I have a little secret.
When I first became a vegetarian, I honestly did not know why it happened. It was a spontaneous decision on my part. It wasn’t really for weight loss, or to be healthier, or what not. It just happened. As I shared before, it was a random trip to The Farm at San Benito that led to me becoming an accidental vegetarian.
I used to scoff at people who had this whole I don’t eat animals attitude. I guess I couldn’t get it. But for some reason, as my yoga practice progressed, it felt like the natural next step. I do, however, still have eggs and dairy in my diet. Maybe because I still haven’t figured out how to work on the protein issue and knowing how to work on better substitutes for my diet.
Anyway, during teacher training, one of the things we did talk about was vegetarianism and how being aware of our food choices makes such a great impact, not just on our physical health, but also in the economy, the agriculture and farming industries, and the lives of people who work to make food available for us. One of the things we did in training was watch the movie Food, Inc., and it gave me a new way of looking at how we eat. I used to say that my motivation for becoming vegetarian was not really fueled by animal rights and the like, but after watching the film, I think unconsciously, I did find that the way the animals were being killed and harmed to fill my belly was a factor in this decision.
One thing I like about that film is that it wasn’t all about how animals are slaughtered and how badly they are treated (although they are! I still have the images of the pigs being herded to their death. Granted that they’re slaughtered in quite a “mechanical” and hygienic manner, as compared to old fashioned slaughterhouses with blood gushing all over the place and hooks and the like being held in place with drywall anchors, it still gripped my heart to see what happens to them). It wasn’t a stereotypicalwhy you should be vegetarian type of movie. In fact, it didn’t even emphasize that so much. It was really about knowing how our demand for food has changed the dynamics of the industry.
What I took from that movie is that I must really be more aware of how my food choices affect the greater world out there. One thing I am determined to do is work better at purchasing produce from local sources. This way, I can contribute even one small iota to reducing my carbon footprint. Think of it…when we purchase products from Vietnam such as rice, or onions from Taiwan, though a little bit cheaper than what we get from the local industry, we end up costing the world much more because of the greenhouse effect. It takes so much energy and resources to import these, after all.
And so yeah, I am vegetarian, not just because I care for the animals welfare, but also because I care about the welfare of my earth.