|Why Did You Go Vegetarian Contest |
David Potter, Kansas
I suppose there are several reasons [why] I became vegetarian. Even as a small child, I was an animal lover. I had always loved watching the birds in my backyard and enjoyed going to nearby parks to see the ducks, geese, squirrels, and my other small friends. My love for animals continued to grow throughout my childhood; however, I continued eating meat.
I was always horrified when I saw undercover videos from slaughterhouses (frequently [videotaped] by our friends in PETA) in investigative reports on TV, yet for a long time I simply tried to put horrific images and thoughts such as these out of my head merely for the convenience of maintaining my “normal” (albeit inhumane and unhealthy) diet.
Then, at 14, it became too much. I came to realize that meat and other animal products were to blame for the vast majority of humanity’s health concerns. On top of this, I began to see frightened, innocent cows, chickens, and pigs where I once had seen hamburgers, wings, and bacon. I realized these items were not food—they were sentient beings with parents, families, emotions, and rights.
These realizations led me to put down the fork when meat was on the table. I quickly learned that, contrary to popular belief, conversion to a vegetarian diet was neither difficult nor a blow to the taste buds. I went to my local health food store and found a bountiful selection of delicious vegetarian foods, including wonderful imitation products for the meat dishes I had abandoned. It felt great to enjoy a “hot dog” without harming the environment or ingesting another living creature.
A few years later, I turned my focus to another element of my diet: eggs and dairy [products]. I was very happy with my decision to go vegetarian and began to wonder if these animal byproducts were really an acceptable component to a cruelty-free lifestyle. I decided to do some research and soon learned about PETA.
At a local show, I picked up a pamphlet from PETA and was horrified to learn of the conditions to which these “byproduct” animals were exposed. Chickens with their beaks seared off and cows milked to death were just the beginning. After learning more at www.peta.org, I made the decision to go vegan—and never looked back.
Now, at the age of 21, I am as healthy and happy as ever. My vegan diet, along with daily exercise, has put me in the best athletic shape of my life. My blood pressure and cholesterol are low, I have more energy than ever before, and I can go to bed each night knowing that I live my life without harming my compatriots here on Earth. After all, we’re ALL in this life together. I hope with the help of people like those at PETA, we can all make our planet a more humane, compassionate home for all its residents, both human and nonhuman.
多年來我在吃素的路上，進進出出，只因為我不很喜歡吃肉。後來在芝加哥市樹屋避難所(Tree House shelter)當獸醫助手照顧病貓時，我遠離了吃牛肉、豬肉、雞肉與火雞肉。我只是開始想如果貓有感覺的話，那麼，牛、豬、雞與火雞也應當有感覺，因此就不想再吃牠們了。接著，我看到一條魚在水霸上跳動，於是我想牠們也不會很舒服才是。2003年4月在德州大學聽Garyv Yourofsky(PETA)的一次演講後，我從一般素改成純素，我先生則從一位肉食者成為一位吃純素的素食者。從播放的影片上，我們真實的看到農場動物為了成為一片鮮美的肉味所遭受到的痛苦。當我們知道牛肉製品業的暴行之後，我們說，夠了，夠了，把起司拋掉，改買豆漿吧。
我們覺得我們可以與其他上百萬的素食者發表一大篇聲明，不讓一個靠動物受苦來換取利益的工業獲得任何一毛錢。市面有可口的仿肉、豆漿、蛋替代品，與便宜的合成鞋。也有不含牛奶成份的冰淇淋，所以我們有足夠的東西了。在Wal-Mart或Kroger等超市，我們可以買到許多東西。此外，我們也可以開車到Whole Foods或Central Market買東西。
素食產品比以往更普遍了，整個大肉類與奶製品工業也在關注當中。Dean Foods買下了Silk soy milk公司。ConAgra，Kraft，與Kellogg也買下了仿肉製造公司。甚至Burger King也賣起素漢堡。麥當勞正在加州測試素漢堡的銷售市場。Denny有素漢堡，Pizza Hut也在印地安納州的Ft. Wayne測試黃豆起司披薩。
Laurette Timms, Texas
I was a vegetarian on and off for years, because I just didn’t like meat that much. I went off beef, pork, chicken, and turkey permanently, while working with sick cats as a vet assistant at Tree House shelter in Chicago. I just started thinking that if cats had feelings, so [did] cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys, etc., and I just didn’t want to eat them anymore.Then, I saw a fish flopping around on Survivor and thought it just can’t be too comfortable for him either. I went from vegetarian to vegan, and my husband went from meat-eater to vegan, when we attended a lecture by Gary Yourofsky (PETA) at the University of Texas in March 2003. We actually saw, on film, the way farm animals suffer, just for a tasty piece of meat. When we heard about the atrocities of the dairy industry, we said enough is enough, threw out the cheese, and bought soy milk.
We feel we can make a big statement, along with millions of other vegetarians, by not giving one dime to an industry that profits from animal suffering. There’s tasty fake meat, soy milk, egg replacer, and Payless synthetic shoes. There is also nondairy ice cream out there, so we’re all set. We can get a lot of stuff at Wal-Mart or Kroger. Otherwise, it’s a trip to Whole Foods or Central Market.
Vegetarian products are more commonplace than ever, and the big meat and dairy corporations are actually taking notice. Dean Foods has bought Silk soy milk. ConAgra, Kraft, and Kellogg’s have bought fake meat companies. Even Burger King has a veggie burger. McDonald’s is test marketing a veggie burger in California, Denny’s has a veggie burger, and Pizza Hut is test marketing soy cheese pizza in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
Money talks. And we plan on letting ours talk for animals.
Jacklyn Tejada, Louisiana
I was reading the news online, and I clicked on the story about Pamela Anderson being against KFC. In the story was a link to KFCCruelty.com, and that did it for me!! One site led to the next and the next. It took maybe three seconds on KFCCruelty.com for me to make my decision!! The guilt that I felt, that awful heavy feeling inside of me knowing that I contributed to the slaughtering of these poor animals. ... On top of it all, I was angry at myself for not looking into this, for not knowing this information. I think it’s hard to realize what goes on when TV ads are urging people to drink milk and to eat JELL-O.
I now feel so good about myself. I am in better health, and I’m happy knowing that I don’t contribute to the murdering of animals. With all the animal products I was consuming before, you’d better believe that the meat and dairy industry has taken a big hit!!
Thank you, PETA, and everyone involved in this amazing, eye-opening organization!!
慚愧的回到家後，我感覺自己像是個世上最可憎的人，我進入房子，然後坐在沙發上沉思，….，我是怎樣的一個人呢，我想成為一個什麼樣的人呢？我自言自語的說，我怎能支持這種殘酷對待其他生命的行為呢？我決定是我結束我罪惡行為，並且從新開始的時候。我接著上網看能否找到與素食主張相關的資訊，我發現PETA「你吃的是什麼樣的肉(Meet Your Meat)」的錄影帶。看完影片後，我哭了一整天。
Rebekah Bowen, Tennessee
After always feeling guilty about eating meat throughout my life, ever since I was a small child, I saw something that made me want to stop eating animal flesh for good.
One cloudy afternoon in May 2003, I was driving down I-24 going toward Antioch, Tennessee, when I noticed that I was driving behind a giant truck with a bunch of white things flying out of the sides. For a second or two it almost looked like it was snowing, but then, when I drove up by the left side of the big truck, I figured out what was going on.
The white things were feathers, and they were coming off of the few hundred, live, uncomfortable-looking chickens that were stuffed in crates on top of one another. Sadly, those poor little animals were about to be slaughtered. They all looked at me with their pitiful eyes as if they were trying to say, “What did we do to deserve this, and why are you letting this happen to us?”
After driving home shamefully and feeling like the most horrible person who ever lived, I went into the house, sat down on my couch, and contemplated … what kind of person I was and what kind of person I wanted to be. I thought to myself, “How could I support this kind of cruelty toward another living creature?” I decided that it was time to end my evil ways and start over. I then got on my computer to see if I could find any useful information on vegetarianism, and I came across PETA’s “Meet Your Meat” video. After seeing that footage, I cried for the rest of the day.
I haven’t eaten another animal since then and never will again.
Jill Linta, Pennsylvania
I hadn’t eaten red meat for years but had still not gone completely vegetarian. On Labor Day 1997, I took part in a protest against pigeon shoots in Hegins, Pennsylvania. It was one of the worst days of my life. The “audience” was made up of [locals], who cheered in delight when a bird was shot but not killed. That meant that one of the children, about 10 to 12 years old, had to run out to the field and snap its neck. Our job as protesters was to run onto the field and grab the injured birds before the little boys did and take them to a veterinary trailer to be healed. Several men, probably intoxicated, threatened to hurt me and my sister. Many had rifles. Driving home that day, I decided that if I was willing to risk my life to save pigeons, it didn’t make sense to eat any other birds. I have been a vegetarian ever since.