The decision to go “meat-less”

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The decision to go “meat-less”

Celeste Mott, Editor-in-Chief of Communications & Operations

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Today’s society has evolved, and, continuously, individuals are becoming vegetarian and vegan. A vegetarian is an individual who does not consume meat; and a vegan is an individual that does not consume or use any animal products. Animal products include: meat, eggs, dairy, leather, fur and other animal materials that can be consumed or worn. People choose these lifestyles whether it’s for health, religious beliefs or because they don’t believe in the inhumane treatment of animals.

Durant High School senior, Mia Bonilla, has been vegan for about four months. She originally became vegan during her sophomore year of high school; however, Bonilla had a difficult time staying vegan at that time because of the cost of food and the disapproval from her family. She has since transitioned back to a vegan lifestyle and is thankful for the change.

“Choosing to be vegan has had a positive impact on not only my health but the environment and animals,” Bonilla said.

Bonilla talked about how factory farming is a negative factor on the environment. Cows, pigs, chickens and a multitude of other animals are harmed and killed in these factories. In these huge factory farms, animals are tortured and crammed into small spaces next to one another. Due to the conditions these animals are kept in, they are easily injured and rapidly contract diseases. In addition to the harm animals face in these conditions, they produce greenhouse gas emissions from the methane that they create.

To help fight against factory farming, and other industries that rely on animals, organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Cruelty Free International regularly protest and inform people about the way animals are treated.

Durant High School physics teacher, Michael Stone, has been vegetarian for over 10 years. Stone experienced an internal conflict in his life when he was trying to understand why he was eating something that he loved.

“When I was about 20-years-old I had the freedom to start buying my own groceries and I discussed with one of my close friends at the time about my philosophical ideas with eating meat,” Stone said. “My friend discussed going vegetarian together, and from that point on, I stopped eating meat.”

People have many different reasons to change their lifestyles to meat-less, and some may choose to become vegetarian and others may choose to become vegan. Some individuals, like Stone, chose to be vegetarian because it is difficult to understand why one can consume an animal they say they love. Others, like Bonilla, chose their lifestyle for their own health reasons or just to better the environment.

“I’ve had so many animals that were important to me in my life, yet there I was eating them which did not make sense to me,” Stone said.