Imagine if everyone around you is eating dogs (or your cat, or a horse, or any other animal that you love). Imagine if the culture around you accepts this as “normal.” If you’re disgusted, this is how many vegetarians and Vegans feel about eating ANY animals.
This week I flew from Panama to Los Angeles via Copa Airlines. I was offered a choice of 2 meals on this flight: beef or pasta. As with most airlines (such as their partner, United Airlines), the pasta option is generally vegetarian. My response was, “I’m a vegetarian, so I’ll take the pasta.” The flight attendant handed it to me, and I noted that the label on the dish just said “Pasta.”
I began eating it only to discover something chewy and horrifying in my mouth. (Again, if you’re not a vegetarian, please imagine it’s dog meat, which may help you understand.) That horrifying something was a dead chicken. I spit it out and fortunately had some wine to take the taste out of my mouth.
Later in the flight, the flight attendant handed me a burrito. I asked “Is it vegetarian?” The flight attendant said no, and she took it back. A few minutes later, she came back with a chicken sandwich (dead cat instead?). I declined saying “that’s not vegetarian either.” She walked away, looking frustrated with me. Everyone around me was eating animals that I love. Most people consider cows, sheep, ducks, pigs, rabbits, chickens, fish, shrimp, etc. as simply “food.” I, on the other hand, love all animals and choose not to eat them. I enjoyed a bag of mixed, organic, unsalted nuts (an excellent source of protein and many other vitamins and minerals), which I carry with me for these kinds of situations.
I expect that most people reading this blog post are thinking “oh, she’s one of those people, trying to impose her views on me.” However, if you haven’t become too angry at me for sharing my thoughts as a vegetarian/Vegan, and you’re open to learning more, I highly recommend the following documentaries:
- Vegucated – the funny and informative challenge of trying to turn 3 meat- and cheese- loving people into Vegans (available on Netflix)
- Forks Over Knives – informative research about dairy and meat in our diets (available on Netflix)
- Cowspiracy – about the environmental impact of the meat industry (available on Netflix)
- Speciesism – about the rampant cruelty to animals in general, and especially in the food industry
With open minds and compassion, I believe more and more people will move toward consuming plant-based protein, which is better for our health and doesn’t involve cruelty and early death to other animals. Here’s some additional perspective from the cool Vegan Sidekick: