Wednesday, April 13, 2005

on being a vegetarian...

i'm not, but i should be.

a month or so ago, at the mormon studies conference at uvsc, chris foster (from byu) gave a pretty convincing argument as to why mormons should be vegetarians. without going into the specifics, he basically showed that lds scriptures and prophets have said only to eat meat when in time of need and that we as humans will be responsible for the blood of animals we kill or abuse without need.

this is basically something i've known for a long time, but have largely ignored. in fact, i think it is something that most every mormon knows inside, but chooses to ignore. why? because meat tasts good. steak, bacon, kalua pig, corn beef, sushi, deli sandwiches, polish dogs, chicken, venison. it's delicious.

it's almost hypocritical how most mormons are so meticulous with certain particulars of the word of wisdom, but treat other aspects with little regard. we all know eating meat is unhealthy. the hotdog is the number one enemy of the american heart association, yet we gulp them down on a daily basis.

i'm not, but i should be. i just don't know if i have the ill power to do it. meat is everywhere i look. it's in every fast-food chain, every restaurant, every fridge, and every meal.

can i? yeah. will i? i dunno. probably not without help.

to all you vegetarians out there, how do you do it? what advice have you? how did you begin?


  1. You're a little liberal for me, but i've been a vegetarian for 30 years, its easy, just don't eat other mammals, but its a personal thing.. we are converts who joined the Church 25 years ago. Only one of our children has continued as a nonmeat eater, and is raising children that way, but not strictly. Overall its a choice, you can't force others to make the same decision. Yes, we are healthier than others, benefit in that as well.

  2. I think Jane's right, the best way to do it is just to do it. I quit eating meat 6 months ago. It can be hard - you're right, meat is everywhere, it's hard to find vegetarian fast food (or sometimes even vegetarian meals at restaurants), and meat does just taste good, but it's totally possible to live without meat.
    I set at day to begin - for me it was October 1 - and I kind of gradually phased out meat. Well, actually, once I'd made the decision I didn't eat much meat any more but that was the official start date.
    One thing that was an impetus for me was reading The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams. (I've also heard that Animal Liberation by Peter Singer is also good but I haven't read it yet.) I decided that I did not want to participate in the culture of killing animals for food.
    I definitely think support is a good thing. If possible, get some friends to go veg with you, or make friends with vegetarians. It's so much easier when you're not alone. Join the BYU Vegetarians email list (I'm sure UVSC students/other people in the area are welcome to join). I haven't been able to go to any of the activities, but they have potlucks and stuff. Sign up at yahoogroups or email Chris Foster. The U has a group, SOAR, who put out an excellent newsletter and organize lots of activities. I've never been to any of their activities but I read the weekly newsletter. Their website:
    I could probably go on, but there's a number of suggestions.
    Also, like jane said, it's a personal decision, but I want you to know that if you decide to go this route, I'm totally there to support you (and even if you don't I support your right to make that decision).

  3. I think its pretty gay, but girls who are vegetarians taste really good ;) So maybe your girlfriend would appreciate it.

  4. Hey loyd, this is Megan. I've been thinking lately about this too. I'm not a huge meat fan myself, and rarely eat it, but I'm thinking about crossing the line and making it an official life choice. I don't think eating meat is a sin- the word of wisdom tells us to eat meat sparingly, not to cut it out completely- and I believe originally, God provided animals for the purpose of feeding his people. Of course, at that time they didn't have whole food markets around every corner and boca burgers and such. I recently read the book "Why Vegan" which I think you should check out if you are seriously considering this. There are a HUGE number of reasons to give up meat (and, more extremely, dairy and animal products if you so choose) that have nothing to do with the treatment of animals. For example, there is more than enough food, in the form of grains and wheat, to feed every starving person in our world. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Why, then, are they still going hungry? Because alllllll that grain is being used to feed and fatten animals that can be sold at higher prices. Economically, spiritually, and socially, vegetarianism/veganism makes sense. I think a big deterrent is that people don't feel like they can really change things. Unfortunately this is probably true, so I've come to think of it as something you do for yourself, to appease your own conscience knowing that at least you, specifically, are not encouraging the violent and inhumane deaths of animals. that was a long post :)
    hope all else is going well

  5. Good luck with the vegetarian thing. I don't have strong feelings either way.

    Coincidentally I do have some info though. BYU just closed the doors to the Ellsworth Meat Lab, which is where BYU processed any meats. The program wasn't totally stopped though as it moved to the CHURCH'S slaughterhouse/meat processing plant (a very stinky place just south of us.) My take on the church's official stance was more of a do it if you want to, but you shouldn't preach it as the way everyone should live. I could be wrong on that though since I haven't really taken the time to research it at all. I think that's a pretty neutral stance.

  6. "why? because meat tasts good"

    What's wrong with this? What if god made these creatures simply for us to enjoy eating them sparingly?

    Of course animals are sentient beings, and we should not cause more harm to them than necessary, but they are not humans; they cannot act or change their own morality. So, what if god made them specifically to give us joy? What is so wrong with that?

  7. No offence, but drinking water is evil too. God made that water for us to look at, not too bathe with, contaminating that poor water. Think of all the living things in that water that we are harming.

    Vegetables and fruit are a whole different story.


Please provide a name or consistent pseudonym with your comments and avoid insults or personal attacks against anyone or any group. All anonymous comments will be immediately deleted. Other comments are subject to deletion at my discretion.