A fact that most people don't know about me is that I love to study nutrition. Well, I suppose if they've looked in my refrigerator they do. I became very interested in it about a year ago, and while I wasn't as much of a hippie back then, I started eating better. Meanwhile, my family thought I was developing an eating disorder, but that's a story for another day. Other than being the only high schooler to turn down a Snickers bar, I also started to think about veganism.
I had read a million articles, seen a million news stories, and they all claimed a vegan diet could lower cholesterol, clear skin, and improve hygiene. Not only that, but people also claimed to have lost weight and gained muscle as a vegan. I did not want to lose weight, (though I'd never turn down a little extra muscle) but this was still intriguing to me, loving animals as I do. And yet, to this day I am still a happy carnivore. Why? These are my top 3 reasons:
(1) I do not believe a vegan diet is the healthiest for me.
About a year ago, when I began eating fruits and vegetables for the first time in my life, I had some. . . intestinal problems. I am fairly certain this is normal, and I know my body could adjust, but I don't think I could ever be as healthy on a vegan diet as I am currently, which just goes to show how everyone is different. Vegans tend to take in a surplus of carbohydrates, and my body does not respond particularly well to these, especially grains. Despite there being vegan sources, I respond much better to animal protein.
(2) I like fat!
Butter, steak, eggs, bacon - all among my favorite foods. I know I could still have coconut and other nuts (is coconut a nut - I'm not sure), but it's just not the same. I would take generic butter over fancy, unrefined, cold pressed olive oil any day. My body also responds well to fat, as my skin has gotten considerably brighter and clearer, and my hair healthier. I have more energy on a higher fat diet and I never feel slow or sluggish. It is easier to take in enough calories and my food tastes better. I'm not worried about health problems either, such as heart attack or stroke (which I will likely post about sometime soon). In short, I will not be giving up my fat.
(3) Going vegan does not alter the big picture that much.
I left this reason for last because it may be quite lengthy, as I still don't have a solid opinion on the issue. Basically, I have always thought there must be a reason that animals cannot speak or express themselves in the same way we can. If you are a Christian, you may recall that the Bible says nothing about whether animals go to heaven or not. I must assume they do not, as it would explain a lot of things. Many believe the reason for our place in the food chain and in nature is absence of a soul in the animal kingdom. This seems the most likely theory, in my opinion. Despite wondering at the reason for it, I do believe that humans have dominion over animals.
First of all, understand that I am in no way defending man's torture of animals. I am fully aware of the hell they go through and the evils of slaughterhouses. I've watched most of the video clips on PETA's website as well as done a lot research myself, and yet, it is not enough to turn me into a vegan. Yes, I hate it. Yes, I wish it would stop. Yes, sometimes I feel like murdering some of those slaughterhouse workers. But will going vegan really accomplish anything?
The only way we can stop this is by fighting for animal rights. Going vegan does not alter the big picture significantly. Maybe if we all stopped eating animal products, it would, but that will NEVER happen. Put simply, going vegan is like watching a fist fight. You watch, you wish you could go break it up, but you don't. You stand there and wait for it to be over. If you want the fight to end though, you have to stand up and go against it. "Not participating" earns you no bragging rights.
In conclusion, those are my reasons for being a carnivore. I hope it made sense, and you saw more than just a page full of jumbled words. If you are vegan, I would love to hear your opinion, as seeing both sides is always beneficial. I guess all that's left to say at this point is, "Pass the bacon!"
Or broccoli. That's cool too.