Why don't you eat meat?

Asked by Jane Belanger

July 21, 2010

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Erica Waterhaler

From La Costa (Sales Rep)

I don’t eat meat, but I do eat fish. That’s the only meat I eat, I should say. I don’t eat meat because it’s not okay with me if I couldn’t kill the animal right then and there. I go fishing. I can kill the fish and eat it. If I did that and couldn’t eat it, then I would stop eating fish as well.

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Ziva Gottesman

From Talmadge (Singer and Photographer)

I’m a vegetarian, but I don’t like vegetables. But I love animals. So, I actually eat a lot of the fake meats that they have. They’re making better and better fake things that apparently taste like real things. I think if people gave it a try, or think about what they’re eating, maybe they’ll be more likely to give it a try. If I liked vegetables more, I would be vegan and not eat eggs and dairy. I try not to, but I’m not that strict yet. I’ve been trying. I feel bad. I won’t crack an egg open, but I will eat something with it in there, and I’m not happy about that.

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Zoë Lawson

From Solana Beach (Student)

Different reasons. My theory is that people eating cows —well, it’s not quite my theory, but it’s a theory — people eating cows is causing global warming. And chickens are the most tortured animals on Earth. So, I won’t eat like that. I do eat eggs and ­dairy.

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Richard McPheters

From City Heights (Canvasser)

I think it’s because of peer pressure. A lot of my friends are vegetarian and vegan, so I just kind of went down that path. My last roommate was super healthy, so meat was never around. And meat’s super expensive. I grew up in the Midwest, where meat’s always around. It was, like, steak steak steak steak steak. And now I’m just kind of, like…I’m gonna stop eating meat because I get really tired when I eat meat. I try really hard, but if there’s a slice of pepperoni pizza, I’ve got to go for it. If I told my friends who are strict vegetarians, they’d slap me, but what can you do?

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Alex Christopher

From Del Mar (Adminstrative Assistant)

Health reasons, mainly. It’s hard for our bodies to digest it. I started college a couple years ago and saw a movie called Food, Inc. I tried to do the “no meat” thing, but it wasn’t very healthy for me, so I changed to “no red meat.” I miss burgers. Every now and then I’ll accidentally have some, and I’ll feel kind of sick. It’s not like a really concrete belief with animal rights or anything; it’s more just for health.

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Shirley Camey

From Applegate, Oregon (Retired)

I became a vegetarian because I was trying to find a way to lower my cholesterol and avoid the prescription medications that the doctor had recommended because they didn’t agree with me. I had tremendous headaches. So I thought, Well, I’m going to have to find another way to be more healthy. A book was brought to my attention by another doctor, Eat to Live, that gave a vegetarian way of living. Mainly vegetables, no meat, a lot of legumes and beans, all the fruit you can eat. And it’s wonderful! I’m never hungry, and I’m completely off the ­medication.


Robert Johnston July 24, 2010 @ 8:14 a.m.

Depends on the "meat" in question.

I prefer chicken or turkey if I'm going to eat meat...and I grill it w/marinades on my Electrobachi.

My preference would be true "free-range meat," as in going out and harvesting a deer, rabbits, or pheasant during hunting season (with a license, natch). Same for fish--I only eat fish if I catch-and-clean it personally.

It's also a question of personal economics. If I cannot afford to buy meat--I do without. No biggie--I can still whip up a pasta primavera that's filling and frugal. Or try a mostacholli norteitaliano--mostacholi pasta with butter, cheese, garlic, and oregano. The cheese gives you the protein you will need, plus it's easier to digest (no acid from tomato-based sauce to worry you! Check out the "Recepies" file for this one!).

Whether to eat meat--or not--should be a personal choice, not a PeTA-based "Salvation of America by Legislative Fiat Accompli"-type imposition. The less red meat I eat, the better I feel...but I still eat it once in a while for the iron content.

So, unless economics dictates otherwise...I limit myself to poultry, eggs, cheese, and ice cream when it comes to "animal foods." And, of course, fresh-caught (in person) fish.



Evelyn July 26, 2010 @ 2:21 p.m.

I don't eat meat when the meal isn't meat. That said, I'm too much of a carnivore to stop eating meat. I tried going vegetarian once as a new year's resolution. I lasted a week.

Also, does anyone else find some of these answers contradictory?

"And chickens are the most tortured animals on Earth. So, I won’t eat like that. I do eat eggs and ­dairy."

Chickens aren't only 'tortured' for their meat...


MsGrant July 26, 2010 @ 3:04 p.m.

And dairy cows live a miserable existance, being impregnated to keep them producing, their calves taken from them to support the veal industry, only to be slaughtered after they are old and used up for commercial grade meat (pet food, school lunch programs, etc.). Chickens raised for eggs have it far worse than the ones slaughtered for their meat. At least their suffering is short. The passing of new laws regarding the confinement of egg-producing poultry has eased a little of the suffering, but it is still not great. It does crack me up too when people say they don't eat meat because of animal suffering and then go on to say they consume dairy and eggs. Unless you buy from a verifiable, sustainable source, like a small, organic dairy farm, where no hormones or antibiotics are used, the animals are truly free-range, the milk is derived from natural processes, etc., you are contributing to cruelty. Giant agriculture cannot exist without it, because the need to churn out such huge amounts of food requires that animals be reduced to nothing more than collateral.


jmtrudeau July 26, 2010 @ 4:30 p.m.

In response to Erica,

How do you feel about hunting? I'm a hunting advocate and love eating the game I stalk and kill. I eat some form of meat about 85% of the meals that I prepare.


David Dodd July 26, 2010 @ 4:54 p.m.

No idea if I could shoot Bambi's father, but I'll guarantee you I could eat Bambi's father. On the other side of the coin, Grant's point is valid, if you eat meat, do yourself a favor and never visit a slaughterhouse. This is one of those topics that is among the proverbial "low-hanging fruit", guaranteed to polarize.


MsGrant July 26, 2010 @ 5:15 p.m.

I don't condemn people for eating meat. My only wish is that they make it less horrific for the animals. The suffering is unbearable to see.


David Dodd July 26, 2010 @ 5:19 p.m.

It would be cool if there was a happy medium between current industry practices and something somewhat more humane.


MsGrant July 26, 2010 @ 5:34 p.m.

You said it. Right now it's a factory, not a farm. The little guys who try to run these small, humane farms are being shut down because they can't get their meat slaughtered, because the big agencies are shutting down the small slaugherhouses. Too much government in our food. It's yucky. I want to raise my own chickens for eggs. I hear they make for great company, but nope, can't do that here. Against the law.


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