Why I decided to Become Vegetarian

From the moment I could eat food, I was a carnivore. A true Texan, my family would make a variety of wonderfully tasty dinners, usually consisting of chicken or beef. Being vegetarian never crossed my mind. When I was confronted with a vegetarian, I would immediately wonder why they chose to be vegetarian. Chicken was so tasty. A nice juicy steak made my taste buds dance across my tongue. How could they give up those pleasures? Most times, they had never even tried meat. I just thought that ignorance was bliss. However, when I moved to California at the ripe age of thirteen, I was exposed to many more vegans and vegetarians who were so for a plethora of reasons. More recently, I’ve been coming across the reason of helping the environment. Of course, I had heard that consuming less meat is better for the environment, and in high school, I would try going vegetarian. However, it would only last for a couple of days at the most. The problem was that I didn’t do the grocery shopping or cook dinner, so I would eventually cave into the temptation of a nice warm chicken roast. Maybe that’s not the best excuse for giving up my vegetarian dreams, but it was the reality. 

Despite my failed attempts, I recently started thinking about becoming vegetarian again due to the rapid effects climate change is having on the environment. The livestock required to provide the world with meat is greatly contributing to climate change. In order to raise livestock, there must be land. However, for the amount of livestock needed to feed the demand for meat, there is nowhere near enough land. This can result in deforestation, the most apparent case being the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon rainforest is facing huge amounts of deforestation, 70 percent of which can be attributed to cattle ranching, and this is just one example of how the meat industry is contributing to climate change. If you’re interested in learning more about how the meat industry is escalating climate change, I would recommend watching Cowspiracy on Netflix. 

Climate change is arguably the most important issue we are faced with today, and we are past the point of thinking that what we as individuals do will not make a difference. If everyone thought that way, nothing would get done. So I stopped thinking that way. I now have my own kitchen and do my own grocery shopping. I don’t have any excuses to not try to become vegetarian, not just for me but for this Earth and for future generations because if we don’t all collectively try everything in our power to reduce climate change, there might not be a place to call home for our children or their children.   

Will I keep up this lifestyle change? I’m hoping to. It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve had any meat, and it honestly hasn’t been very hard. Nothing tastes as good as knowing that what you are doing is helping the environment. Next time you debate about becoming vegetarian, think about all the positive effects it has on the environment. You can change the world. It only takes that one person to start making a difference.