The Vegetarian Conundrum

green-earth-mar2009

Last night hubby and I met up with some local vegetarians at this kick-ass veggie place called “Green Earth“. If you can remotely tolerate vegetables and soy, I strongly recommend it! I had crispy wontons and sweet and sour tofu. So yummy! Anyways, as we got in the door, I became self conscious of the fact that my jacket was made of leather…and my belt..and my boots! I bought all this stuff at a second hand store(except for the boots), but it still felt strange and made me think.  If someone decides to stop eating meat, should they avoid all animal products made from parts/skins of animals? Naturally, many veggies would say “of course!” but is it so easy? I mean, I need those boots to stay warm and waterproof. Plus, my coat is much warmer than vinyl and I strongly doubt that belts made of plastic would last as long as ones made of skin. Even if you find alternatives, are they as readily accessible and is every single part of them animal-free? Also-Did you know that jello, Worcheshire sauce and my beloved marshmallows all contain animal bits? Lots of people don’t know this.

coloured_marshmallows

Its hard for me to expose my hypocrisy publicly, but there is a point to this ramble-Perhaps we’re all a bit hypocritical. Looking around the room last night, I noticed the menus appeared to be bound in leather along with the seats. (Should have asked the waitress about this discrepancy but anyways.) Once you go down a certain road, it’s very easy to contradict yourself at some point. For example, you could refuse to wear animal skins, but what about your perfume that’s made from whales/beavers/deer? Or your makeup that’s tested on animals? Or even what you feed to your pets? (Who will and should always be carnivores, well unless you own gerbils or your animal has allergies like Quack Attack’s)

But then again there are many reasons for becoming a vegetarian-For example, my main reasons for becoming one are; 1)Environmental concerns. Livestock carves up green space and creates more pollution and 2)because it was getting expensive buying meat for myself and tofu for my husband. (Who’s been a veggie for most of his life)  I like to cook and I’d like for him to enjoy what I make, thus it seemed a natural sacrifice.  I also met a woman last night who became a vegetarian in the hopes that it would reverse her diabetes and similarly, have heard of individuals who cut back to lower cholesterol.  So I guess you shouldn’t judge someone until you know the reasons for their lifestyle choices.

Personally, I think as long as you’re not poaching (which is abhorrent and wasteful) or wearing fur, then its up to the individual on how to best live their life. As for me, I’m striving to become a more informed person (looking into buying makeup with no animal testing), but don’t plan on giving up buying second hand clothing anytime soon, leather or not. I’m not buying directly from a leather store and it helps the planet by recycling.  May not make sense to you, but it works for me! 🙂

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15 thoughts on “The Vegetarian Conundrum

  1. quackattack

    It’s not my fault my dog is a vegetarian … the vet made me switch him over due to his allergies. Yes, I own a 15lb vegetarian dog … he’s ferocious. :S

  2. hannah78 Post author

    Quackattack-Thanks! I forgot about those vegetarian dogs and cats. They are few but still should be mentioned. I updated the post.:)

  3. raino

    okay….i am NOT a vegetarian but i will NEVER EVER eat another marshmallow again EVER! that’s just gross. animal bits in marshmallows?

  4. Darrell

    Yeah, it’s basically rendered bone. Well, that and a lot of sugar.

    Personally, I think everyone has to draw their own line somewhere. I’m a ‘lacto-ovo’ vegetarian myself (I eat dairy and eggs), and I’m sure a lot of vegans would find it hypocritical. There’s even a song I know that says if you think ‘meat is murder’ you must think ‘dairy is rape’. Personally, I think those kinds of analogies trivialize some very horrible crimes – but it’s what some folks believe.

    It’s impossible to live in our society without being a consumer – and if you want to limit that consumption in some way it’s your choice. Like with most things in life, nobody is better equipped to make the choice for you than you.

  5. Nat

    You know if we’re going to eat an animal and wear it, we may as well use all of it. (I honestly have no issue with gelatin.)

    There are types/extremes of vegetarians. My good buddy is a vegan. He eats no meat, no eggs, no dairy wears no animals stuff, I don’t even think he does honey. (Some don’t — something to do with the smoke used to harvest the honey.)

    Most places won’t be judgmental about your choices, as long as you’re not judmental about theirs.

  6. Dr. Monkey

    You must kill healthy animal to harvest it’s meat for comsumption, but you can wait for an animal to die of natural causes and harvest it’s hide that can be made into leather later.

  7. pinklea

    Everything in moderation, right? You have to weigh the advantages and the disadvantages of meat or leather or whatever, plus think about cost and availability and durability and function – it’s all just too much sometimes! Sounds like you’re doing what you can right now, though – keep up the good work!

  8. hannah78 Post author

    Darrell-Hi hun! Yeah, likewise I could never restrict my diet so much as to be a vegan. I LOVE dairy and cook with eggs. No animals die to make those things, so why not? (However, I’m sure in many cases their living conditions could be improved, but you can buy from humane sources)
    I agree, it is my choice and I’m all the happier to have it. 🙂
    Nat-You do have a point about using the whole animal. My main issue are the people who kill animals and only use parts of them and/or who hunt wild animals. Its greedy and unnecessary. Anyways, yes, there are many different types of vegetarians, which is nice, because I would hate to feel too boxed in.:)
    Dr. Monkey-Is that right? Well probably in most cases they just kill the cow and split the skin from the body. But its nice to know that you can still wear skin if the animal died of natural causes.
    Pinklea-Exactly! The place where I buy my clothing is close by and relatively inexpensive, which is a necessity at the moment.

  9. XUP

    As a long-time vegetarian myself, I agree with Darrell. You have to find your own way and sometimes it’s a long process and sometimes you go a bit further than you find comfortable and pull back. But every little bit makes a difference to you and to the earth. So, whatever you can do, great! And, Nat – vegans don’t eat honey because it’s stealing food from another living creature, because it means we’re making bees work for our satisfaction. It may also have something to do with the smoke and how they’re housed and bred and stuff though

  10. robin

    I could never be a vegetarian although I would like to be but I know I’d end up living off of french fries and bagels.

  11. Bastette

    ooOOoo Is that the new place on Preston street? It looks like it. I saw it the other day and I am even more interested in going now.

    I was a veg for 4 years. I still wore leather. I figure they are going to kill them for the meat eaters anyway so why not use up what they produce so that all of the aninmal doesn’t go to waste ..
    I am probably rationalizing..maybe.
    lol

    I would go veg again in a heartbeat but I just love seafood too much. But Kurt Cobain said that it’s ok to eat fish because they don’t have any feelings, right? *cough*
    I always feel healthier after eating a non-meat meal as opposed the vegetarian cuisine. I need to listen to my body more!

  12. hannah78 Post author

    XUP-I agree and that is interesting about honey and bees. (I put honey in my tea fairly regularly)
    Robin-Great! Now I want fries and bagels! Thank you so much! LOL. 😉 Seriously though, its quite awesome all the diversity in fruits, beans, grains, vegs, nuts, tofu preparation, you never end up just eating carbs.
    Bastette-Yes, it is a small, new place on Preston and go, even if you’re not currently a vegetarian! 🙂 I used to eat fish when I was transitioning into a vegetarian, but have cut back, since they are also extremely vunerable to negative environmental effects, like pollution and overfishing.

  13. Green Grrl

    I’ve been to this restaurant for lunch quite a few times since they opened. They have a great buffet. Last time i was there the dessert on the buffet was deep fried spring rolls filled with banana and fresh coconut. Yum!

  14. Pingback: Vegging « XUP

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