Monday, April 11, 2011

A Moral Dilemma

So in my Moral and Social Problems class (yes, I know, that sounds so negative!) we’ve just started discussing the issue of animal rights and the environment. Over the weekend, I read through the chapter and took notes on it, as usual. I thought it would be sorta boring like some of the topics are, but it was actually fascinating. To the point that I was starting to feel really emotional. I like animals a lot, at least most of them, but I wouldn’t say I’m an animal rights activist. That is, until I read this chapter. I was beyond horrified to hear what really happens to many animals, both in “factory farms” and scientific laboratories. I’ll spare you the details, because they are pretty heartbreaking, but one thing that made me almost cry was finding out that in order to test the safety of new chemical products, they restrain rabbits so they can’t escape and put drops of these products in their eyes! Seriously, how would you feel if someone squirted shampoo, bleach or even weed killer in your eyes?! I already knew a lot about how badly animals are treated in confinement agriculture, but I found out even more, and it made me really sad.
Part of an all-vegan dinner: an EVOL veggie fajita burrito
Pink Lady apple and baby carrots
Homemade iced peppermint mocha: chocolate mint
soymilk, Starbucks mocha VIA instant coffee and ice!

Basically, I am really passionate about becoming a vegetarian now. I’ve considered it a lot in the past, and I currently eat a mostly-vegetarian diet right now (I only have chicken or seafood when I go home), but learning about all these atrocities done to helpless animals makes me want to go full veg. I don’t want to add to the already-huge number of animals being raised and slaughtered cruelly in this country. The only thing stopping me is my parents. I’m sure they would support my decision if it weren’t for the fact that I’m recovering from anorexia. If I told them I want to be a vegetarian, not necessarily for health reasons (though that’s also important to me, too) but just because I hate to see animals treated so horribly, I don’t think they would consider it at the moment. I really only eat meat if I’m around them, because they think I don’t get enough protein. I actually do, and I know plenty of non-meat sources of protein that I love. But I want to stop eating meat completely. They were okay with me eliminating beef and pork because they don’t appeal to me flavor-wise, but if I told them I was cutting out chicken, they would be concerned. I mean, I’m an adult now, but I think they still want to have some control over my food. I think maybe if I told them I was still going to eat seafood and fish, they might be okay with it, but our family mostly eats chicken. It just doesn’t appeal to me anymore, partly because I don’t care for the flavor enough to “need” it and also because of the way most chickens are treated. So I really don’t know what to do. I really want to be a vegetarian, but I’m worried what my parents will think.
Q’s: If you are a vegetarian (or vegan), how did you convince your parents to allow you to be one (if you did at all)? Why did you choose to stop eating meat?


  1. I think people with eating disorders, until in a really good place where they aren't "struggling",as in a healthy weight range, healthy mind set towards all foods healthy exercise habits, and so on ("recovered"?) should not go on any sort of "diet". To anyone dealing with an eating disorder and thinking of being vegan or vegetarian or raw or macrobiotic or paleo (you get the idea)I would say; worry about taking care of yourself first, then you can worry about the animals.

  2. I understand how you feel, Ash! I am a huge animal avocate. However, because of my ED, I can't go comlpetely vegeterian. It will just trigger my ED and cause me to be in a worse place.

    To calm my inner animal rights feminist in me, I only buy organic chicken breasts (the chickens were humanely grown and humanely put down). I don't really eat beef and pork. I do eat some from time to time because of my iron defiency. I prefer lean cow meat from USDA beef approved assocations because the cows were raised and slaughtered humanely (thanks to Temple Gradin's research).

    I do a lot of research on my meat products. This is why I only with organic based farms or products.

    I would worry if you go completely vegeterian if you don't have your ED under your control and you are completely recovered. But it is your personal choice and you know yourself the best.

  3. i ttoally get you!! i went vegan for health and moral reasons... my parents were way cool with it.. but its becuz i proved to them i knew what iw as doing.. have a serious convo with them and tell them your reasons and how you are still going to stay healthy whilst eating this way!.. esp with my past EDs my parents were slightly worried, but once i showed them i coul be healthy with it.. they are so on board!

  4. Although others have expressed their worry at you becoming a vegetarian while you are still recovering from ED, I think that making this decision is fine as long as you are sure it is for the right reasons. It is important, however, to make sure that you are getting complete proteins in your diet and are eating adequate calories.
    My parents have been supportive of my being a vegetarian but I would try to have an open dialogue between your parents and yourself about whether this is the best move for you.

  5. Hey Ash. I think it is great that you are speaking your mind about things you truly care about.
    I definitely do not consider myself a vegetarian, but I don't eat much meat either. I personally chose not to eat beef or lamb because I think they taste DISGUSTING, and I eat pork very infrequently. I each chicken a bit more frequently, and like you, fish is my favorite. I am proud of you that you are listening to your heart and doing what you believe is right.

    Oh, and I love the new design of your bloggie. It is totally awesome!

  6. I think that once you are slowly getting better and better they will start to believe you more, and one thing I would definately say to do is come at them with research. Do alot of research on what you will be adding INSTEAD of meat, and how it compares just the same. I think knowing that your not going to eliminate meat and just have one less thing to eat will help them... like as long as they know you're willing to try other things too! I have tried in the past to convince my mom, and she started to believe me, but then IIIII started getting to far into my ed to replace what I had taken away. Thats my advice for you :)
    p.s I Have no idea why its making me use my old blogger account to comment...but if this is the way I have to do it then so be it... its me! Kimi!! haha

  7. I've been vegetarian since I was 15. My parents didn't care. If anything they were slightly annoyed. No, I didn't have an ED at the time but developed one shortly after but I remain a vegetarian to this day (I'm 34).

    If you feel that it is morally/ethically WRONG (that's the case for me), then maybe you can try it. As long as you take care of yourself, why does it matter?

    Just don't use it as an ED tactic. I really hate when people do that. Makes it so harder for real vegetarians to be respected in treatment.


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