As I mentioned in my “Celebrating a 40th Anniversary“, my daughter was raised vegetarian. I had been an ethical vegetarian for 19 years and had convinced my love, later husband, to not only be vegetarian but actually raise our child that way. We did and in March 2009, our daughter , age 20, wrote this paper for a class at Boston University which I want to share with you. I hope it inspires you to either go vegetarian, better yet vegan, and/or to dare to raise your children that way. I am so proud of our beautiful, smart, kind vegetarian daughter and delighted to share this with you. I hope you enjoy.
“THE ETHICS OF VEGETARIANISM” by Julia Shenker Stoll
I have never eaten a piece of meat in my life. I was born and raised being taught an ethical belief that the majority of the world does not share- meat is murder. By the time I was old enough to understand why my parents made this decision for me, I had no interest in changing that particular aspect of my life. I have been shown videos of slaughterhouses. I have seen what really goes on behind the scenes of the popular Barnum & Bailey’s Circus and the horrors of captivity at zoos and SeaWorlds. I had a different childhood from many- whether it was standing next to my parents in front of the Federal Building in Los Angeles, holding signs protesting various animal abuses or being the infamous vegetarian daughter of the hosts for a benefit for a non-profit humane organization. This choice my parents had made is a philosophy I have become accustomed to and am proud of. Many skeptics question the fact that my parents made this choice for me and that I, therefore, lost the freedom of choice I should have had growing up. I always disagree. As I grew older, I was allowed to make the decision to eat animals but I have never been interested. I have come to realize that eating animals is not only unnecessary for human survival but actually unhealthy and responsible for many human diseases. Breeding, raising and killing animals is not environmentally sound either, despite what most think. Mass production and consumption and the unethical treatment of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses present Earth with an extreme danger for the future. Vegetarianism, as an ethical choice, is more than just the protection of the animal kingdom; it is direct action for sustaining Earth and all her inhabitants.
I have never once told someone to become vegetarian. I am not one to pressure others with my ethical beliefs, as I feel it is not my business what others do… to a point. I expect the same in return from those who do not agree with my lifestyle choice. What I do feel is necessary, is educating peers and strangers to the consequences of their actions. This is an important step in making a better society. Whether it’s through science or a documentary like Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, education is the first step to a more thoughtful and thriving society. I realize that requesting people to become more aware of their eating choices is extremely difficult, but it is what is necessary if we want to see change in the state of our planet. We cannot let our ignorance and human sovereignty threaten the survival of this magnificent planet.
- Celebrating 40 Years as a Vegetarian!
- Animals Suffer a Perpetual ‘Holocaust’
- Stop Telling Me What To Eat!
- WHO IS REALLY PRO-LIFE? In honor of Congress’ incoming Tea Partiers
- Opinion: The circus sends kids the wrong message about animals