General Question

shockvalue's avatar

What are good arguements for being vegatarian?

Asked by shockvalue (5800points) January 12th, 2008

i’ve been a vegetarian for years now, and any time food comes up people bombard me with questions about my choices. i’m sick of using tired examples and exhausted explanations.

please, does anyone have any fresh compelling arguments for being vegetarian that can get people to quit harassing me?

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19 Answers

sinscriven's avatar

“I like vegtables. I like them more than meat; Therefore, I am vegetarian.”

I don’t see why you feel the need to defend your lifestyle. If you don’t want to get into the whole nutritional/ethical aspect of it, just say it’s a matter of personal taste and be done with it.

xmen24's avatar

Agree with sinscriven here. You don’t need to defend your vegetarianism.
As long as you get a balanced, healthy diet, it doesn’t really matter what you eat.

You can counter question them to find out their arguments for being a non-vegetarian ;). Arguments on taste, smell and flavor are subjective and personal.

kevbo's avatar

Longer life
Fewer cancer risks
Better bowel movements

RIGGORYU's avatar

i dare anyone question the way you live your life… mind your own fking business is what i would say.

rowenaz's avatar

“Because I am. Moving on…..”

Amurph's avatar

It’s nice to share your thoughts and ideals about your lifestyle with people. I’ve been veggie 12 years, and when people as my why, I say -

Well, it changes. It’s a little bit of politics, a little animal rights, health, taste, for a million reasons.

And that’s the truth. Sometime people are just curious. Sometimes they feel threatened. But to expect it to be for just one, solid reason is pretty silly. Who does anything for just one reason anyway?

Perchik's avatar

I usually just ask them to honestly answer, why do you eat meat? People get annoyed by this, but the ones that think about it say, “because I always have.” Generally that’s a bad reason to do anything. At least as veggies you probably have a reason.

joli's avatar

Why ARE you a vegetarian? Isn’t that your answer? You must have your reasons. Why not just say you’re bored with the subject and bring up another topic to discuss? I respond to queries or scorn by saying quite earnestly I enjoy eating vegetables because they make me feel good.

gailcalled's avatar

A very good technique for dealing with a question that you don’t want to answer, for whatever reason, is simply to ask another question. It doesn’t have to be substantive:

viz: Why do you want to know? Isn’t that personal? What business it is of yours, bub? Can I think about it and then get back to you?

Perchik's avatar

Well most people are genuinely curious, just because you’ve told a billion people, doesn’t mean that other people don’t wanna know too. It’s like that with anything that you do that’s different. Example, I have dreadlocks and I’m white. At least once a week, I get questions about it. However when I made this decision in the first place I knew that I’d get a lot of questions. Anything that you do that is very different from the norm, you will get questions. Just be prepared to answer them.

I know it gets tiresome after awhile

andrew's avatar

You could always respond, “Well, I hate plants and I want them to pay…”

glial's avatar

“You don’t eat meat, but you sure like to bone.”

zina's avatar

it’s a mix for me too, and has shifted and evolved over the years, and i often have the same thought when people ask——- since all reasons can’t be given and explained in a short conversation, it’s a choice of which one (or ones) to mention and get into in that moment. for myself, but also for when there are others there that have heard about it from me before, I like to use fresh info and examples.

lately, i sometimes talk about the US meat industry – not wanting to put antibiotics, steroids, artificial hormones, and (if I’m feeling thorough) the toxic elements produced by the fear and suffering of the animals into my body….. usually people understand that (and thus stop talking about it) pretty quickly—- it’s pretty hard to argue for excess antibiotics, hormones, and steroids!!

another focus could be all the other forms of protein you eat (from nuts, beans, veggies) and all the health benefits of the vitamins, fiber, etc that you’re eating. a purely positive approach, which is especially useful if you’re trying not to offend someone. they’ll just be impressed at how healthfully you eat. —hardly anyone doesn’t want to be healthier (eat less fiber, have less disease, etc).

because i’ve lived in several countries and traveled quite a bit, sometimes i start talking about different ways food, eating, and animal treatment are approached in different countries, and across different social classes, urban/rural, etc. people are often intrigued and surprised by this information, especially if they haven’t experienced other cultural perspectives themselves—- in that way, that also is an approach that can move you along to another conversation topic quickly. similarly, you can talk about historical changes in diet (comparing the quantity/quality of meat people ate 100 or 500 years ago to today) or specifically your family’s eating traditions (again, hard for someone to argue against you about what your grandmother grew up eating).

over the holidays, a veggie friend (and well-educated nurse) told me that the US is the biggest over-eater of protein, specifically animal protein. facts and statistics are a great method, and I recycle and use new ones of those (whatever is striking me most in that moment) so that I keep the conversation interesting for myself. I get new ones from movies and books (like Super Size Me, Fast Food Nation, plenty of vegan/vegetarian books and cookbooks) or news articles or websites about nutrition, obesity and cancer and depression and other food-related health issues, animal rights and farms, etc etc.

ezraglenn's avatar

I usually tell people that I am a vegetarian because I want more control over what I put into my body, and I feel uncomfortable with not knowing what kinds of hormones/other chemicals are in the meat that I’m eating.

shockvalue's avatar

thank you to everyone, your answers so far have been amazing. i now have so much more to bring to the table (pun unintended) in a debate. again, thank you all. you guys are great.

gailcalled's avatar

And don’t forget the economic issue – check out what it costs in grass (for those few animals still grazing) and corn to feed 1 cow, 1 pig, 1 lamb. Eating greens is much cheaper and feeds far more people. No time to find the stats. now. Maybe some smart reader can do it for me.

syz's avatar

I explain that I don’t like to eat shit. For example, when a great number of people became ill from eating contaminated hamburgers at a major fast food restaurant (various locations throughout the country), the government response was NOT to clean up meat handling standards….but recommendations to increase the cooking temperature and time to kill the organisms.

I have visited poultry farms, pig farms, cattle feed lots, poultry processing plants and egg processing plants. Agri-business has turned animal product production into an un-natural, inhumane, and nasty/filthy business.

DeezerQueue's avatar

My answer is pretty simple. It’s a choice that I make. I don’t ever need to defend it, I simply choose not to eat meat. Most people ask me claim to ask out of interest or curiosity but their reactions to my reason sound more like they find it necessary to defend their choice to eat meat simply by virtue of the fact that I choose not to. It’s as if my dietary or lifestyle choice, which has been conscious, is somehow an attack that they have made no choice at all, just skating through life on the values with which they’ve been raised. That’s not really my problem, and I don’t ask them why they never question it. I don’t preach about how they shouldn’t eat meat, I just don’t eat meat in silence, all the same, it seems to touch upon something that they’re sensitive to, namely, that they know they are responsible for themselves as individuals, but don’t give it much thought, they just live each day as the day before, without questioning or making serious decisions about their lifestyles. In many cases they’re more confrontational about it than I am.

beccause's avatar

Quotes I like to throw out:
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” —Albert Einstein
“My body is not a tomb for other animals.” Leonardo Da Vinci
My standard answers:
” I live my life in a way so as to create the kind of world I want to live in. I want a world that is less cruel, more peaceful and more respectful of the environment. Part of creating this world, for me, is being a vegetarian.”
” I don’t like the way my body feels when I ingest the flesh or eggs of other creatures.”
People are threatened when they think your way says their way is wrong, so it can be good to try not to sound judgemental. It’s nice to say “I understand why people eat meat, but it’s not right for me and the research I have done has led me to believe it’s not the best choice for the planet or the gloal economy.”

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