Struggling with Vegetarianism


As an atheist, I do not see myself as “special” due to a soul. Instead, I see myself as a human animal, who like other humans, happens to have the most complex brain, when compared to other animals, so I, also, care about the suffering of animals. Animals are different than humans, cognitively speaking, but other animals do feel pain. Now, I don’t consider mere physical pleasure and suffering to be the only thing that matters, but I do think the pain and pleasure of other animals matter. Thus, I decided to become a vegetarian, but I am struggling quite a bit.

For meals at home, it is easy to not eat meet, usually, but I, occasionally, eat at restaurants. It is very hard to find vegetarian options at restaurants where I live. I suppose I could order a salad, but they are usually higher in calories than even cheese burgers. Plus, their more expensive. Then again, I could eat fish, which would at least cause less suffering, but once again it is more expensive.

Sometimes, I eat at other peoples’ homes, which is even harder. I do not feel comfortable telling people they have to serve a vegetarian option. I don’t really know what to do there. Then again, they already bought the meat, and the animal is already dead. Ugh, I don’t know a good solution.

Perhaps, my fellow vegetarian bloggers can help me. Anyone have any advice?

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8 Comments

  1. Why do you care about the suffering of species that are lower on the food chain? Do you care about their actual experience, or just your anthropomorphic projections about their experiences? How does you being vegetarian reduce any of their suffering and, if it does, shouldn’t you be going all the way to vegan? Or is the suffering imposed by the conditions in dairy and egg factory farms not enough to count? And how is eating fish less harm-causing than eating anything else? Plus, what about all the suffering caused to human animals by modern systems of farming, seed-modification, and transportation (to say nothing of the suffering of animals displaced from their habitats to allow for all of this) to bring out-of-season, regionally impossible vegetables to your table? Shouldn’t you be an exclusively farm to table, local source vegan?

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  2. I don’t usually have a problem finding vegetarian options at restaurants and their are a few vegan and vegetarian restaurants near me as well.

    I find that packing my own food is a good way around the eating out thing. If I’m going to a barbecue, for example, and I’m fairly sure there won’t be much for me I’ll pack a small cooler of food. I also pre=make a lot of my foods and keep some in the freezer.

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  3. Saying that plants do not feel pain, is an understatement of biology. They do have a complex sensory system, different from the systems we know, but it works essentially on the same mechanism of electric potential. Take for example, the touch me not plant, which responds well to any external perception – and we know this fact because we see it. Does that mean the plant has consciousness? Maybe? A series of experiments were conducted by scientists, who knocked out plants by using diethyl ether, and produced a similar response, as an animal would. Just because they have a primitive (for a lack of a better word) or different sensory system, should not lead us to conclude that they do not have a consciousness. Maybe someday scientists will understand it in better terms, and maybe we will have vegetable rights too.

    Personally I have no problem with people eating meat (I am vegetarian myself, I just do not like how meat tastes), since we have evolved from a series of events where meat must have been one of our survival meals.

    Again, you can take animal rights into considerations, and say they have higher level of consciousness but at the same time, it would be unfair of you to refer plants as unconscious.

    For me, it all comes down to a personal perspective of life and how we define it.

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