
Here's the thing: it doesn't take me more time or effort to be a vegetarian than it would to eat meat. In fact, I'd venture that my meals are less time-consuming and labor-intensive to prepare, and certainly they're cheaper than eating meat, but that's beside the point. The point is, it's not an either/or situation. It's not like I have to stop volunteering for Amnesty International (I don't, but you get the point) to go eat some lentils, or lay aside my pro-life picketing signs (I don't do that either, but you know) so I can have time to not eat meat.
Just a few thoughts. I'm not trying to argue with people who eat meat; just with people who say ridiculous things. And again... no judgement here.