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Should I Be Vegan?

Should I Be Vegan?

I am having a personal crisis. I recently read a book about becoming vegan, the health benefits and ethical treatment of animals.

I have seriously thought about becoming a vegetarian in the past- for the health benefits alone. I love beans and vegetables, tofu and all kinds of other organic, meat-free products. I have no doubt that I could successfully make the transition to a meat-free diet.

Becoming Vegan on the other hand, is an entirely different “animal.” I love cheese. LOVE cheese. Pizza (I’m classy) is my favorite food. I like butter. On bread, on rice, on corn, broccoli, and the list goes on. Cereal is my favorite breakfast food, and I don’t mean dry. Given, I do like soy milk- but come on, CHEESE!

I can only imagine what my body is screaming every time I eat cheese. My hips hate me and more importantly, my heart hates me.

Still, I think cutting out meat alone could be a great enough change. I can manage how much dairy I take in, reducing the amount. And I would at least be dramatically reducing the amount of hormones I am ingesting by cutting out meat.

But what about the ethical treatment of animals? It is clear that many animals are abused in the process of mass- producing animal products. There is free range, but to be honest, I really don’t know that I always trust these manufacturers. And to my knowledge, there is no real regulation of free-range products. No real accountability. Please do correct me if I’m wrong.

So what exactly is my responsibility to these animals that may be enduring unbelievable, cruel conditions so that I can have chicken for dinner- all while I have other nutritious options? Becoming Vegetarian may be one step in the direction of protecting animals, but if I truly believe I have a moral responsibility to stand up against the cruel treatment of animals, then should I not go Vegan? It seems as though I’m picking and choosing where to fight for them if I only go Vegetarian.

So there it is: health benefits and moral conundrum. The choice to become either is one that weighs heavily on my mind and heart. It is a decision that doesn’t just affect me but my future family as well. I can’t say the fact that my boyfriend loves meat doesn’t also weigh heavily on me. When I’m thinking about starting a life with someone, it is scary to think that I may be making a decision that will dramatically affect both of our lives. I cannot make this type of decision for him, and if I make the decision (for myself) for health reasons I can always cook him meat separately. But if it is for ethical reasons, how can I then cook him meat? And what of my future children (God willing)? This is a really heavy topic for me, one that honestly, would be easier not to think about.

All to say, I really need prayer. I need to pray hard myself.

I would love your feedback. I know people have dramatically different opinions on the subject, so don’t turn this into an opportunity to rail another person. If that is your desire, save it for something else. I just want to know what grounded conclusions you have personally come to and what educated decisions you have made for your life. If you have links to any scholarly articles on the topic, post them. Please, help me out .

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