Monday, May 09, 2005

Self-definition

This will be all about me, and for that I apologize.

Someone very close to me asked me if I define myself by my vegetarianism - that is, if I was making a "who is Andrew?" list, I would put vegetarian at the top. I'm proud to be a vegetarian, but that's not how I define myself.

I'm much more proud to have thought critically about the concept of what it means to be a meat-eater: when I eat meat, who suffers? Who gains? What does my diet choice do for me, for the animals, and for the environment? What is the truth behind my tasty steak?

I'm proud that I had the courage, however small it is, to change my eating habits.

I'm proud that I've researched the issue enough to feel that my choice is the right choice, and that even if it's somehow a poor choice, I am certain that I am still doing more good than harm in this world.

And I'm proud that I've educated some people about the issue, that I've even converted a few of them myself.

So how do I define myself?

I consider myself a life-long learner, one who isn't satisfied with his current knowledge, one who always seeks more.

I consider myself a critical thinker, one who isn't easily appeased by the party line, by the will of the masses.

I consider myself a person who desires to do right by the people and the planet who give him everything he has.

I consider myself a person who has courage enough to make some tough decisions, follow through with those decisions, and be ultimately happy about them.

I consider myself an educator of the values that will bring about a better, safer, more peaceful world.

And those are the ways I define myself - not as a vegetarian, but as a learner, critical thinker, a person of morals, a person of some courage, and an educator. My choice to be a vegetarian, as with my choices on a lot issues, is only the end result of all those other values.

5 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

This reminds me of something I heard once.

"You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basketcase, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club."

Come on, you did the same to Marq.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

Please consider these serious questions.

1. If everyone in the world became vegetarians, what do you think would happen to animal populations? Rise? Stay the same? Or Decrease?

2. What effect would this have on a countries economy?

3. Why don't humans have the right to eat meat, morally speaking?

4. Cutting out meat would be a huge cut in the food supply. Considering the world became vegetarian. Is there enough sources of other foods to feed billions of people everyday for the rest of time?

5. If you had a friend who ate meat, who has listened to your views regarding vegetarianism and why it should be practiced, and he still decided to eat meat. Would you lose respect for him and consider him a lesser person for it? Or would you respect his decision and his views?

6. When you are a vegetarian, are you losing out on nutrients from meat that you can't get from another sources?

7. Are humans Carnivores? Omnivores? Or Herbivores?

I have my own opinion of what I think the answers are and why. But I am interested in hearing your answers. Mostly because you know more about the topic than I do, and you've probably come across similar questions/comments before.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Mike, I love the movie, but I don't know what you're getting at with the quote.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

I'll just put my response in a separate entry.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Nevermind. It was funny to me at the time. They both read the same, no?

12:43 AM  

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